What’s up guys? Today is a good question from Abram, Abram says,
“Hey Jacob! Thanks for all the videos! I have a couple of questions though. Why is it that I can jump a lot higher without a basketball than with one? I used to jump pretty high when I was in high school a few years ago and I even had trouble dunking the ball then as well. Also, do you have an alternative exercise to heavy squat jumps? I'll try doing them but one of my shoulders is slightly higher than the other so it hurts a bit to squat using a barbell. Or maybe I just do not know proper form.
Thanks again for all your help!”
OK, let’s attack this one first. The first one is a great question and I think I have a good solution for you. Why do you jump higher without a basketball? Well first of all you have your approach. When you are dribbling a basketball, when you have a basketball in your hand, you are going to approach slower. Because you can’t swing your arms, you have this basketball in your hand, or you’re dribbling and focusing on something else. So right away your approach is slower, it’s probably a little less coordinated and a little less focused, that’s number one.
Number two, your arm swing. Let’s say you have the basketball in your hand, you can go like this, well if you have your arms you can swing your arms all the way back and all the way forward. So if you want to get good at jumping with a basketball you have to do a lot of jumping with a basketball.
Which brings me to item number three; most of your jumping probably has been done without a basketball in your hands. If you have the jump Manual one of our exercises is to use a medicine ball and do what we call med ball approaches. So we take the medicine ball and we attack the rim, with pretty much the exact same form we would attack it if we did have a basketball.
And I like to alternate from a med ball approach to a regular basketball approach. What happens is there is kind of a muscle potentiation effect which means that because you had this medicine ball when you go back to the regular basketball you swing that ball and it feels so light that you actually get a little additional velocity, so you train your form to have a little more additional velocity.
So I recommend doing your med ball approaches and alternating between doing it with a medicine ball and doing it without a medicine ball, with a regular basketball. So you can go back and forth and you can do med ball approaches whether you are going to go two feet go for the dunk, or whether you are going to go for the layup, whether you are going to go off one foot do a reverse, whatever. It can help you train your form, train you to get some muscular potentiation there.
The other thing I think it helps with is if you are used to going up strong with a heavy med ball in your hands when you start going up with a regular basketball, people start slapping your hands, slapping your wrist, you are just not going to give a rip. They are going to hit your wrist, they are going to hit your arms and you’re just not going to care because you are used to going up with more resistance than a couple of chumps can provide you on slapping you on the hands so you will start enjoying or expecting to get hit on the hand, hit on the arm, hit on the basketball and just take it up strong because you have been practicing with serious resistance.