Box Jumps for Basketball

How to do Box Jumps for Basketball (Beginner’s Guide to Being More Powerful)

One of the best ways to increase vertical for basketball is the box jump. So, here’s a guide on how to do the one-step box jump.

Candace Parker is one of the most powerful players in the WNBA.

Since her debut in the league in 2008, she has won the rebounding title three times and has only averaged less than one block a game one season.

She is also a 3-time WNBA Peak Performer and was deemed the 2020 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year.

Now, you’re probably thinking that those achievements and accolades are a result of outstanding skill more than athleticism. And if you are, then you would be correct.

Rebounding is a skill. So is blocking shots. So is being a peak performer (leading the league in points, rebounds, and assists).

But to be able to do these things at a level, where you are out-rebounding other players on a nightly basis and blocking shots consistently, you need to have both IQ and powerful legs.

And these are features that Parker has.

How is Candace Parker Such a Powerful Player?

“So, how is she such a good jumper?” you’re thinking to yourself.

Well, first off, she is hyper-competitive and this somehow gives her additional energy (or battery) to work out often and consistently.

Second, she does this variation of the box jump that’s more functional for basketball than the standard version.

Via Stack:

“A lot of people will tell you to just stand and jump, but I prefer the One-Step Jump because it’s more basketball-like,” says Parker. “You try to do as many exercises in the gym as you would on the court.”

As she says, this alternative to the stand-and-jump box jump is more similar to jumping-specific skills in basketball.

And that’s why it’s been more beneficial to her game -it’s helped her improve her skills while conditioning her body for basketball

How to do the One-Step Box Jump

The one-step box jump isn’t a complex exercise, though it may sound like it.

For the standard box jump, you stand in front of the box and then jump onto it. The one-step version, on the other hand, requires you to take a step prior to jumping onto the box.

Here’s how to do it:

Key Notes:

  • Just take your time initially and get comfortable with the footwork
  • Don’t use a high box in the beginning. Start with a small box and slowly move up
  • Do 2 sets of 6 reps (3 with the right foot stepping and 3 with the left foot)

Benefits of One-Step Box Jump

As I said earlier, the one-step box jump is a functional exercise for basketball. It’s a movement that you would use often in the game to play defence, rebound, and shoot shots.

Hence, as your ability to box jump improves, your ability to do the skills listed above improves as well -when one becomes more efficient, so do the other ones.

Additionally, if you were to add in stretches that lengthen the muscles used for jumping, your vertical will increase more as well.

The reason why is because when you do box jumps (or any strength exercise), your muscles contract and tighten.

But jumping requires your muscles to be elastic for the most effectiveness. You want it to snatch, for a lack of a better term. Stretching will loosen up your muscles and make them stretchier.

So, as you make your legs more explosive with the jumps, the stretches will make them more elastic, resulting in you jumping higher without having to do crazy powerlifting exercises (which I don’t recommend for average Joes and Janes because they’re not necessary).

You’ll be able to explode up for rebounds and shot contests, for instance, better.

If you’re interested, this article will explain more about how stretches can help increase your vertical.

Final Thoughts

Having strong and powerful legs is an important attribute in basketball.

It can help you do a lot of things in the game.

It can also help you be more dominant because opposing players won’t be able to push you around and bully you.

So, if you want to play with the “Olympians’” mentality, then you have to do Candace Parker’s version of the box jump.