Power skips are one the best exercises for increasing vertical for basketball.
Have you ever watched Ja Morant play basketball? What about old-school Derrick Rose?
Well, if you have, then did you notice how they’re able to fly when they attack the basket?
In a playoff game (Game 3 of the first round in 2022) against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Ja Morant pulled off this acrobatic layup, where he attacked the basket, but had to scoop the ball underneath his defender’s long, extended arms -while in the air- to avoid the block and to make the game-winning shot.
In a game against the New York Knicks, Derrick Rose pulled off an acrobatic up-and-under layup against two bigger defenders in a congested lane.
The chances of you being able to do this is pretty low.
But you can improve your airtime and get close to what these Titans can do by working on your jumping ability.
And one of the best exercises for mastering the mechanics of the one-legged jump is the power skip.
What Are Power Skips?
Power skips are a track-and-field and plyometric exercise athletes use to develop power in their legs so they can explode with more force and jump higher.
How to do Power Skips
Power skips are an easy exercise with a handful of steps. And as your legs get stronger, you can add more steps to make the drill more complex, thus increasing the strength in your legs.
Let’s start with the easy version of the power skip:
(But before you start working out, remember to stretch and warm up because if you get injured, you’re not jumping to do anything, let alone play basketball.)
- Stand with your feet width-length apart.
- Raise your right knee and hop with your left leg. As you hop, raise your right arm (or arm that’s opposite from the jumping leg) above your head to emulate a layup.
- Then, reset. Now, raise your left knee and skip on your right leg. Raise your left arm above your head.
- Once you have the pattern down, do it continuously, as if you’re skipping to a rhythm.
Now, here’s how to do the complex version of the power skip to build the fast-twitch muscles in your legs:
All of the steps will be the same as the easy version. The difference will be now you have to skip for distance (don’t worry, it’s easier than it sounds).
When skipping, you will have to explode and jump as high as possible while driving the opposite knee forward so that you can, well, travel forward.
Why You Should Do Power Skips
Athletically, power skips will make you more explosive. You’ll be able to jump higher with more force and power and do it more frequently.
The reason is that you’ll know the mechanics of jumping and your legs will be stronger and have more stamina.
Basketball-wise, the exercise will help you with layups, rim protection, and rebounding because your lower body and core will be stronger and this stability will allow you to jump with more force and take more contact.
And if you can take the hits without faltering, then you’ll get the stats. You’ll score more, deny more shots, and grab more rebounds.
Being able to jump and knowing how to jump correctly is super beneficial for basketball because you’ll jump higher and won’t tire out quickly.
So, if you want to jump efficiently and effectively, do power skips.
P.S. If you’re struggling to improve in basketball, you may be training wrong.
This is why you need to check out my Old Man Game Activity Guide.