OT: Plyometric help?

Submitted by QuarterbackU on January 28th, 2010 at 2:25 PM

I don't know if there are any fitness nuts/anyone who has advice on that type of thing here, but I thought it was worth a shot...

I'm 6'6" and 275 lbs, I've lost well over 100 lbs in the last 18 months, pretty much by doing the same workout 5-6 days per week and eating well...I'm getting close to my goal weight (240) and I'm looking to add some variety to my workouts.

I've always been athletic, but one of the things I don't have is a decent vertical jump...I play pickup basketball a lot, and I'd love to do some exercises designed to increase my vertical (I'd love to be able to dunk!)...

Anyone have any advice?




January 28th, 2010 at 2:36 PM ^

If you wanna do your own thing at your house, you can download (illegally) his videos online. plyometrics is the one that will get you to dunk... take it easy the first times you do it. and he recommends only once a week.


January 28th, 2010 at 2:42 PM ^

Congratulations on losing the weight. A couple suggestions:

1. Calves aren't that important for jumping, so don't concentrate on those. A lot of people think calves are related closely to vertical, and that's not true.

2. Work on strengthening the muscles on the sides of your thighs, not just hamstring curls and squats and such. Do side lunges and adduction/abduction exercises if you have a pulley system or some Resist-a-bands.

3. Do a set of light squats before doing any jumping exercises. These will loosen up your muscles and add a couple inches to your vertical for those exercises. Once your body gets used to jumping 27" instead of 24" or 25", it will remember that. So even without squats in the future, your muscles will remember.

4. Grab a 6 lb. or 8 lb. medicine ball. Place a cone or a bench next to you. Squat on one side of the cone/bench and explode up and over the bench, using the medicine ball as you would a basketball, like a two-handed dunk. Do 3 sets of 10. (Switch up that number once in awhile, but you get the point.)

Good luck!


January 28th, 2010 at 3:06 PM ^

Wall squats!!! They are free, and they work. Also, jump a lot. You can do jump training, or just jump as high as you can 50 times a couple times a day.
This is the formula that got me dunking at 16 yrs old, though i'm sure technology has got something better and more costly.


January 28th, 2010 at 3:10 PM ^

with magnus, you have to work your thighs just as much as you calves... in HS i went from bearly being able to touch the rim to being able to get my hand above the box on the back board and i'm only 6'-3" and weighed 155lbs then... all i ever did for a work out was calf raises, squats and i would hit the exercise bike for about 20 mins before i did anything...


January 28th, 2010 at 4:40 PM ^

Don't worry about fad diets, that simple expression is the secret to losing weight. It's a super secret they teach us in exercise physiology... guarantee you won't find a book on it :).

The best way to accomplish the big deficits necessary is a lot of cardio. I might be biased (you can call me a semi-pro cyclist) but I like swimming and cycling the best, at least to begin with. Sprinkle in light lifting to maintain muscle mass.

Top it off with a sensible diet high in carbs to compensate for the cardio. I usually eat 70/20/10 carbs/protein/fat. That provides more than enough protein to maintain my needs. If I ever have a protein shake it's simply because I find it to me a tasty snack/meal replacement. I DON'T use it for gaining muscle or anything like that.


January 28th, 2010 at 3:39 PM ^

In HS football (3 years removed) I really grew into my peak physical condition (of course college has me hovering somewhere below peak), and this was from a combination of practice and intense off-season workouts. As far as increasing your vertical, here is my two cents but I am unsure if my increase in vertical jump was solely due to this one group of exercises due to confounding variables.

Set up 3 boxes (wooden or metal) of different heights (low medium and high) and just work out with them. Great cardio. Get a timed rhythm/cycle and work with jumping onto/off of and over the boxes. Make it up as you go along (easy to mix in push ups, sit ups, wall sits) I guarantee if you push yourself you'll gain some improvement somewhere, if not just improving the variety of your workout. We did this either as a warm up or as a full work out in between heavy lifting days.

Maize and Blue…

January 28th, 2010 at 4:16 PM ^

per Mike Barwis. Somewhat like squats. Here's a link.


Another exercise I heard of involves depth jumps from a height of 24 inches or more. Place a plyo box a short distance from a bball hoop. Get on top of the box jump off and immediately jump for the rim upon landing. The suggestion is a set of 8 with a full recovery of 30 seconds between each jump. Jump USA claims this will add 3-5 inches instantly but you must continue doing the exercise or the gain will only be temporary.

If you happen to get an opportunity to use a Vertimax I would advise you use it. Relative uncomplicated system of elastic bands attached to a wooden base. You attach the bands to a belt that goes around your waist and jump against the bands resistance.

I hope this helps.


January 28th, 2010 at 4:32 PM ^

I am 5'11''and went from dunking a volleyball to a basketball with two hands in high school with these. They will wear you out when paired with a good workout.


January 28th, 2010 at 5:10 PM ^

explosion exercises like cleans help a lot. Box jumps in rapid succession work well too, especially if you can wear a weight vest or hold a plate over your head when doing them. Finally quickness exercises like jumping rope, dot work, etc...


January 28th, 2010 at 5:19 PM ^

I did this for Ultimate for a while, and it really helped my vertical, and when i played basketball, i moved from a middle of the net jumper, to an almost rim.


best part about it, is you can do it in your home, its a body weight exercise. Also, your power comes from your core, so work your core, another thing to check out are Kettlebells. they REALLY help


January 28th, 2010 at 9:24 PM ^

Thanks to everyone for the support and advice!

I think you've all given me some great stuff to think about and work on, I've never done squats before, maybe I should give that a try...the p90x sounds like it's worth a look, too...

To those of you asking how I lost the weight, I'll give you the short version...I've always struggled with keeping my weight down, because of poor eating habits while growing up, but my year eating in the Bursley cafeteria and three years of cooking for myself after that caused some severe ballooning in the weight category...I realized, at close to 400 lbs, I had to make a change in my lifestyle...

So, basically, I've learned how food affects my body, and what my body NEEDS and what I had been eating which didn't provide me any nutritional value...I eat lean proteins (mostly meat--chicken and ground turkey, lean beef), complex carbs (whole grain pasta, brown rice, and no sauces except minimal olive oil and plenty of spices), and vegetables...

My workouts are 5-6 days per week, though I'm in grad school so some weeks it's 4 days if my work load is more...30 mins of cardio, 15-30 mins of lifting...

If anyone wants more info, just reply below and I'll post my email address...

Thanks again for all the advice!


January 29th, 2010 at 1:50 AM ^

I was about 6'7'' 230, and when I was in high school I began to use the Strength Shoes to do a plyometric workout, and I ended up getting a stress fracture in my foot from using the shoes, and I had to sit out for 3 months until it healed. I used the shoes exactly as they said to, but I still broke my foot, so if you decide to use them, be careful, but you may want to wait until you lose some more weight.

I found that squats helped me to increase my vertical the most. In college I got up to 300 pounds, but could dunk way better than I could I could in HS when I weighed 240, because I did alot of squats. Now I'm back down to around 240, but I can't dunk as well as I could when I weighed 300, because I stopped doing squats because I didn't have to anymore and they hurt my back.