Workout Tips

Plyometrics: Jump for Explosive Power and Strength

Build lower-body power and boost squat performance with this advanced jumping exercise.


Skilled, experienced basketball players know: It’s not always about how high you can jump, but about how quickly. Sure, if you want to clean the glass by soaring for rebounds, be our guest. But if you get there after the other quick-footed big men in the paint, you’re out of luck. The depth jump is a way to build quick-footed explosiveness – a way to put as much distance between you and terra firma in as little time as possible. And it can also help you load the bar with more weight on your core lower-body lifts.

The depth jump is one of the most advanced plyometrics that you can do. They are definitely not for beginners. There are a few things you must look out for – your own personal qualifiers – before you start to perform depth jumps.

1 You should be able to perform both a squat and squat jump and make sure that your knees do not go valgus (knees in) or varus (knees out) and that you have a rigid and stable foot.

2 Make sure you are not suffering from any tendonitis, tendinitis, knee or ankle pain.

3 You have a good lifting background.

4 You can perform a proper squat jump and box jump.

If you are confident in all of these areas, then get ready to build an explosive and powerful lower body.


Start with a depth jump from a box at 12 inches in height. As you advance, you can increase the box height to 24 inches. Step off the box landing on both feet and jump off the ground as fast as possible. You can jump in a vertical motion for vertical height, straight forward like a broad jump, onto another box, or over a hurdle. I suggest the following progressions.

1. Depth jump to box jump

2. Depth jump to hurdle jump

3. Depth jump to vertical jump

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