Do you remember LeBron James’ dunk over Damon Jones? What about the one over Tim Duncan and Rasheed Wallace? Nobody would doubt that LeBron has got mad hops. His head is at the rim almost every time he dunks! In fact, he has a 41-inch vertical.
But the most interesting fact about the 23 year old superstar is that although he is one of the strongest players in the league – he still manages to have such a sick vertical leap.
You ask where is the problem? Lets take a look at LeBron’s body. The guy is build like a bodybuilder. The problem is, muscles are heavy, muscles are even heavier then fat. By the way, that’s the reason you first gain weight when you start running in order to lose some fat. You build muscles first and burn fat only later. So be patient in that case. Back to Lebron – as a matter of fact, at 240 pounds he is actually too heavy for his height (6′ 8”)! The average weight of an NBA player at this height is 222 pounds. But he still gets it done, he still has a vertical that is well above that of an average nba player (= 32 inches)! So, how does he do it?
“Ask me to play. I’ll play.
Ask me to shoot. I’ll shoot.
Ask me to pass. I’ll pass.
Ask me to steal, block out, sacrifice, lead, dominate. Anything.
But it’s not what you ask of me.
It’s what I ask of myself.”
– LeBron James
This quote gives you a hint to a point that is absolutely essential: the dedication. LeBron’s work ethic is matchless (e.g. his body fat rate is 6,7 %!). Only Kobe Bryant’s workout is at the same level. Lets take a look at an excerpt of LeBron’s workout:
It’s a 5 days a week, one hour a day workout (running and playing basketball not included, = additional 3 hours a day). Every day consists of different exercises, only certain exercises like jump rope are done every time.
Day 1 (Monday):
– Jump rope (400 jumps)
– DynaDisc foot-speed drill To develop the core, balance, and foot speed all at once, stand on the discs while holding a medicine ball. Do a small, quick hop so that your left foot is on the floor and your right foot is on the disc your left foot was just on. Hop back to your original position, then do a quick hop in the opposite direction, so that your right foot is on the floor. (20 moves in each direction)
– DynaDisc dribble drill Stand on one foot on a disc holding a basketball with both hands at chest level. (Be glad that it’s not a medicine ball.) Bounce and catch it while maintaining your balance. (20 dribbles on each foot)
– Stability dribble drill Back to the medicine ball and the Core board. (20 dribbles)
– Instability push-up (right) Do 2 sets of 20 with your hands holding the Core board.
– Seated figure eight (15 in each direction)
– Leg curl (2 sets of 10)
– Seated leg extension (2 sets of 10)
– Hip abduction (2 sets of 10)
– Smith rack squat The safer squat (2 sets of 10)
– Front raise (2 sets of 10)
– Lateral raise (2 sets of 10)
– Rear deltoid raise (2 sets of 10)
– Single-arm dumbbell row (2 sets of 10)
– Elliptical machine (25 minutes)
As you may have heard, LeBron also uses belts to build strength enhancement. Here are some examples:
– Parachute Running Chutes:
Using two small parachutes tied to a belt, LeBron does sprints using wind resistance for power and strength enhancement.
Two bungee cords tied to a lifting belt. Resisted sprints-forwards and backwards, then resisted slides, also jumps.
As for the vertical jump exercises, the interesting thing is besides the common exercises like jump rope and calf raises, LeBron uses some special, very effective exercises.
Here is an example:
– Split-Squat Jumps:
Starting Position: Start in a semi-lunge position with one foot in front of the other. Movement: Jump up as high as you can, alternating foot positions in mid-air. (If you begin this exercise with your left foot forward, your left foot should be in the back of the right foot at the completion of one repetition.). Use your hands for balance, land softly and under control.
2 Sets, 10 sec (later 15, 20, 25 sec)
For the rest of the exercises and crucial things to know about vertical jump (f.e. why often what you “don’t” do is more important then what you “do” do) please take a look at: