Improve Your Basketball Shot with Battle Ropes, Plyometrics, and Grit

Nate Boyle
basketball shot

When the shot clock ticks down and the defense in a full-court press, every great basketball shot is similarly different. Athletes must make the most of every opportunity and skill set. The basket is always 10 feet above the ground, but the type of shot always changes.

To be successful and score in bunches, you need to be quick, have outstanding balance, and a lightning-fast release. You also need to know how to draw a foul in the act of shooting. It’s a learned skill. But if you can get fouled on a contested attempt, you’re going to the line for free throws.

Of course, once you get to the free throw line or find yourself open for a corner three, shooters knock down shots. Every great one has a rhythm.

Let’s take a quick look at some research to help improve your basketball shot.

Battle Rope training improves jump shot and foul shots

A study found that over 8 weeks and 24 sessions, battle rope training is better than regular shuttle training. It develops upper body power, agility, core endurance, shooting accuracy, and aerobic capacity. 

In particular, the free throw percentage was 14.0 points greater, and dynamic shooting was a 36.2% improvement.

Improved change of direction opens up the floor

A meta-analysis looked into plyometric training for basketball and found it is a great way to improve performance, especially for older players.

Specifically, the stretch-shortening cycle helps with muscle power, sprint speed, change of direction speed, balance, and muscle strength.

Mind, pace and approach help create successful shots

Even more simply stated, basketball players with more explosive power and anaerobic capacity tend to have a better shooting performance.

It is worth noting that the study was done on elite basketball players. This is relevant because elite players come in all shapes and sizes. And the main requirement for being a good shooter is not being tall but having a good stroke.

The study also mentions that the similarities between the shooting performances in games and controlled settings are very high (r=0.93). The only difference between controlled environments and gametime is pressure from outside expectations on a basketball shot. So if you can shoot well at practice, you will probably also shoot well under pressure in games.

Another interesting finding is aerobic capacity is correlated with improved shooting performance over a long distance (D1, D2, D3), but not with short distance shooting (S1, S2, S3). This means that the ability to shoot over a long distance is more dependent on explosive power and anaerobic capacity than on static shooting.

Steps to shooting better under fatigue

Chen and colleagues are back to share that battle rope exercises are physically demanding on the upper body, resulting in decreased performance in shooting accuracy and basketball chest pass speed. They increase blood lactate levels, RPE, and perceived muscle soreness.

Battle rope exercise may not be beneficial before a practice or game because it triggers acute exercise-induced performance decrements and fatigue.

However, BR exercise may be suitable for basketball training sessions. When the objective is to strengthen technical skills under fatiguing conditions.

Layup or dunk

Types of shots at our disposal are sometimes out of our hands. Vertical jump performance is highly dependent on testing protocols and skill levels of elite players (data varied 22 to 48 cm in female players and from 40 to 75 cm in male players), which is why using a single test protocol is a good idea. 

Most importantly, short plyometric training sessions can enhance VJ performances.

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