Increasing Lateral Quickness

This past December, we took a survey asking players what they thought the most important aspects of training were for basketball. The top four results that players gave were:

  • Lateral quickness
  • Core strength
  • Lower body strength/power
  • Overall flexibility

We combined that with another piece of information you gave us from a recent survey on how often the average player worked out each week, not counting playing basketball. 

The results we got said that the typical basketball player at BAM Jam is working out 3-4 times per week. (To see some of the survey results, click here and read “Here’s who you are competing against”)

So we combined these together to try and help players improve their basketball training by showing some very specific exercises that you can add on to the workouts you are already doing*.


Jason Ellis shares tips and drills on how to develop and increase your lateral quickness on the basketball court

We enlisted the services of athletic training expert, Jason Ellis, co-founder of Rock and Armor. Jason is a professional trainer and a former professional basketball player that has played in the NBA D-League and overseas. 

Jason will provide a new exercise each week that is intended to be added to your workouts you are already doing and won’t require any special equipment or assistance. 

And don’t forget that BAM Jam presented by Treasure Valley Ford Stores is March 21-22. Be sure to register by March 8 to get in.

Workout #1 – Developing and increasing your lateral quickness

Primary uses in basketball:
  • Creating separation off the dribble 
  • Increase your rebounding range
  • Defending on the ball
  • Getting to loose balls
  • Reacting to a change of possession
With great lateral quickness you are going to be able to create more open shots off the dribble, get more rebounds, become a feared defender and get to more loose balls.
Below is a short video that explains the exercise and gives an example of how to do it. *The exercise requires three small markers (could be cones, a hat or pretty much anything). 
Place the markers 5 yards apart on a flat surface. Start at the middle marker in an athletic stance, on balance and on the balls of your feet. 
Start by picking one direction (left or right) and doing a defensive shuffle to the outside marker. 
Touch the marker with your hand and then plant your outside foot, open your hips and sprint back to the center marker.
Repeat the defensive shuffle back to that cone. Again, touch the outside marker with your hand, plant your outside foot, rotate your hips and now sprint past the center marker all the way to the other outside marker. This is one rep.
Repeat 5 times in the same direction. Then do the exercise in the other direction 5 times. There are 10 total reps and it will take you about :10-:15 per rep. 
When you first try this exercise, initially emphasize the technique to get it right. Then try to increase your speed. 


About Jason Ellis and Rock and Armor

Jason played at Boise State from 2001-2005. After a successful collegiate career, Jason played professionally from 2005-2014 with stints in Europe and the NBA Developmental League (Idaho Stampede), recording multiple championships and individual accolades along the way. Jason has trained with world-renown strength and conditioning coaches throughout his playing career. This passion has led to his post-basketball career as a Certified Personal Trainer (NCCPT).

Rock and Armor Physical Therapy and Sports Performance, LLC offers a unique approach to athletic enhancement, fitness, and healing for active individuals of all ages. We are sports enthusiasts who believe fitness and healing should be fun, and occur in open spaces free from confinement. Our 8,000 SF facility allows athletes and active individuals to rehabilitate injuries in a setting that feels more like a gym, field, or court, and less like a doctor’s office.
Phone: (208)917-2660
535 N. Locust Grove Rd, Suite 170
Meridian, ID 83642

*We don’t recommend doing these workouts if you have any health problems or are not experienced with physical workouts