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Bust Out Hakeem's Dream Shake With These Footwork Drills

Or dance like the Black Mamba on the court
by Raul Maningat | Jul 31, 2017
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If you’ve got slow-ass feet in basketball, chances are you’re a defensive liability. And most of the time, you get your feet all tangled up whenever you emulate your favorite NBA star’s signature move. The truth is, your teammates constantly fantasize about getting you off the team. The only thing preventing them from acting on it is your friendship.

Don’t feel bad now—we’ve got exactly what you need.

This is just not for dudes with horrific movement; it’s also for guys who simply want to improve. We hooked up with former PBA player and current FEU hoops trainer, Jonathan de Guzman for some tips and he was game enough to teach us a bunch of footwork drills that might just help you get to the next level.

You only need two things to do these training routines: a jump rope and a training ladder (just use masking tape if you don’t have the latter). By the way, when we say training ladder, we’re referring to the ones you see laid flat on the floor, resembling a train track as opposed to a real ladder that’s used for climbing up or down something.

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Start off with these jump rope drills. The following exercises will enhance the coordination between your feet, legs and upper body. Man, you’ll be pulling off Kobe’ post-up moves in no time with these.


Start with both your feet on the ground. Jump over the rope vertically then turn them as quick as you can. Beginning with the basics is always a good idea so always warm up with this one.

Do three 30-second sets with 20-second rests in between.


This is the same as QUICK FEET, but instead of hopping vertically, you’ll have to jump from left to right or vice versa—side to side.

Do three 30-second sets with 20-second rests in between.


The initial position here should see you standing with a lead-foot and a back-foot. It should look like someone took a picture of you while you’re walking. When skipping over the rope, you must switch the placement of your feet in the air before landing. When you’re back on the ground, your lead and back-foot should be reversed. Keep switching them up as you jump.

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Do three 30-second sets with 20-second rests in between.


Be sure your knees are in perfect condition before trying the following drills.


Hop over the rope vertically with one foot, holding your other leg upwards. The free leg’s knee should be bent, reaching the same height as your waist.

Do three 15-second sets for each leg with 15-second rests in between.


The mechanics are identical to the HURDLE STEP except for the jumping part. Here, you’ll have to get past the rope by bouncing side to side using one leg.

If you master these techniques, you can push yourself further by turning the rope twice each time you jump. You’ll probably touching Hakeem Olajuwon footwork territory if you can do that.

Do three 15-second sets for each leg with 15-second rests in between.

Now, let’s get to the ladder. This workout is designed to dramatically boost your agility. No more broken ankles! You’ll be able to keep up with the opposing team’s ace player if you do these religiously:

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Step into each of the square space with both feet but one at a time. Stride vertically by bending your knees waist-high until you get to the other end.


Stride vertically with your knees bent waist-high as you step into each of the square space alternately with one foot. Do it until you get to the other end of the ladder.


First, position yourself at the side of the ladder then swiftly step into the first square with both feet, one at a time. Immediately step outside the square onto the other side, one foot at a time. Repeat the same steps to move inside and out of each square until you reach the other end.


Hop into the first square, landing on one foot. Then jump into the next square, landing on both feet. Leap into the next square, landing on the opposite foot (a.k.a. the one you didn’t use in your previous one-foot landing). Continue the pattern until you reach the other end.

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Start behind the first square space of the ladder then hop into the second square with both feet. Then spring backwards inside the first square, also with both feet. Leap into the third square then back to the second. Sustain the scheme until you finish the drill.

Do two sets for each drill.

Speed up as you get better at these ladder exercises. That way, your progress will definitely be remarkable.

Read thoroughly and do these exercises. Sooner than later, you just might make your teammates, who are secretly planning your ousting from the squad change their minds, and your new mentor, Coach Jonathan hella proud. 


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