Basketball, perhaps more so than any sport, is perceived as a game for those who are physically gifted. Whilst being tall and having long arms helps, basketball is a game of unrivaled quickness of body and mind, lateral movement, and unrelenting power, all of which a player can develop and improve through regular training and exercise. As well as helping to hone your skills, focused training also reduces your chance of unexpected injuries. This article is a guide to the exercises that you can incorporate into your fitness routine to stay at the top of your basketball game!
Maximize Your Jump
A good vertical jump is a valuable asset for all basketball players. The experts at jumpmanualblog.com explain that the better you jump, the more likely it is for you and your team to get more rebounds, blocks, and steals. These exercises will extend your hips and force the hamstrings to work, thus ultimately improving your leap ability:
- High-Reach Jump
This movement involves crouching in a snug squat position, springing up into a high jump, then bringing your knees up to reach as high as you can. This should ideally be done under a basketball hoop to see how much lower you can go before reaching your limit.
- Split Squat Jump
This heavy contraction exercise involves starting in a split stance, dropping into a split squat position, then jumping upwards, and quickly switching the position of your legs so that you land in the opposite stance. Split squat jumps enhance the explosive power of one leg at a time, which is necessary to increase your chance of snagging rebounds, hitting jump shots, or even nailing 360 dunks and lay-ups.
Increase Your Strength
Every facet of the game – shooting, defending, sprinting off the court – can only be mastered if you have good strength power. This requires a strong core, obliques, glutes, and other key muscle groups. You can’t jump higher or run faster than the force you are able to produce, which is why strength-focused exercises are important for basketball players. Here are our favorite strength exercises:
- Side Plank Leg Raise
Start by lying on your side, keep your legs straight, and prop yourself up on your arm or elbow; Raise both the upper leg and arm, hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides. Side plank leg raise can do wonders for your core and strengthen your glutes at the same time.
- Fingertip Push-Up
Do a regular push-up, but support your body with your fingertips rather than your palms. This movement will toughen your digits and boost your upper body strength.
Drill Your Agility
Quickness and speed translate are absolutely key in basketball and maximizing your speed and acceleration can add a lot of value to your game. Any sprint exercise is great for agility, but we have picked out the two that we think are the most effective:
- Shuttle Run
This is a standard agility training for stop-and-go sports like basketball to inject some high-intensity training into a basic conditioning workout routine. To do a shuttle run, you can use scones or markers to set a training area, then sprint from one to the other and back.
- Lateral Running, Side to Side Drills
These are really important exercises for agility and reaction time and should be incorporated into the training schedule of amateur and professional ballers alike. Lateral side to side also improves both knee and ankle stability, making them ideal for helping you to fluently change direction unexpectedly.
Build Your Endurance & Stamina
Not being about to make it to the late stages of the game can have a dramatic impact on your performance and win-loss result. The last quarter is often when the game is won or lost and so you must have great endurance and stamina.
- Basketball Mile
Start off jogging for 20 seconds, then transition to a sprint run for 20 seconds, hop-forward for 20 seconds, and finish with a 20-second walk. Do this repeatedly for 1 mile. The sudden change in the speed of this movement can gradually increase your endurance and stamina to ensure you are performing to a high level from the first minute to the last.
- Pyramid Drill
Pyramid drills are great for improving concentration and overall stamina. From the baseline, sprint to the other baseline, do 1 pushup, sprint back, and do 2 more pushups. Keep going back and forward adding one pushup each time until you get to 10.