We’re in the heart of basketball season, so here’s how players should be stretching and maintaining their strength!
Basketball is one of the most physically demanding sports, which his why every basketball player has to take their health and fitness very seriously—especially during the middle of the season.
Even though many basketball players are naturally gifted, the sport demands lateral movement, quickness and explosive power that can be improved and developed through regular exercising. Focused training also helps basketball players avoid injuries, which can’t be stressed enough due to the hard surface of basketball courts and the physicality of the game.
Below are eight crucial exercises that’ll help improve your basketball game!
1. Lateral Lunges
Lateral lunges are an important exercise for basketball players because they mimic defensive shuffling while opening up the muscles in your hips and groin.
What you’ll do is start in a standing position, and then step to the right while keeping your toes pointed straight ahead and your feet as flat as possible. You’ll then squat as low as possible toward your right leg and keep your left leg straight. Hold this position for a few seconds, return to standing, repeat for 10 reps, and switch sides.
2. Glute Bridges
Glute bridges improve the firing of your glutes, which are critical for explosive, athletic movements and jumping.
What you’ll do is lie down on the floor face up and with your knees bent to around 90 degrees and your feet flat on the floor. Squeeze a rolled-up towel in between your knees and bridge your hips toward the ceiling while squeezing your glutes as much as you can. At the end of the movement, only your heels and shoulders should still be on the ground. You’ll hold the end position for a few seconds, slowly lower your hips to the ground without touching the floor, and repeat for 10 reps.
3. Physio Ball Leg Curl
This exercise is another great way to work your hamstrings out and extend your hips at the same time, which does wonders for your posterior strength and leaping abilities.
What you’ll do is lie down on the ground with your legs straight and your heels on a physio ball. You’ll squeeze your glutes and pull your hips toward you. You’ll then extend your legs and repeat the curl for ten reps—and make sure that your hips never actually touch the ground!
4. Lateral Bounds
This exercise helps you build up lateral power within your legs, which helps prepare basketball players for agile side-to-side movements and cuts.
What you’ll do is stand up balanced on your right leg while keeping your left leg on the ground. You’ll squat, and then use your glutes and leg muscles to jump to the left as you land only on your left leg and maintain your balance. Do this for 10 reps per side.
5. Romanian Deadlift (RDL)
Basketball players must always hinge from their hips in order to maneuver explosively and jump higher, and RDLs help basketball players to build strength in their back, glutes and hamstrings.
What you’ll do is stand shoulder-width apart while holding a dumbbell in each hand and keeping the weight around the back half of your feet. You’ll then shift your hips backwards and simultaneously lower the dumbbells as far as you can while keeping your back perfectly straight.
Fire up your glutes and hamstrings as you return back to your original standing position. Do this for 10 reps.
6. Alternating Dumbbell Press
Jump shots require a full extension of a player’s lats and back muscles, as well as shoulder stability. This type of dumbbell lift improves all of these areas at once.
What you’ll do is get on a bench and hold dumbbells along the outside of your shoulders with your palms facing your thighs. Lift both dumbbells over your chest, and alternate lowering and raising one dumbbell at a time toward your shoulders and back upward. Repeat this for 10 reps.
7. Goblet Squats
This is another important basketball exercise that helps athletes to develop lower body power, which is huge for improving performance on the court and increasing stamina.
What you’ll do is hold a kettlebell with both hands up against your chest, and then squat down while keeping your weight against your heels and not lifting your toes. Be sure to maintain contact between your chest and the kettlebell as your elbows gently touch your knees. Extend powerfully through your hips as you rise back up, and repeat this motion for 10 reps.
Pullups mimic the same movement as a jump shot or a rebound, and pullups also build up essential all-around back strength that’s important for basketball players.
Getting into pullups can be pretty intimidating, so our advice is to do as many pullups as you can, and slowly build up your max reps as you maintain consistency with this exercise.
Reach Out To Rising Legends To Learn More Basketball Exercises!
Rising Legends is a leading fitness academy based in Valley Cottage, New York. Our team comes from many different fitness and athletic backgrounds, and we’ve helped many youth basketball teams with perfecting their workout routines.
We look forward to seeing you at the gym and learning more about how we can help you improve your basketball game!