Everyone knows playing sports is great for your physical and mental well-being. Not all sports are created equally, however. Some increase physical strength, others improve your cardiovascular system. Some sports are fantastic for several key areas of your fitness and health. Basketball is one of those activities.
It does not matter whether you play college basketball, are a seasoned NBA star, or simply love playing ball with some of your friends; basketball is a brilliant way to build strength, fitness, and coordination.
There are few sports where endurance, explosive power, and mobility are needed to be competitive.
The best NBA players are ultra-fit. They run, on average, five miles per game and play 82 games in a regular season. Their fitness has to be at a level where they can keep going at full speed all game yet have the composure to score baskets.
Much of their preseason preparations involve intense workouts to get them ready for the grueling campaign. They do these exercises in state-of-the-art gyms, but you can do them at home with little to no equipment.
There Is a Lot of Emphasis On Leg Strength
The legs of a basketball player must be powerful. These players run upwards of five miles per game and hardly ever stop moving during the 48-minutes of action.
There is a lot of squatting and jumping involved in a basketball game, too. Jumping to block opponents’ shots, trying to score with your jump shot, and blocking routes to the basket are done throughout a game.
Calf raises, leg extensions, lunges, and squats all help build and maintain leg strength.
Incorporate Suicide Drills
Suicide drills are not fun; their name should give you some indication of the intensity of this exercise. They are, however, a crucial element in any basketball player’s regime. Players need to be able to accelerate and stop quickly.
These bursts of pace can be the difference between stopping an opponent from scoring and finding yourself trailing the opposition.
These drills are super simple to set up in your yard or even in the street. All you need is space and the inclination to run your heart out.
Work On Your Arms and Upper Body
A basketball player has powerful legs, but their arms and upper bodies get put to the test the entire time the player is on the court. Dribbling with the ball does not require much strength, but the continual passing and shooting take their toll on a player’s arms and shoulders.
Try making several three-point shots in quick succession. You will feel the burn in your arms. The ball may only weigh 22oz, but you have to throw it 22+ feet into the basket.
Bench presses, or push-ups if you do not have weights, are great for upper body strength. Add into the mix bicep curls, seated rows, and triceps dips, and you have the recipe for a strong, fit upper body.
Do Not Neglect Your Core
It is all good and well having strong arms and athletic legs, but you need the complete package to be successful. So many people neglect their core when working out.
They take it for granted that their core is improving like the rest of their body takes shape. This is true to some degree, but some core-dedicated exercises can make all the difference.
Like suicide drills, core exercises can fill people with dread. Crunches and planks sap your energy—no pain, no gain, as they say.
You Want Your Power To Be Explosive
Few things are as exciting in basketball as watching a player explode towards the basket before leaping and scoring. Harnessing strength and power is excellent, but explosively exerting that power is even better.
Medicine balls are superb for building explosive power. Incorporate them into your workouts and note how easy you find things when you do not have the medicine ball in tow. Slams and wall throws are good medicine ball exercises.
Well, there you have it! Are you ready to hit the court? It’s time to get basketball fit!