Successful basketball players stay in good playing condition by working out key muscle groups.
Basketball is a game that requires both strength and finesse. Developing your fundamental skills is not enough to ensure success on the court if you haven't dedicated time to working on developing the muscles needed to play the game. From being able to sprint up and down the floor to having enough power and lift to launch the ball toward the hoop, physical strength is important. Working out for basketball using these exercises can ensure that you are strengthening the right muscle groups to get the most out of your game.
Conditioning Your Lower Body
Lunges, rope jumping, calf raises and wall sits help build your calves, quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteus muscles. These muscles will help you more efficiently change directions on defense, become quicker and add explosiveness to your jumping ability. Twice a week, incorporate as many lunges as you can in three one-minute intervals, with a 30-second rest between each minute. Jump rope with both legs for one minute, then on each leg individually for one minute. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat. Leg presses and straight-leg deadlifts build fast-twitch muscle fibers, making your legs stronger and building your endurance for game play. Doing three sets of 10 to 15 on each lift twice a week will maximize your results.
Strengthening Your Upper Body
Upper-body strength comes in handy when battling in the paint for rebounds and is also vital to a successful jump shot. Pull-ups, push-ups and sit-ups all develop upper-body, fast-twitch fibers, making you stronger and more toned. With weights, presses -- such as the bench press, incline and decline press and chest press -- can help you reach your goal. Much like your lower-body workout, each of these exercises should be done in three sets of 10 to 15 twice a week.
Working Your Fingertips
Many people overlook fingertip strength when setting up an effective basketball workout program. Your fingertips, wrists and elbows may be the most important parts of your anatomy as a basketball player as they allow you have maximum control over the basketball when dribbling, shooting and passing. A good jump shot depends on your ability to "flick" the basketball out of your hand toward the basket by using your wrist. Fingertip push-ups, using only your fingertips rather than the palms of your hands, are the most effective workout to develop these muscles. Three sets of 10 to 15 reps twice a week can greatly improve your game.
You can devote many hours to building the muscles needed to be a good hoops player, but without proper cardio and conditioning, you may still have trouble executing on the court. Basketball calls for great cardiovascular fitness because it requires you to perform with continuous short bursts of speed and endurance to play defense. Sprints, suicides and long-distance running can all get in you into playing shape. On your three non-strength days, incorporate 10 full court sprints and five suicides into your conditioning workout. For distance, run a mile as quickly as you can. Continuous jumping and full-court layups can help you build stamina and allow you to play without getting winded. Add 10 successful full-court layups and three minutes of continuous jumping with a break in between each minute.
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