For a serious athlete, there is always a need to make sure that the training fits the activity. After all, the human body is a multi-purpose tool, and you can get the best results from your body by focusing on the tools you use the most. For basketball players, this equals a workout that is based on the need to develop accurate shots, evasive movements, and long-term endurance. In this article, we will present a few sample workouts to get you started.
The Upper-Body Workout
This workout is mainly intended to develop strength and endurance. Most of the strength exercises are meant to develop your fast-twitch muscle fibers, which control explosive motion. Slow-twitch muscle fibers, by contrast, govern your ability to hold a position, and that isn’t very important for basketball.
Do two sets of 8-12 reps of the following exercises:
- Chest fly
- Bench press
- Lateral raises
- Shoulder presses
- Bicep curl
- Tricep extension
- The Lower-Body Workout
We have divided the conditioning routine into an upper-body workout and a lower-body workout because there just isn’t enough time in a single workout to handle both of them. Sure, it’s possible to work both your upper and lower body in the same workout, but you won’t be giving either half your full attention at any time. Like the upper-body routine, this one should be done with an explosive motion.
Do two sets of 8-12 reps of the following exercises:
- Leg curls
- Forward lunges
- Calf raises
- Seated leg raises
- The Ball-Handling Workout
Let’s look at three exercises that are intended to increase your ball-handling skills.
One-Leg Ball Raises
You could not ask for a more straightforward exercise than this: You stand on one leg and raise the ball over your head. This is a very light drill, which is why it should be done first. It makes a great warm-up.
This is another very simple exercise. Take a wide-legged stance and squat down while still keeping your back relatively straight. You should have a basketball in one hand, and it should be at the height of your knee. Now, practice dribbling from this low squat position. The idea is simple: If you can dribble like this, regular dribbling will become a lot easier.
This exercise is almost identical to the knee-high dribble, but with one significant difference. Instead of dribbling in place, try to turn your body in a circle as you dribble. The result looks a little like a crab walking in circles, but it helps you to develop the skills for circular movement on the court.
Cone Touch Dribbling
This exercise also starts with a knee-high dribble, but this time it goes much farther. You should have orange cones or other markers set up on the floor. You can arrange them in whatever way you like, but make sure that you can walk between them easily. Now, get low and start dribbling. While still dribbling, approach the first marker and touch the top. Don’t stop dribbling at any point. Move on to the next closest marker and do the same thing. Repeat the process every day to build up your speed and maneuverability.
The Agility Workout
Here are three agility drills that you can use to develop the maneuverability that delivers wins on the court.
The Star Drill
Place five markers (like orange cones) along the three-point line. Try to space them as evenly as possible so that there is room to run between them. Now, practice running between those cones while dribbling the ball. Try not to touch the cones at any time, and try to use evasive movements wherever possible. Quick turns, foot pivoting, and well-timed hand switching can aid this drill, so experiment with all of them. If possible, it’s nice to have a coach or partner directing you here.
The Highest Point Drill
This one requires a partner, but it’s an extremely simple exercise. Your partner or trainer will throw two to four colored balls into the air. They can be tennis balls, racquetballs, or any other ball that is small enough to catch in one hand. When your trainer throws the balls into the air, they will call out a specific color. You must then catch the ball of that color. The purpose of this exercise is to develop quick recognition and reaction time.
Basketballs are placed on top of cone tees at specific points on the court. Move toward the nearest tee while dribbling a ball. As you approach the cone, do a quick switch. The ball you are currently dribbling should be placed on the tee while the ball on the tee becomes your new dribbler. Try to make the switch as quickly and smoothly as you can, and make sure that you stay on the move the entire time.
As you read these workouts, bear in mind that they only represent a small sampling of the material that is out there. These workouts are great starting points, but feel free to modify them as needed. You might start by looking up some information on your favorite basketball player, whoever that might be. Chances are, they have either been filmed while training or have given an interview on the subject at some point. That means you should be able to find the training footage or a transcript of that interview. Whichever way you choose to go, we wish you the best of luck. If you would like to read more helpful articles like this one, please follow us on Facebook using the button below.