Being a professional in a particular sport is great, but you don’t have to be a professional to play a good game with your friends at the local court or do some basic basketball exercises. Playing basketball is a great way to connect with your buddies, bring in a little of the competitive spirit into your life, and burn some calories along the way.
If you have ever played basketball, even only in high school, you know that it demands strength from your whole body, along with quick and energetic movement. Once you’re done, you are completely wet and ready for a relaxing shower.
I admit that I am a complete addict when it comes to basketball. I even have my own favorite basketball I never forget when leaving for a court. It comes in three sizes, which is perfect, because—big man over here! And a basketball can be used for more than an official basketball game. Because I love it so much, I thought I would share with you my favorite basketball exercises to help you get moving through the coming winter.
- Basketball Exercises for your Next Workout
Basketball Exercises for your Next Workout
This basketball workout routine will make you feel like the Michael Jordan of your town. You’ll burn calories, tone your muscles, gain stamina, and improve endurance—and all you need is a basketball.
Start by standing firmly on the ground with your feet hip-width apart. Hold the basketball in front of your chest and quickly jump with one leg in front of you and the other behind you. Switch legs rapidly, holding your basketball in front of you firmly the whole time.
Burpee exercise is going to get your heart rate up in seconds. Take your ball and stand in an upright position, holding the ball with both of your hands. Go for a classic burpee, but with a ball firmly in your hands the whole time. Deliberately put your ball firmly on the ground and make sure you don’t just slam it. Do a push-up and, once you’re back in a plank, firmly pull your feet towards your chest and explode jumping up.
Basketball Push-Up Exercises
These basketball exercises are not so different than regular push-ups, except they is much more challenging. They focus on single-arm pushing strength, as well as the coordination between your hands and eyes. Get into the push-up position, with your feet close together. Put one hand on the ball and the other on the ground. Make sure your back is straight and your core engaged, then lower your chest down. Push yourself back up. Then push the ball toward your other hand and perform the push-up on the other side. Continue rolling the ball from one side to the other, performing a push-up each time.
This is a slight variation to the classic push-up that focuses on your triceps— a muscle group necessary for dribbling, shooting, and passing. And if you’re a pro, you know how important triceps are in the game. Start by lowering yourself into a standard push-up position, placing both of your hands on the ball. Engage your core and keep your back straight and strong. Slowly perform a push-up while balanced on the ball.
This exercise is crucial for your transverse abs, and it strengthens your lower back, as well. Start in a seated position with your legs straight in front of you. Hold the ball in front of you, close to your body. Lift your legs, keeping them straight, and twist from one side to another, keeping the ball close to your body.
Plank Shoulder Taps
Your shoulders will beg for mercy with this one, but it pays off. Get into the standard plank position with your feet together on the floor and your hands on the basketball. Keeping your core engaged the whole time and your back straight, lift your left hand and tap your right shoulder. Put your hand back on the ball and repeat on the other side.
Basketball Mountaineers Exercises
If you want to succeed in basketball, one of the essential skills to have is quick feet, and it is no wonder players do this mountaineers workout often. It builds your core and shoulder strength, as well as speeding up your feet. Get into a push-up position with your feet close together and both hands on the basketball. Alternating one at a time very quickly, bring your knee to your chest—almost as if you are running. Keep your core engaged, your back straight, and your shoulders strong.
Bird Dog Workout
Dribbling low to the floor challenges your stability, balance, and core strength. Get into the push-up position with a ball in your hands. Lift your left leg and start dribbling the ball with your right hand, as low as possible, and as quick as possible. Be sure to keep your back straight and shoulders strong. Engage the core!
Bicycle Crunches Basketball Exercises
This exercise is fantastic, and if I were to choose one best workout, it would be bicycle crunches. It engages every muscle group on your body while challenging your stability and improving your endurance. Sit on the floor with your legs together lifted off the floor. Take the basketball in one hand and bring one knee to your chest. Transfer the ball under the raised knee and above the straightened leg and grab it with the other hand. Repeat the steps in the other direction.
Hollow Hold Dribbles
This exercise will challenge your stability and balance, and it’s an excellent exercise for professional players or those who would like to become one. Start in a seated position with your legs together lifted off the floor. Try keeping your torso straight throughout the exercise. Grab the ball in one hand and dribble it next to your hip. Switch sides.
Hollow Hold Crossover
This is another variation of the hollow hold focusing on your core strength. Sit on the floor with your legs together, bent at the knee, and lifted off the floor. Take the ball in your right hand and pass it to the left under your legs. Keep passing the ball from one hand to the other under your legs.
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