By Soji James, CPT, CSCS
Whether you feel like you can beat Michael Jordan 1-on-1 in his prime, or the only thing you know about basketball is the location of the 3-point line, there’s no getting past how great of a workout the game is and how exceptional the athletes who play it are.
A game of basketball burns a ton of calories and demands total body conditioning, lateral quickness, and explosive movements from its participants. The best part about it: you don’t need to be an NBA professional, a future first-round draft pick, or even know much about the sport at all in order to benefit from the associated movements. In honor of the recent NCAA phenomenon that is March Madness and the current NBA Playoffs heating up, I have put together a basketball-inspired workout that will get you moving like a baller and leave you breathless.
This quick total body routine will torch fat and leave you looking to call a timeout. The only piece of equipment you will need is a medicine ball. If you don’t have one already, check out my review of the Dynamax medicine ball here. It’s easily one of the best options on the market.
Directions: Perform each move for as many reps as possible in 60 seconds. Rest for 20-30 seconds before moving on to the next movement. After completing all assigned movements, rest for 2 mins. Complete 4-5 rounds in total.
Begin by grabbing the medicine ball, and stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent. Descend into a quarter squat, and then explosively rise up holding the medicine ball above your head with your arms slightly bent. Finish the movement by slamming the ball into the floor as hard as you can. Use the counter movement created by the downward trajectory of the medicine ball and jump up into the air as high as you can.
2) MB Rip Throughs
Begin by standing with your feet shoulder width apart, with your knees slightly bent, while holding the medicine ball at chest height. You will use your left foot as your “pivot” foot (to start) and get in a low, athletic position. Initiate the movement by swinging the medicine ball low as you step forward and through with your right foot. Swing the ball back high as you step back to the starting position. Use your imagination and imagine that a defender is trying to steal the ball. Have fun with it, and switch pivots halfway through.
3) MB Lunge w/ rotation
Begin standing with your feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, and holding the ball at chest height. Step forward with your left leg and descend into a lunge, getting your back knee as close as you can get to the ground without touching it. At the bottom of the movement, twist towards the left side of your body, bringing the medicine ball over your left knee. Return to the starting position and continue in this fashion until time expires.
4) MB Lateral Shuffles
Holding on to the medicine ball, shuffle side to side between two predetermined points. Focus on staying in a low athletic position, driving off your inside foot to dictate where you want to go, and moving with short, explosive push steps. Don’t cross your feet—unless you want to end up on someone’s #gymfail highlight reel.
5) MB Crossover Pushups
Begin in a pushup position with your left hand on top of the medicine ball. Make sure that your glutes/abs are engaged and your neck is neutral. Lower your chest down as deep as you can go and perform a pushup. As you drive back up to the starting position, pass the ball to your opposite hand. Continue in this fashion until time has expired.
6) MB Crossover Plank
Begin in a pushup position with the medicine ball on the outside of your left hand, your shoulders directly over your hands, and your glutes/abs engaged. Initiate the movement by passing the medicine ball in front of you from your left to right side. Continue in this manner until time expires. Focus on keeping your hips steady and your body in a straight line throughout. Watch video here.