Training for basketball off the basketball court should mirror the demands of the sport as closely as possible. A basketball player should have a solid training routine, which can be developed by you and your trainer to best improve your game and promote wellness. Core balance and strength need to be a large fraction of your workout as a basketball player, as well as strength training through movements used on the court.
While bodybuilders work isolated muscles to exhaustion, it is wise for basketball players to implement exercises that work several muscles simultaneously and mimic basketball movements. For example, the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, and calves involved in a vertical jump may be strengthened through toe raises, leg extensions, leg curls, and kickbacks. However, a more time-efficient and beneficial way to strengthen these muscles, while reinforcing muscle memory through basketball movements, would be barbell squats. With your trainer, put the weight at a challenging yet safe and feasible setting. Do 3 sets of 10 reps. A medicine ball can also be an asset in strength training because it utilizes the same muscles used on the court and you can reenact the same on-court basketball movements. Stand with your feet shoulder-length apart and throw the ball upward as if you were taking a shot right under the net. When you catch it, do a squat and repeat 3 sets of 15 reps.
Strong core muscles are crucial to the balance, and ultimately success, of a basketball player. Keep in mind the extreme power exerted by limbs never starts there; it all originates in the athlete’s core and moves outward to the extremities. Band twists are a great way to strengthen the core. Wrap your resistance band around a pole or beam at your gym so it is straight in front of you. Grabbing the handles, step back to create a tension that’s right for you. Place your feet shoulder width apart and your arms straight in front of you. With perfect posture and drawing your naval inward toward the spine, rotate your upper body to one side, followed by your hips and feet. Hold for 3 seconds, and return to center with control. Repeat toward the opposite side and do 20 reps.
You should always have access to a basketball court, preferably at your gym. Practicing your distance shooting is essential to improve the range of your shot. To loosen up on the basketball court, go through your regular warm up routine and take a few shots close to the net. Once you're warmed up, step in the range where you feel most comfortable shooting during a basketball game. Take 10 shots. If you make 8 of them, go ahead and step back one or two feet and repeat. If you don't make 8 shots, take 10 more until you do. Continue increasing the distance between you and the basketball hoop until you can't make it to the basketball hoop without altering your form.
To improve your dribbling skills, a figure 8 drill is very useful. With your knees slightly bent and your body in a balanced position (as if you were dribbling down the court), begin dribbling the ball close to the ground with your right hand, on your right side. Dribble around your right leg, then through your legs. Start dribbling with your left hand around your left leg and through your legs again, picking up dribbling with your right hand and so on.
This next exercise will require the help of your trainer. To practice your rebounding and boxing out skills, have your trainer stand a few feet from the basketball hoop and shoot (don't try to block the shot - the rebound is what you're going for). Both of you will then compete for the rebound. The way to prevent your trainer from getting the rebound is called boxing out. To box the player you're guarding out, immediately pivot toward the basketball hoop. Then put yourself between the opposing basketball player and the basketball hoop. Slightly bend your knees and extend your arms outward. Pinning the opposing basketball player behind you is what you want, so maintain body contact with them to ensure they stay so you can rebound. After your trainer has taken 10 or 15 shots, switch places so you can practice rebounding while avoiding being boxed out.