Basketball players use conditioning exercises to build muscles for the explosive power needed for jumping, turning and dunking. Basketball strength training works to increase muscle mass but doesn’t create the bulky muscles of a weight lifter. Instead, basketball strength training is geared toward building muscles in the whole body to improve acceleration, speed and vertical jumping ability. Strength training also increases flexibility as well as prevents injuries.
Basketball Strength Training
1. Create a schedule to lift weights based on the concept of creating muscle endurance. Muscle endurance doesn’t result from attempting to lift the highest weight possible, but rather lifting the same weight for consistency. Weight-training ability is specific to the individual, so strive to lift the weights that are appropriate for your ability.
2. Choose a program that allows increased development and muscle balance. Overworking the upper body while ignoring the muscle strength in the legs is not the answer. With the help of a strength-training coach, set up a balanced workout for all parts of the body.
3. Alternate days of weight training with cardio training to give your muscles time to recover from the strain of lifting. Basketball is an extremely aerobic sport that requires speed and strength as well as quick cutting and turning ability. Aerobic conditioning cannot be overlooked.
4. Consider working out with a strength program that includes bench presses, bicep curls, lat pull downs and wrist curls to work the upper body. Include leg presses, calf raises, squats and lunges to work the hamstrings, quadriceps and calves. Add different strength training exercises such as bent-over rows, curls, leg extensions, leg curls and dips to add variety to your exercise routine.
5. Set up your basketball strength-training schedule to work out two to three times per week in the off-season and one to two times per week during the season.
6. Include rest in your exercise routine. On the off days, make sure to get adequate rest so your muscles can recover. Rest also includes breaks between repetitions when your are actively exercising. Incorporate rest as a regular part of your routine to prevent fatigue.
7. Warm up before every single workout to prepare the muscles for the workout. Warming up increases flexibility and also helps prevent injuries. Cool down after your strength-training workout to improve muscle flexibility even more and to bring your body down to its resting heart rate.
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