Like most things I blog about, playing Basketball involves muscles throughout your body. The main movements inbasketball which are, running, pivoting and jumping utilize a full range of muscles in the feet, legs and trunk, with particular concentration in the quadriceps and hamstring muscles. The vertical jump in basketball is critical to your performance and involves a wide range of muscles, particularly:
These muscles are flexible, and help to support your back through a range of motion. In particular, the abdominalmuscles on the sides, which assist in turning and twisting, better known as the obliques, work the hardest, especially during the execution of your jump shot.
Located at the back of the lower leg, these muscles are used intensively to achieve vertical height when jumping.
Known as glutes, these muscles, are responsible for a large portion of the upward thrust necessary in your vertical jump. The gluteus maximus originates along the crests of the pelvic bone crests and attaches to the rear of the femur. Its primary function is hip extension (as the thigh moves to the rear).
These powerful muscles run along the back of the thigh, from the lower pelvis to the back of the shin bone. Hamstrings function to extend the hip joint and flex the knee joint.
Located in the knee, the large thigh muscles known as quadriceps muscles are connected to the patella (kneecap) by the quadriceps tendon, while a separate tendon – the infrapatellar tendon – connects the patella to the top of the tibia (shin bone). Quadriceps are a focus of training for basketball players, especially when it comes to improving your jumping capacity.
As a strong vertical jump gives the athlete considerable advantage in scoring, all five of these muscle groups should be equally targeted when it comes to basketball training.
During the free throw in basketball, numerous upper body muscles are employed, including rotator cuff muscles, deltoids, coracobrachialis, latissimus dorsi, pectoralis major, biceps brachii, brachialis, brachioradialis, triceps brachii, anconeus, pronator teres, and pronator quadratus.
A multitude of muscles in the hands and fingers come into play, including the flexor capri radialis, palmaris longus, flexor carpi ulnaris, extensor carpi ulnaris, extensor carpi radialis brevis, extensor carpi radialis longus, flexor digitorium superficialis, flexor digitorum profoundus, flexor pollicus longus, extensor digitorum, extensor indicis, extensor digiti minimi, extensor pollicus longus, extensor pollicus brevis, and the abductor pollicus longus.
These are the official names for various muscles heavily utilized when it comes to playing and training for basketball. I will include a more detailed diagram of the muscles soon. In the meantime feel free to look any of them up to harnes a better understanding of your body mechanics.
Most Common Basketball Injuries:
Like many athletic injuries, those occurring in basketball may often times be classified as overuse injuries and/or traumatic injuries.
Overuse injuries occur when a particular area is put under prolonged stress and becomes damaged in the process, causing pain, loss of movement, in many cases, swelling. One such injury common to the sport is patellar tendonitis, also known as “jumper’s knee,” which is characterized by pain in the tendon just below your kneecap.Another typical overuse injury is Achilles tendonitis, involving the tendon connecting the muscles in the back of the calf to the heel bone. The result of this injury is pain in the back of your leg, slightly above the heel. In more severe cases, the Achilles tendon can tear, requiring medical treatment and immobilization of the injury to allow proper healing.Shoulder injuries involving overuse are not uncommon in basketball and may involve the tendons in their shoulders. The rotator cuff of the shoulder is made up of four muscles, attached by tendons to the shoulder bones. Inflammation and pain can result from overhead activities, including throwing the basketball.
Unlike repetitive or overuse injuries, traumatic injuries result from a sudden forceful event. Among the most common traumatic injuries in basketball are jammed fingers, which can range in severity from minor injury of the ligaments, to a fractured bone. These types of injuries require adequate care and may need to be splinted to ensure proper healing. Muscle pulls or tears are also common basketball injuries, often occurring in the large muscles of the legs.Ankle sprains may be the most frequent basketball injury, often occurring when one player lands on another’s foot or during a rapid change of direction. The result causes the stretching or tearing of the ligaments connecting bones and supporting the ankle. Ligaments tearing may be partial or complete.Knee injuries are potentially dangerous and debilitating. The knee may be sprained, with a tearing of ligaments or joint capsule. Twisting the knee can tear the meniscus – the tissue acting as a cushion between the bones of the upper and lower leg at the knee. This injury may require surgical treatment.Tears to ligaments supporting the knee may also be serious. A tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the more common ligament injuries. Tears in the ACL require prompt medical attention and may require surgery.
Injury Prevention Strategies
Proper warm-up is essential. Jumping jacks, stationary cycling, running or walking helps limber up muscles, preventing strains and other injuries.Be aware of the position of other players on the court, to avoid inadvertant collisions.Proper, snug-fitting and supportive footwear can help avoid injuries. Cotton socks absorb perspiration, also providing extra support to the foot. Use of ankle supports can reduce the incidence of ankle sprains.Use of a mouth guard helps protect the teeth and mouth.Safety glasses should be used by those wearing eyeglasses.Basketball courts, whether indoors or out must be free of obstructions and debris.
I know that these prevention strategies are slightly generic, but they are useful and everybody can use a reminder now and then. I hope you found this post useful and if you’d like to add anything or simply say hello, leave me a comment below.