Strength is a very important aspect of any sport, and basketball is no exception. But the type of strength required for a basketball player is very different from most other sports. Since basketball has huge physical demands on court making your muscles as strong as possible greatly reduces risk of injury as well as the severity of the injury when it occurs. Strength training programs for basketball players always focus on the muscles which give explosive and powerful movements to the body.
Developing leg muscles through exercises such as burpees, squats, lunges, jumps, calf raises increases the players agility. Strong leg muscles help in being more explosive on court and will allow the player to stop and change directions quickly. This will allow him to be quicker than his opponents and play more effectively.
Upper body strength is equally important for players as it can give you the edge over other players in terms of stealing, blocking, dunking and passing. Exercises such as pull ups, curls, bench presses and rows will increase your upper body strength.
Since players need both muscular power as well as muscular endurance, basketball workouts for strength training cover both these aspects.
Muscular endurance is the ability to perform repeated high intensity movements without fatigue to the body. Improvements in muscle endurance will improve the ability to sprint up and down the court quickly as well as improve the ability to jump several times without any loss in power. Workouts with resistance bands are a simple and effective way to build muscular endurance. Fast paced high intensity lifting and combining strength with cardio days in the gym also help build up endurance. The best drills which would help a basketball player are suicides.
Muscular Power is a combination of strength and speed of movement. Training for muscular power will result in better acceleration, quicker jumping and faster passing on court player. It helps to give out maximum force in the shortest time possible. Basketball players need to maximize power without adding too much weight as speed reduces with increased weight. One of the best methods for this type of strength training is plyometric exercises.
Plyometrics combines both speed and strength in single movement patterns. Plyometric workouts result in massive power and endurance gains for the body and also ensure that too much mass is not added on due to the increase in muscle, therefore ensuring that the on court speed of the player does not decrease.
Core training is another important part of basketball workouts for strength training. The core includes muscles around the lower back, hips and abdomen. Core muscles stabilize the body’s movements and keep the spine and hip joints aligned. Core stability also allows the body to return to a symmetrical balance after any movement. Some workouts for improving core stability and strength include bicycle kicks, medicine ball throws, alternating push ups and pillar bridge exercises.
Finger and wrist strength is the base of all points scored in a game of basketball. Squeezing exercises, wrist curls, dribbling with one finger and raising a weight plate with fingers are ways to improve finger and wrist strength so that the player can sink his jump shot from anywhere on the court.