Top 5 Exercises for basketball players

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Photo: Zuma Press

The abilities that make a great player are often seen as a gift, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to work hard and get in shape. Whether you are the champion of your neighborhood’s pick up games or an NBA All-star, these are five exercises that should definitely be in your work-out routine.

Front Squats

Having leg strength is crucial when you are a basketball player. The front squat is a great weight training exercise to achieve this strength.

How to: to do a front squat, your legs should stand at shoulder-width. Carry the weight with your elbows high and hands just outside of your shoulders. Keep your chest up and your back flat while you lower yourself and push yourself back up. Repeat this movement.

Lateral Lunge

The lateral lunge is an exercise in which you mimic basketball’s standard defensive shuffle motion. This exercise also opens up your groin and hip muscles.

How to: Step to the right from a standing position, flattening your foot and keeping your toes pointed straight ahead. Squat onto your right leg, keeping the left leg straight and the weight on your right foot. Hold the position for two seconds, return to the standing position and repeat the same movement with your left leg.

Romanian Deadlift

Being able to jump high comes from the ability to hinge from your hips, rather than jumping from the knees. The Romanian Deadlift builds strength in the hamstrings, glutes, and your back.

How to: Stand with both your feet at shoulder-width while holding a dummbbell at each side. The weight of the dummbbels should be on the back half of your feet. Shift back your hips and lower the dummbbells as far as you can, while keeping your back straight. Go back to your standing position and repeat the movement.

Pull-ups

Doing a jump shot creates a full extension through the back, shoulders, and wrist. Pull-ups mimic this motion and build back strength.

How to: Pull your shoulder blades up and back down to lift your body up while hanging from a bar with an underhand grip. The key to this exercise is to return to the fully extended position after each repeat.

Close Grip Bench Press

This is one of the best exercises to develop upper-body strength because it engages your triceps.

How to: Lie down flat on your back on a fitness bench and place both feet on the ground. Hold the weight bar with your hands about 9 inches from each other and make sure your thumbs are facing you. Breathe in and slowly lower the weight till just above your chest. Press the weight back up as you breath out and repeat this movement.

Photo: Zuma Press

The abilities that make a great player are often seen as a gift, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to work hard and get in shape. Whether you are the champion of your neighborhood’s pick up games or an NBA All-star, these are five exercises that should definitely be in your work-out routine.

Front Squats

Having leg strength is crucial when you are a basketball player. The front squat is a great weight training exercise to achieve this strength.

How to: to do a front squat, your legs should stand at shoulder-width. Carry the weight with your elbows high and hands just outside of your shoulders. Keep your chest up and your back flat while you lower yourself and push yourself back up. Repeat this movement.

Lateral Lunge

The lateral lunge is an exercise in which you mimic basketball’s standard defensive shuffle motion. This exercise also opens up your groin and hip muscles.

How to: Step to the right from a standing position, flattening your foot and keeping your toes pointed straight ahead. Squat onto your right leg, keeping the left leg straight and the weight on your right foot. Hold the position for two seconds, return to the standing position and repeat the same movement with your left leg.

Romanian Deadlift

Being able to jump high comes from the ability to hinge from your hips, rather than jumping from the knees. The Romanian Deadlift builds strength in the hamstrings, glutes, and your back.

How to: Stand with both your feet at shoulder-width while holding a dummbbell at each side. The weight of the dummbbels should be on the back half of your feet. Shift back your hips and lower the dummbbells as far as you can, while keeping your back straight. Go back to your standing position and repeat the movement.

Pull-ups

Doing a jump shot creates a full extension through the back, shoulders, and wrist. Pull-ups mimic this motion and build back strength.

How to: Pull your shoulder blades up and back down to lift your body up while hanging from a bar with an underhand grip. The key to this exercise is to return to the fully extended position after each repeat.

Close Grip Bench Press

This is one of the best exercises to develop upper-body strength because it engages your triceps.

How to: Lie down flat on your back on a fitness bench and place both feet on the ground. Hold the weight bar with your hands about 9 inches from each other and make sure your thumbs are facing you. Breathe in and slowly lower the weight till just above your chest. Press the weight back up as you breath out and repeat this movement.

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