Thursday, December 3, 2020

Fitness Tips: How NBA Players are Staying in Shape

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Basketball is a game that is dominated by the hardest working players. All the talent in the world can only go so far if a player doesn’t put the work in.

Hard work entails not only improving on the fundamental skills such as dribbling, shooting, and passing. The best players in the world are not just skilled, they are also physically fit. It’s tough to conceive how you can outplay the competition with your superior skills if you can get easily pushed around and winded up.

To truly excel at the game, it is paramount to stay in shape. A disciplined fitness regime is a great way to not just lead an overall healthy lifestyle, but also to stay ahead of the competition and to dominate on the hardwood.

Exercises to Improve Your Game on the Court

Getting better at basketball requires a fitness regimen that’s anchored to the game. Sure, bodybuilding can help you become physically fit and to some extent can help you up your game, but it’s not the best way to improve in basketball. In order to improve and take your game to the next level, it’s crucial to design workouts that are focused on improving physical attributes and movements that are essential to the game of basketball.

Front Squat

Strength and explosiveness are indispensable in the basketball court. You’d want to be able to launch yourself off the ground powerfully while at the same time making sure that you don’t get treated like a ragdoll in the paint.

Front squats are a great way to develop your lower body and your core, which would make you stronger and more explosive. To do a front squat, take the barbell from the squat rack and hold it with your hands in front of your shoulders with your palms facing up. With your feet shoulder-width apart, slowly bend your knees and drop your rear to the ground without touching it, then launch yourself back up. This is one repetition.

Lateral Skater

Lateral movement is key in defense. Getting bucket after bucket is not the only way to dominate the opposition. You can break the opposition down through lockdown defense as well, and you can’t lock another player down unless you have good lateral movement.

Lateral skater jumps can help you improve on your lateral mobility and explosiveness. Another good thing about it is that you can practically do it anywhere with enough space. You don’t need any equipment.

To do a lateral skater jump, stand with your legs hip-width apart and with your knees slightly bent and shift your weight onto one foot while picking the other foot up from the ground. Then, explosively push off your standing foot and land on your other foot, then bring the leg you pushed off on to the ankle you landed on without your leg touching the floor. Repeat as needed and try to cover as much ground as possible.

Heel Slide

For you to achieve a high level of play, it’s important to maintain consistency, not just with your shots and effort, but also with your body, particularly in terms of durability. Basketball has its risks, and it’s not uncommon for players to get injured.

Heel slides can help you strengthen the muscles and ligaments on your leg so that you can avoid debilitating injuries to your knees and other parts of your lower body. To do heel slides, you simply have to lay down on a flat surface and alternately slide your feet to your butt. Try to get at least 20 repetitions for full mobility and benefits.

Side Plank Leg Raise

Another great way to strengthen your core while also targeting muscles such as the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and shoulders is through side plank leg raises. To do side plank leg raises, place one of your elbows on the floor and lift your hips while extending your legs. While maintaining your balance, lift the top leg up and slowly lower it back down to complete a repetition. Try to get at least 15 repetitions on each leg.

With superior core strength, you’d be able to handle the inevitable bumps you’d get throughout the game, whether it’s you jostling for a rebound, trying to finish through contact, or playing lockdown defense.

How to Boost Stamina & Endurance

Having a developed skillset and building an athletic and strong physique is not enough to play at the highest levels. To excel at the game of basketball, your body should be conditioned to run up and down the court countless times, and to maintain the same level of energy throughout the game.

You wouldn’t want to start out hot in the first quarter and be begging for the coach to take you out of the game by the third. As a basketball player, you should be able to endure the toll that playing takes on your body. What good is a deadly jumpshot if you can barely jump off the ground during crunch time?

Building stamina and endurance must be a priority if you really want to get ahead in the game.

Here are some tips you should remember in order to boost these attributes:

Take it slow at the beginning of your workouts

It’s easy to get excited to put the work in on your road to improvement. However, diving headfirst into a workout is a bad idea. Before each workout, try to introduce some low to moderate intensity cardio workouts not just to warm yourself up and get your body ready, but also to increase your capacity to work out and to set you up to break through past records.

Circuit training

Circuit training is a phrase that is abhorred by some, and rightfully so. Such a workout can easily drain all the energy out of an average person which is why it is important that you introduce this into your workout routine.

Simply put, circuit training is composed of multiple stations, composed of various individual exercises, which should be completed without rest. This prepares you for high intensity movements on the court and allows you to keep up, or even be ahead of, the other players running up and down the hardwood.

Increase intensity during practice

Of course, practice prepares you for the actual things that you have to do in game, but just because it’s practice doesn’t mean that you don’t have to take it seriously. In fact, it’s advised that you try to make practice as intense as possible, even much more intense than the actual game.

For example, instead of playing a scrimmage with the standard 10-12 minutes per quarter, try to increase it to 15 minutes. That way, when you get to the actual game, it should be a relative breeze by then.

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