If you’re looking for a sport to help you develop as an all-around athlete, basketball is a solid choice. You’ll need the speed to run up and down the court, leaping ability to take jump shots and sky high to grab rebounds, and the strength to battle for position and corral those rebounds in traffic. To become an all-around athlete, you’ll need an all-encompassing workout routine to help you succeed on the court.
Warm-Up and Cool-Down
Begin each workout with some aerobic exercise to get your blood flowing, plus dynamic stretches to warm up your muscles. You can jog around the court a couple times, then perform stationary stretches such as jumping jacks and arm circles; walking stretches such as high knee walks and lunges; then conclude with jogging stretches such as power bounds and butt kickers. Perform some static stretches after your workout to help increase your flexibility. Divide your static stretches about evenly between your legs, core and upper body.
Perform upper-body strength exercises at least twice each week during your training period, but never on consecutive days. Work your hands by squeezing a tennis ball. Strengthen your forearms by performing wrist curls and reverse wrist curls. Perform biceps and triceps exercises such as curls and triceps pushdowns. Work your shoulders, chest and back by performing dumbbell rows, pulldowns and bench presses.
Work your core and lower back at least once each week. Crunches are the classic core-strengthening exercises, so make sure to include them in your routine. Add in some back extensions, abdominal curls, Superman exercises and trunk rotations.
Perform lower-body strength exercises at least two times per week. As with your upper-body workout, leave yourself about 48 hours of rest, or more, between lower-body sessions. Give your legs a good overall workout by focusing on squats and leg presses. Target your thighs with leg extensions and curls, and your calves with calf raises. Make sure to perform some hip abduction, adduction and flexion work; resistance band exercises provide a good option for your hip workouts.
Speed and Endurance
As a basketball player, you need frequent quick bursts of speed, plus the endurance to keep running for four quarters. Add some type of speed or distance running work into your routine each day. Do sprint drills about four times each week. Sprinting exercises can include half- and full-court sprints, or suicides, in which you run progressively farther with each repetition. Perform an endurance run of a mile or more at least once each week.
M.L. Rose has worked as a print and online journalist for more than 20 years. He has contributed to a variety of national and local publications, specializing in sports writing. Rose holds a B.A. in communications.