Just like any sport in the world, fitness is vital to be at the top your game. You never want to learn this that hard way. Growing up in school, kids would play basketball or soccer at recess everyday. Through playing the game kids would get into “basketball shape” but rarely would kids train in gyms on their spare time. When you start to get older, your fitness level becomes even more important than before. If you neglect the fitness training required to become a better athlete, than it will certainly show on the court. If professional athletes are constantly getting better in the weight room, shouldn’t you? The answer is of course. Basketball is no exception. In fact being in shape may be the most important factor when it comes to game day play. Years and years of dribbling, shooting, and passing will naturally show in the game, but the athletes that are in top physical condition will separate from the pack. Just like any other sport there are certain areas of fitness that must be addressed regularly. Strength training, cardio-vascular training, and flexibility training should be taken seriously to become a great basketball player.
Strength training is often times most athletes favorite fitness training. Most athletes love strength training because they get to lift heavy things, whether it’s bench press, squat, dead lifts, bicep curls, or triceps extensions. Strength training is without a doubt a fundamental fitness block that has to be taken seriously, but it should not be the main focus of training session. In basketball, the whole body is required to be moving at top speeds. Strength training should primarily focus on core-strengthening exercises that emphasis explosive, power through the whole body. Doing bicep curls may get you bigger arms, so you can look good in the mirror, but it doesn’t transition into basketball play as much as other exercises. Basketball strength workouts should constantly be mixed up to incorporate muscle confusion not memory. As a basketball player the more you shock your body in the weight room the better. Workouts that use barbell squats, jump squats, push ups, pull-ups, dips, wall squats, shoulder presses, core exercises, and resistance band workouts will benefit the basketball player best. Of course, there are so many other workouts to do, but this is a general list to help the aspiring basketball player get an idea for what to look for in a strength training workout.
Along with strength training being essential for the basketball player to play at peak levels, cardio vascular training is crucial to not get “gassed” during a game. Cardio training pertains to any type of movement like running, sprinting, biking, cycling, or playing basketball. The obvious best form of cardio to get in shape for basketball is by playing as much basketball as possible. The purpose of the right cardio training should help enhance your ability to run and sprint more than you could. Running hills is one of the best things to do to get in phenomenal shape. Being outside gives you the ability to soak in fresh air and see the beauty that mother nature has to offer. The incline the hill gives the athlete running is a great way to become faster, stronger, and more athletic. Running up hills is significantly more challenging than running on a flat surface. When a basketball player hits the court, they will see the overall cardio change from putting in the work in the hills. Swimming and cycling is another great way for basketball players to see great cardio results. The way swimming and cycling protects the knees of the athlete is a big impact.
One of the most neglected part’s of an aspiring basketball players fitness training is flexibility. It doesn’t matter what sport you participate in, being flexible is a fundamental block for increased success. Every athlete is prone to injuries along there path of sports. It is very hard to prevent an injury before it happens, but being flexible will certainly do wonders for the body. Yoga and Pilates are the two best forms of flexibility workouts that help the athlete’s body. The long term benefits of daily yoga and pilates is powerful. Everyone regardless of being an athlete or not should stretch, because we are a product of our body. There are significant athletic benefits for basketball players to become more flexible. Not only will the basketball player become stronger, faster, more agile, and more athletic, but the athlete will see tremendous physical abilities never before felt. Yoga is no joke, and neither is pilates. If the basketball player is serious, flexibility training will be a big part of getting better.