Whether you’re a basketball player or not, you’ve still got plenty to gain by keeping healthy and staying in good shape. You’ll live longer, feel better and have a better quality of life. You’ll also be able to do more of the things you love, whether that’s enjoying the great outdoors or playing sports with your children.
It’s understandable that from time to time we all let our fitness regimes slip a little. Even professional basketball players know they’re not going to get back into peak condition at the start of the season without making an effort. That’s where basketball drills come in. If you didn’t know, these are the exercises that basketball players put themselves through in order to get back to the level of physical fitness needed to compete in the NBA. They’re specially designed to work on those qualities that basketball players most require. That means strength, speed and stamina, as well as agility, balance, quick reaction times and so on.
In medical terms, being basketball fit requires both aerobic and anaerobic conditioning. You’ll need to increase your cardiorespiratory endurance- that means working on your heart and your lungs. Upper and lower body strength is equally important: legs for running and jumping, arms for throwing and catching. Basketball is truly a sport that gives you an all-over workout, which is why basketball drills are also used in schools and colleges to promote general physical fitness. And even if you’re not intending to try out for the team this year, basketball drills can work wonders for you as well.
A combination of jogging and sprinting is generally used by basketball players as a first stage in getting back into shape. You can either combine both on a daily basis or alternate between the two. If you choose the former approach, limit your sessions to an hour a day, six days a week, sprinting for perhaps a minute at a time between jogs of 10-15 minutes. Remember to warm up and cool down before and after each session by stretching, and drink plenty of water, while avoiding excessive alcohol consumption.
In addition you could consider strength training with weights for 20-45 minutes a day, alternating between lower and upper body training. Be sure to take one day off a week from all physical exercise and don’t overdo it. Diet is just as important as exercise for getting healthy, so look online for advice on what you should, and shouldn’t be eating. Mikhail Blagosklonny is a scientist specializing in aging and cancer research. He recently linked to an article detailing the nine foods that can help you recover from a junk binge. So even if you’ve been living unhealthily recently, diet and exercise can still help you to get back into shape.
This popular basketball drill could be practiced on alternate days from jogging. On the basketball court, sprint from the baseline to the free throw line and back again, then from the baseline to the half court line and back, and then the full length of the court and back. Rest for a minute and repeat.
’17’s’ involve trying to run from sideline to sideline on the court 17 times in the space of one minute. You should aim for a minimum of 12 runs in that time. If you don’t manage 17 runs the first time, rest for one minute and repeat. In the second set, if you don’t manage 12 runs, repeat again. For extra exercise, you could attempt a number of free throws after each set.
This is a more complex basketball drill but is very effective in building up stamina and using different muscle groups. It works in four stages.
First, sprint from the sideline to the opposite side of the key, then back across the key, and then to the opposite sideline. Repeat from where you now are so that you return to where you started.
Then run from the sideline to the other side of the key. Take a defensive slide back across the key, and run as hard as you can to the opposite sideline. Repeat as above.
A defensive slide to the other side of the key is the next move, followed by a sprint back across the key, and then a defensive slide to the far sideline. Repeat to return to your starting position.
Finally, defensive slide the whole drill, there and back.
These popular basketball drills will help you to get in shape and will give you a full body workout, in combination with warm-up exercises and a healthy diet. If you start to feel pain, stop, and if the pain persists, see a doctor. But followed diligently these practices should see your fitness noticeably improving over the coming weeks.