Sports specific training is highly useful for athletes but it can also be handy for the rest of us. Training for a goal rather than just spinning your wheels feels great and at the same time, it can be fun to focus on a specific set of skills with real-world usefulness.
And if you’re going to train for a specific sport, then basketball is a particularly good place to begin. This is because basketball relies on a lot of explosive power. Not only do you need awesome pecs for passing and shooting the ball, you also need explosive fast twitch muscle fiber in the legs for rapid direction changes and of cause to launch yourself into the air for that slam dunk.
And as a nice added benefit, a basketball can be used in a number of different exercises as we will see…
Here are some exercises you can incorporate into a home basketball workout…
Box jumps are a type of plyometric movement for building explosive power in the legs. You don’t actually need a box to train this way though – you can simply just jump on the spot. What’s missing from doing that though is some kind of target or objective. That’s what makes backboard touches so great – you’re leaping into the air and building real explosive leg power while at the same time focussing on training the ability to slam dunk.
Calf jumps are a plyometric alternative to calf raises and they do exactly what they say on the tin. Here, you’re basically just jumping off the ground but using only your calves and not involving the hamstrings, glutes or quads at all. Keep your legs straight, but then explode up onto tiptoes fast enough that it launches you into the air.
Jumping lunges are great for building that explosive leg power that you need for jumping into the air. Here, you simply lunge, jump straight up and switch your stance, and then land back deep into a lunge.
Basketball Deficit Push Ups
This is a great move for improving your chest strength for throwing and catch the ball when it’s moving fast. It’s also a great way to incorporate your basketball right into your workouts. Just place the ball on the floor and then perform push ups with one hand on the ball to put yourself at a deficit and to force one side of your chest to work that much harder than the other.
You can also use a basketball with both hands to perform a kind of stabilization push up. This is another very challenging one as you’ll be forced to engage your core and to remain steady as you move up and down.
Basketball Sit Up Twists
Add a twist to a sit up and you hit the obliques as well as the rectus abdominis. This is a perfect move to perform again while holding a basketball and that will give you better ability to duck and weave around the court.