Syracuse Area Health – Strasburger Orthopaedics

Top Ten Exercises for Basketball Players

Top Ten Exercises for Basketball Players

Basketball isn’t all about height, speed, and jump shots. It’s also about strength and flexibility, and your joints are at risk in this demanding sport. If you or your child love playing basketball as a hobby or a serious sport, you have to condition your body to protect yourself from injury.

As a sport, basketball ranks in the top three for serious injuries, many small injuries can happen during practice or a game, such as sprained ankles, ligaments, or tendons, but serious ankle knee, wrist, and elbow injuries are common as the game gets more competitive. 

A shoulder dislocation from a fall on the hard court or a torn ACL from a pivot at high speed can take you out of the game in a hurry.

The best defense against serious injury is conditioning. These exercises can help you build your strength in muscles around vulnerable joints, and increase flexibility to reduce the likelihood of a serious pull or tear.

1. Lateral lunge

This exercise opens up the groin and hips and strengthens the muscles in the legs to better protect your knees.  

2. Glute bridge

This can improve your jump and explosive fast movement on the court by enhancing the firing and muscle-recruitment patterns of your glutes, which can then provide impetus and take some pressure off your hips and knees. 

3. Single-leg hurdle hop

This can be one of the most important ones in your routine, improving your ability to absorb force on a landing and significantly shrinking your risk for many common leg injuries from basketball.

4. Lateral bound

This builds up that all-important explosive lateral power, keeping your legs strong and ready to perform side-to-side movements and fast cuts without shocking your knees.   

5. Romanian deadlift (RDL)

This focuses on your legs from hip to ankle, teaching your body to hinge from the hips so you can jump higher and with more power than you can when depending solely on your knees. 

6. Alternating dumbbell press

This can help improve your shoulder stability and helps you achieve full extension through the lats, for a smoother, more accurate jump shot that doesn’t wreck your elbows.

7. Goblet squat

This gives you more power in your lower body, from your ankles through the knees and up past the hips to your lower back for enhanced stability.

8. Pull-ups

This mimics the bodily effort required for an effective jump shot. It leads to a full extension that starts in the lats and runs through the back, shoulders, and all the way to the wrist, building your upper back strength.

9. Physioball leg curl

This helps to keep your hips extended and makes your hamstrings strengthen and lengthen, improving posterior strength and leaping ability.  

10. Medicine ball squat to press

This is another “mimic” exercise, this time concentrating on the lower body during a jump by helping you add power to an explosive upward motion started by bending at the hips.

As always, before starting any new exercise routine, check with your doctor. If you have a basketball injury, contact our office and make an appointment for a consultation.

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