Contrary to what many people believe, you don’t need a gym to carry out basketball training. You can carry out exercises at home in your garage or driveway.
With that in mind, I have compiled 10 exercises you can carry out in the confines of your home without needing any equipment or too much space.
I will divide this article into two types of exercise: exercises for your lower body, and exercises for your upper body.
Remember Johnny Bravo?
He had a muscular upper body, but his legs were tiny. As an athlete, you need strength in both your upper and lower body, and I will teach you how to attain this goal.
If you want to have enough strength to face off with defenders with decisiveness, to make rapid passes, and to shoot at long ranges, you must build up your upper body strength. There is no question about it.
I have laid out three block workouts you can do at home to make your upper body stronger and more resilient. You can do all the blocks as a superset.
Begin by doing the first block. Do one set of the first exercise (t-shoulder raises), and follow up with a set of the second exercise (push-ups). Rest a little, and repeat.
You should do three sets of each exercise. Each set should contain 10 to 15 reps.
This is an easy exercise that won’t cost you anything except a floor, and you can do it anytime when at home.
Lie face-down on the floor. The tips of both your toes should be touching the floor. Have your arms out in spread-eagle fashion so that you make a T-shape as you lie there, with your thumbs pointing upwards
Raise your arms. Lift them until you feel your shoulder blades squeezing. Then lower your arms slowly, and immediately repeat the process as soon as they are down. You should do this 10 to 15 times.
Doing T-shoulder raises improves your upper body posture and strength when you are defending, making a jump shot, rebound box-out, vertical jump, or offensive post-up.
Do this exercise as the first of a block. Follow it up with push-ups.
You know how to do push-ups. Place your hands on the floor at a width slightly wider than the length of your shoulders. Your body should be straight from head to toe.
Push your body up from the floor, and then down, ensuring your abdominals are engaged. Come back down, then repeat. Do 10 to 15 reps.
Push-ups strengthen your shoulders, arms, chest, and core. You get better at offensive post-up, rebounding box-out, and handling your opponent as your dribble.
After you have finished the first set, do the second set, beginning with T-raises and following with push-ups. And then do the third set. After that, move on to the second exercise block.
This middle trap exercise is similar to the T-raise. The only difference is that your arms form a Y-shape in front of you instead. You know the drill. Lift the arms up and down, repeating 10 to 15 times.
The Y-shoulder raise exercise will have the following benefits: better upper body posture and greater upper body strength for when you defend, make a jump shot, vertical jump, offensive post-up, rebound box-out, and close out.
After the exercise, do the second one in this block: the prone towel pull-down.
Without changing your position (you are still lying on your stomach), lift your chest just a little bit, and hold a towel with both hands in front of you.
Hold the towel at both ends with your arms straight. Slowly bring back the towel towards your chest, causing your elbows to bend. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
This back exercise will impact you in the following ways: better upper body posture and greater upper body strength for when you are defending, making a vertical jump, jump shot, close out, offensive post-up, or rebound box-out.
Think of an elite basketball player you admire. You admire the player’s ability to change direction, to drive the baseline, elevate, stop, or shoot, and he can do all these things while maintaining balance and control.
Such skills are hard-won. If you want to reach that level of mastery, you must first improve your lower body strength.
As with the upper body strength, I will give you three blocks which you can practice as a superset. By now you know the drill: 3 sets per block, 30 seconds for each set. When you complete the first block, follow it up with the second.
This exercise works best when you are holding a Ball or something in your hands just below your chin. The ball gives you balance and support, making it easier for you to do your squats.
You should assume an athletic stance with your feet apart a bit wider than the width of your hips.
Ensuring your back remains straight and that your knees remain behind your toes, begin to squat. Go down until your thighs are in a parallel position to the floor.
Now do the opposite, to get back to your original standing position. Do this for 30 seconds.
The squats will give you greater lower-body strength and hip mobility. Consequently, you will have an easier time defending, or in closeout, vertical jump, jump shot, and rebound box-out.
You will need a chair, bench, or table for this exercise. Lie on the floor, with your back against it. Place your heels on the bench or chair, with your knees bent and pointing upwards. Your arms are on the floor to your sides.
Extend the hips so that your butt raises off the floor, enabling you to form a straight line from shoulders to knees.
The ankles are flexed towards the shins. Hold this position for a second or two, then lower. Do this for 30 seconds.
The exercise will make your hips stronger, giving you speed, agility, quickness, and the ability to change direction quickly. It will also deal with problems of lower back pain.
This is squatting with one leg in front and one behind. You bend your front knee, and the knee behind slowly comes down until your thigh is in a parallel position to the floor. Ensure your front knee remains behind your toes.
Then come up again, and repeat. This exercise is for hip mobility and improving your skills in offense – for instance, driving to the basket, and making layups and single-leg vertical jumps.
Lie on the chair or bench so that your back is on the chair, but your lower body is not. Raise one leg in the air straight.
The other leg is stepping on the floor with the knee bent at a 90-degree angle and pointing forward. There is a straight line from your knee, along your torso, all the way to your head.
Let the leg you have raised in the air remain in that position for one count, and then bring it down. Repeat.
This exercise will give you greater speed, agility, the ability to drive to basket, and the ability to change direction.
You will need a chair or a table. Place your hands on the floor to do push-ups. Only instead of having your feet level with the rest of your body, plant your toes on the surface of the chair or table.
Your body forms a slanted line from your feet, through your torso, to your head. Do your sets and reps in this slanted position.
This kind of push-up has more benefits than a regular push-up because it’s harder to do. It enables you to build more muscle in your chest, triceps, and shoulders.
According to research, these push-ups activate the serratus anterior more than regular muscles, which means you will have stronger shoulders.
You perform this like the normal push-up. The only difference is in how you position your hands. In the regular push-up, you have your arms below you, with the elbows bending at your side. In this type, you place one arm in front, and the other at the normal position.
You should switch between the two hands so that at one time the left is in front and the next time the right is in front.
After you have done your reps with the right in front, switch up and do the same number of reps with the left in front, and so forth.
Athleticism plays a huge part in determining the performance of a basketball player. If you want to play high-level basketball, there is just no shortcut. You’ve got to get into good shape.
And not having access to a gym should not be an excuse. If you practice diligently the exercise I have enumerated in this article, you will build enough upper and lower body strength to start actualizing your potential as a basketball player.
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