Well, the outspread of COVID 19 has certainly brought things into perspective, with the world is faced with a dilemma of sorts- to maintain distance and hold on. We have proved our merit in terms of persistence and solidarity, as we moulded ourselves to the “new normal”. Yet, remaining in a standstill is not always a favourable option, and for athletes like basketball players, this time frame has been a massive struggle. Especially with all the sports centres and gyms closed, maintaining dexterity has become a task- but fret not! We are here for your aid!
For basketball, the plan is two-pronged- with a focus on skills and muscle flexibility. Stamina and flexibility play an important role- so you have got to switch the game with both exercises focused on agility, as well as basketball drills focused on sharpening your skills. Good thing – both can be done at home, with the presence of right basketball accessories and fitness equipment.
In respect to exercises, here are a few that can help:
1. Lateral lunge
This is your best friend as lateral lunge mimics basketball’s standard defensive shuffle while opening up the muscles of the groin and hips. Here, step to the right, from a standing position. Remember to keep toes pointed straight ahead and feet flat and then, proceed to squat onto your right leg. For this, you need to keep the left leg straight and the weight on the right leg’s midfoot to heel. Squat as low as possible, keeping the left leg straight. Hold the position for 2 seconds and return to the standing position. Repeat this for 10 reps and then, switch sides.
2. Glute bridge
The quality of your glute empowers your game- hence this is one of the best exercises to train them. Here, the firing and muscle-recruitment patterns of the glutes are utilized, as you start by lying face-up on the floor. Keep knees bent 90 degrees and feet flat on the floor, with a rolled-up towel between your knees. Form a bridge with hips toward the ceiling, which in turn squeezes your glutes. With your shoulders and heels remaining on the ground, hold the top position. Lower the hips to the ground without touching. Repeat this for 10 reps.
3. Lateral bound
Want to ace the fast cuts and side-to-side movements? Increase the lateral power of your legs, with lateral bound. Here you need to stand balanced on your right leg, with your left foot on the ground. Crouching slightly with the right leg, and then jump to the left, using the leg and glutes. Land on your left leg, using your ankle, knee, and hip. Remember to maintain balance- you don’t want to hurt yourself. Hold this for a count of three, then jump to your right- repeat this 10 times, per side.
4. Medicine ball squat to press
Medicine ball is a boon that every athlete needs to have by their side. For basketball athletes, you mimic jumping, as you do this special squat. Here you need to stand holding a medicine ball at chest level. Lower yourself into a squat, and extending through the hips, launch the ball and your body into the air.
Pullups are like brothers of jump shots- requiring the same efforts and working out the same muscles. To improves the performance of your lats, back, shoulders, and wrist, pepper your workout with pullups. Hanging from a bar with overhand/ reverse grip, pull your shoulder blades back and down, lifting your body up. Return to the fully extended position after each rep- this helps improve your jump shot.
6. Goblet squat
Touted as the “power squat”, goblet squats help strengthen the lower body. For this, you need some help from the good old kettlebell. Hold the kettlebell with two hands against your chest, mimicking the motion of drinking from it like a goblet. Squat by sitting your hips, while shifting the weight to your heels without lifting the toes. Maintain contact between the kettlebell and your chest, while your elbows should gently touch your knees. Rise and extend powerfully through the hips- repeat the same for 10 times.
7. Single-leg hurdle hop
Basketball is a contact sport, with its set of unpredictable injuries. You need to prepare yourself for the worst and the single-leg hurdle hop prepares your body to land and absorbs force. Arrange a few low hurdles and stand in front of them, on one leg. Hop over all hurdles, holding the landing on the same leg. Make a point to control your landing to a softer level, absorbing the force through the hip and glute. Change sides and repeat on opposite leg.
8. Romanian deadlift (RDL)
Basketball is a play of jumps, with explosive motions being an accent. Hence, the ability to hinge from the hips, rather than jumping from the knees, is required. To condition the hamstrings, glutes, and back, Romanian deadlifts are just what the doctor ordered. For this, you need to stand, having your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell at each side, keeping the weight should be on the back half of your feet. Shifting the hips back, lower the dumbbells as far as you can, keeping your back straight. This will fire the hamstrings and glutes as your return to standing position- a continuous set of 10 reps should do
Most important- Skill building
While your muscles are all fired up and raring to go, it is time for skill training to take place. How- you wonder? Simple- purchase indoor basketball hoop, a basketball and you are set. Practice the drills that were familiar to you, as a warm-up. Then, take up some challenging drills, to push yourself to the limit. It is important to go beyond your comfort zone, to get optimal results. Finally, time your moves well- it’s speed and accuracy that put you in an advantage.
So, there you have it- a comprehensive set of tricks to get your move back! To shop for indoor basketball hoops and basketball accessories, head here.