Basketball is a sport that requires the players to be in excellent physical condition, able to run, jump, and shoot the ball. Arm strength and coordination are two of the things people playing basketball concentrating on developing the most.
Leg workouts should also be included by anyone that is serious about the sport. Proper leg exercises help you to develop muscle mass and agility. By strengthening your legs you will be able to run faster, jump higher, turn quicker and avoid injuries.
8 Key Leg Exercises & Workouts for Basketball Players
1. Slim Cycle Exercise Bike Training
A Slim cycle exercise bike offers a basketball player cardio and resistance training in a small package that will fit in the majority of all homes. The slim cycle exercise bikes fold so they store in a small amount of space.
Using one of these stationary bike systems can help you to build muscle mass and keep the muscles you have tone and fit. One of the main reasons basketball players love this stationary bike is they can get the effects of both cardio training and resistance training at the same time. Twice the exercise benefits in half the exercise time.
2. Side Planks With Leg Lifts Added
The traditional side plank is a fabulous leg exercise, but if you want to get the maximum benefits from a side plank add the leg lift.
- Lie down on your side and keep your legs straight out and together.
- You want to raise up on the elbow that is closest to the floor or mat. Use your elbow and forearm to keep the upper portion of your body lifted.
- Tighten your core muscle by tensing it.
- Raise your hips off of the floor so you create a straight line that flows from your ankles to your shoulders.
- Lift the upper leg to a forty-five-degree angle and hold for a count of ten.
- Lower the leg slowly back to the starting position and then repeat on each side for repetitions of fifteen for each side.
3. Romanian Deadlift for One Leg
You want to do this exercise eight times for each leg.
- Pick up a dumbbell in each hand
- Stand so that your feet are together while you are holding these dumbbells.
- Concentrate on your core muscle while you pull your shoulder blades back slightly.
- Gently and slowly begin to lift your right leg and at the same time start to make a forward bending motion at the hip
- Your back should remain straight throughout the exercise
- You want to keep lifting and bending your knee until your torso is almost horizontal to the floor
- Let out a deep breath and very slowly return to your beginning position
4. Jump Rope
Jumping rope is such a simple exercise that many athletes forget that it has such great benefits. You have to be able to jump and move quickly while you are playing the game of basketball, and jumping rope will improve your coordination and the speed at which you can run. You can read our guide on the best in-ground basketball hoops for more jumping exercises.
5. Swimming & Diving
Swimming is an excellent leg exercise that builds strength in the muscles and helps the athlete to become stronger. While you are in the water you do not feel the resistance that your muscles are having to make to propel you through the water. This is a great way to exercise without straining your muscles. It is also a great way to add exercise and fun to your routine.
Box Jumps are powerful muscle-building exercises. They help the player improve their ability to make rebounds and increase the amount of vertical height you can achieve when you jump.
Your box should be 6 to 12 inches in height. It is recommended that you use metal or a plyometrics box for strength.
Stand in front of the box. Bend at the knees, swing your arms forward and jump off of the floor and onto the top of the box. This will become one fluid motion as you practice this jump.
You want to keep your feet level while you are jumping and land softly.
DO NOT lock your legs when you are landing.
As it becomes easier for you to make the jump increase the height of the box you are jumping onto.
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7. Jumping Lunges
Jumping lunges help you to build the strength and stamina you need. These exercises will increase your ability to change directions quickly and run up and down the court while avoiding contact with other players.
- Stand so your feet are apart no farther than your hips are wide
- Using your left leg step forward in a long step
- As your left foot starts to touch the floor bend both of your knees
- This should place your left thigh parallel to the floor or mat
- Your right knee should be almost touching the floor or mat
- When you are in this position the next move is to jump into the air with both of your feet off of the floor or mat
- When you are in the air switch legs so that when you land back in the lunge position your left knee will be almost touching the floor or mat and your right leg will be in the forward position.
8. Strengthen Legs for Dance
Dancing is a fun way to do cardio exercises, increase coordination, and strengthen muscles. Dancers have some of the best quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings out of any athlete. The type of dancing is not critical but if you do fast paced ballroom dancing or ballet training you will get increased muscle strength and learn excellent control.
Leg exercises for basketball players help the player maintain momentum and balance. Strong legs also keep the player from tripping, falling or sustaining an injury when they do trip and fall. Most basketball players do a lot of weight lifting exercises with their legs to make sure they have the maximum strength possible.
Always keep your back straight while exercising and if you are using weights make sure you have an exercise buddy in the room at all times.