It doesn’t matter if you’re an aspiring NBA all-star or just joining in a neighborhood pickup game, make sure these simple exercises are part of your routine!
1. Lateral lunge
Why you should do it: The lateral lunge mimics basketball’s standard defensive shuffling motion. More importantly, it opens up the muscles of the groin and hips.
How to do it: From a standing position, step to the right, keeping toes pointed straight ahead and feet flat. Squat onto your right leg, keeping the left leg straight and the weight on the right leg’s midfoot to heel. Squatting as low as possible, keep the left leg straight and hold the position for 2 seconds. Return to standing position and repeat for 10 reps, then switch sides.
2. Physio ball leg curl
Why you should do it: This move keeps the hips extended and forces the hamstrings to work, ultimately improving leaping ability and posterior strength.
How to do it: Lie face-up with legs straight and heels on a physio ball. Squeeze glutes to raise the hips and pull your hips toward you. Don’t drop your hips as the ball comes toward you. Extend your legs, then repeat the leg curl for 10 reps. Make sure your hips never touch the ground.
3. Romanian deadlift (RDL)
Why you should do it: Jumping higher and being more explosive comes from the ability to hinge from the hips, rather than jumping from the knees. RDLs build strength in the hamstrings, glutes, and back.
How to do it: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell at each side. The weight should be on the back half of your feet. Shift the hips back and lower the dummbells as far as you can while keeping your back straight. Fire the hamstrings and glutes as your return to standing position. Do 10 reps.
4. Goblet squat
Why you should do it: To develop power in the lower body.
How to do it: Hold a kettlebell with two hands against your chest as if preparing to drink from it like goblet. Squat by sitting your hips back and down, keeping theweight in the heels of your feet without lifting your toes. Maintain contact between the kettlebell and your chest. Your elbows should gently touch your knees. Rise and extend powerfully through the hips. Repeat for 10 reps.
Why you should do it: An effective jumpshot creates full extension through the lats, back, shoulders, and wrist. A pullup, done properly, mimics such movement, and builds essential all-around back strength.
How to do it: Hanging from a bar with either an overhand or reverse (underhand) grip, pull your shoulder blades back and down to lift your body up. Finish by pulling with your arms. The key is to return to the fully extended position after each rep—otherwise, you’re not reaching full extension, the movement you want on your jumpshot.