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Player Development

fitnessBasketball has always been a game of quickness and agility but recently there's been a great more emphasis put upon sheer strength and power. Just watch the NBA and some of the sculptured bodies that appear on the hardwood. Want to know how to get fit . . . keep reading.

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Published October 9, 2000 on FitnessHeaven.com Inc. xxxxxxxxxxWORKOUT ROUTINE
xxxBy: Kevin Reilly

Utah Jazz' Power Forward Karl Malone captures all three of these components. He is quick and agile for a man 6'9" and 275 pounds. This guy looks like he could win the Mr. Universe contest, yet, he remains graceful after a long professional career.

Weight training has become a major part of basketball conditioning in recent times. The game has become much more physical. This requires its players to become larger and stronger.

A yearlong conditioning program is a must for the serious player from the high school years through the professional ranks. The so-called "weekend warrior" will also benefit from being in a better shape.

The main goals of conditioning at any level are to improve performance and reduce chances of injury. Flexibility is a major part of preparation for basketball. As previously mentioned this will aid in helping a player stay off the disabled list and also be more graceful and agile.

The most intense weight training should be initiated post-season and during the summer months. During the preseason and regular season, a maintenance program should be in effect to maintain strength without affecting performance.

An ideal program for basketball fitness should include activities that promote endurance, strength and flexibility:

In order to be a successful hoopster you have to be able to run and keep running for long periods of time. Like soccer, basketball is a continuous motion game. Players play both offense and defense. Training should involve short distances/sprints, longer runs as well as interval training that will combine various distances and short rest periods.

Other activities such as jumping rope and repetitive rim or backboard touches are important since the ability to jump is essential for rebounding and getting your shot off.

Most of all, playing basketball may be the best conditioner for game conditions. Nothing simulates the demands of the game than actually playing the game against the best possible competition.

The key here is overall balanced body strength. Obviously a few things are critical.

Good hands are keys to catching the basketball (quite possibly the most overlooked skill for young players). Strong fingers, wrists and forearms will aid in this simple, yet necessary task.

Leg strength will help in jumping and running. Toe raises will aid in calf development. Leg presses, extensions and curls will improve upper leg power and also balance strength between quads and hamstrings.

Shoulder, chest and arm weight exercises will provide upper body strength, which is key for players in allowing them to get position at the post or get open against a tough defense. These exercises should not be overdone. More emphasis should be placed on muscular endurance by using lower weights and raising the amount of repetitions.

Hopefully, proper conditioning can make you a more successful player who is stronger and faster and most of all able to remain in action by avoiding injury


Workout Routine xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxTOP

This is not for the weak at heart. If you want results you MUST put forth the effort! Below are suggested workouts with explanations that will require 45 to 60 minutes per session. We strongly suggests you make sure you are fit and doctor approved before attempting this workout.

15 MINUTES OF STRETCHING - I cannot stress the importance of stretching enough. In order to be successful meeting the rigorous demands of a 30-40 hour a week training schedule your body MUST be properly maintained. Stretching not only prevents injuries, thus keeping you on the court and in the weight room where you need to be. It also increases flexibility exponentially. If it comes down to you only have 15 minutes should I stretch or do pushups and situps? Pick the stretching everyday of the week and twice on Sundays.

150 SIT UPS 5 sets of 30 reps - Slide your feet underneath some dumbells and keep your knees bent so your leg forms a 90 degree angle. Make sure to keep your hands to the side of your head and not behind your head so you're not tempted to pull your head up with your hands. Pull yourself up by contracting your abdominals. Really focus on the muscles contracting don't make it an involuntary action, make your mind concentrate on contracting the abdominals starting with your upper abs and finishing with your lower abs so it becomes a voluntary action.

100 PUSH UPS 5 sets of 20 reps (Military style) - Keep your back flat your hands shoulder width apart, tighten your abdominals, keep your head up look straight ahead and go all the way down until your chin grazes the floor. Go slowly on the way down and the way up. The goal is to get stronger not to see how fast you can finish.

ARMS EXTENDED 2 minutes (use a stop watch so you are accurate) - Stand with your feet together and extend your arms out so your body forms a "T". For a twist you can move your hands down or up with your palms facing out like if you were trying to push two walls apart, but make sure to keep your elbows locked and do not let your arms dip.

6 INCHES 3 sets of 45 second reps - Lie flat on your back, place your hands at your side and keep your feet together. Raise both feet off the ground 6 inches and hold them there keeping your legs perfectly still the entire repetition. Here's a little secret... keep your lower abdominals tight and use your quads to keep your feet off the ground. Really make your mind focus on both of these muscle groups. They should be doing the lion's share of the work.

TRICEP EXTENSIONS 1 set 25 reps (each arm) - Place your feet shoulder width apart and bend your legs into a squat position. Bring your right arm into your body keeping your elbow tight against your side. Then bring your elbow back until it is parallel with your right shoulder and bring your fist to your right hip. Make a slow deliberate motion carrying your clinched fist back slowly until your elbow locks and then bring your fist back slowly to your hip. Imagine you are holding a 12 lb dumbell during each rep. Repeat the same for your left arm.

CURLS 3 sets of 16 reps (8 each arm) or 2 sets of 50 reps (25 each arm) - The sets with a lower amount of reps should be done with a heavier set of dumbells and are for increasing your strength. The sets with a higher amount of reps should be done with a lighter set of dumbells and are done for toning. I would recommend two to three strength workouts during the week and one toning workout. Your form should start with feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent just enough so they are not locked, and a slight arch in your back with your abs tightened. Place your arms at your side with a slight bend in both of your elbows and keep your elbows close against your side. As you bring the dumbell upward twist your wrist outward so the dumbell is parallel to your waist and focus your mind on contracting your bicep muscle to bring the weight to your chest. Your clinched fist should come directly in front of your shoulder and the dumbell should barely touch your pectorial. As you bring the dumbell back down do it slowly twisting your wrist inward this time so the dumbell is in line with your arm, creating the same motion you would use to hammer a nail. Alternate arms for each repetition.

WALLBURNERS 3 sets of 45 second reps - Place your feet shoulder width apart and bend your legs parallel to the floor. Press your behind firmly against the wall (the same way you would box out an opponent for a rebound). Keep your back and shoulders from touching the wall. Use only the force of your behind pressed against the wall to keep you up. Hold your arms out in front of you or to the side as in the arms extended exercise. Do not allow yourself to slide down the wall. Make sure you stay in place the entire 45 second repetition.

LUNGES 3 sets of 20 reps (10 each leg) - Keep your arms at your side while holding a set of dumbells. Take a slightly elongated stride and make sure to maintain your balance. Bring your opposite leg down to the ground just to the point your knee is about to touch the ground. Then rise up bringing your feet together and repeat alternating legs for each repetition.

CALF RAISES 4 sets of 25 reps - Find a step or elevated surface to stand on. Place the balls of your feet on the edge of the elevated surface and let your heels go down as far as they can, keeping your feet together. Calf raises are one of the few exercises you will ever want to keep your knees locked, but it is important to keep your knees locked and your legs straight. Try to balance yourself the best you can. If you need to hold onto something to keep yourself in place do so. Focus on contracting your calf muscles to lift yourself onto the balls of your feet as high as you can go and hold for a brief moment, before slowly returning to the start position.

AIR SQUATS 3 sets of 30 reps - Place your feet shoulder width apart and place your arms in front of you so your hands are together with your thumbs and index fingers forming a triangle. Put a slight bend in your knees just enough so they are not locked and bend down until your legs are parallel with the floor then pop back up almost to the point your knees will lock, but not quite and then drop down again. For this exercise you can go slow and deliberate if you like, but a more rapid speed is preferred.

RESISTANCE PUSHUP One 25 second rep - Start in the pushup position. Feet together, hands shoulder width apart, your back flat and straight. Slowly lower yourself half way down to the ground and hold yourself steady for 25 seconds before returning to the start position.

LEG KICKS 20 kicks (each leg) and 25 squeezes (each leg) - Kneel down on the floor, on your knees and elbows holding your hands together. Bring one knee into your chest as far as you can. Then extend your leg out and up so your upper leg is line with your body, but your knee is bent and the bottom of your foot faces the ceiling. Bring your knee back in towards your chest as far as you can and repeat. Do 20 reps in a row on the same leg and then switch to squeezes. On the 20th rep when your leg finishes with your foot facing the ceiling hold it. Then bring your knee down 3 to 4 inches and squeeze your gluteus maximus muscle pushing your leg back up to the finish position. Complete 25 short little pops or squeezes and switch to the other leg.

Time to get to work,

Coach O


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