I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying “core strength is king”. If you’re a basketball player, core strength is key to your game. A strong core will help with shooting, dribbling, and defending. But what about when it’s time for practice or game day?
You may not always have access to a home exercise facility or be able to visit the gym. I wanted to discuss some at-home core workouts and exercises for basketball players because of this. All the fundamentals as well as some more complex core exercises and variations will be covered.
What is Core Strength?
Core strength is the core’s ability to stabilize and control the spine. If you think of a seesaw, core strength is keeping the board balanced so nobody falls off!
It refers to the ability of the muscles in the abdominal, back, and hip regions to work together to provide stability and support for the body during movement. A strong core helps to improve posture, reduce the risk of injury, and enhance athletic performance.
The core muscles are located throughout your lower back and midsection (abs, obliques). Strong core strength will help with shooting because it helps maintain proper form while jumping into shots or layups. It also keeps your center of gravity low to ensure that defenders don’t knock you over easily on drives to the basket.
The stronger your core, the better balance, and stability you’ll have when moving around other players during games as well as practice drills. This can allow for an easier time getting rebounds against taller opponents too.
A strong core means fewer injuries all-around! Plus, having a strong core means that you won’t tire out as easily. You can play longer, for longer periods without getting winded or fatigued.
Why is Core Strength Important in Basketball?
This is why core strength training exercises are so important! Core muscles make up the foundation of your body – they hold everything together and provide stability to help prevent injuries on the court.
Basketball requires strong core muscles since they are essential for the game’s balance, quickness, power, and general athleticism. Following are some detailed justifications for why basketball players must have strong cores:
- Balance is important in basketball and is maintained by core muscles. Balance is necessary for dribbling, shooting, and defending, and a solid core aids in maintaining equilibrium while carrying out these motions. Players who have strong cores are better able to stay on their feet and respond swiftly to changes in movement and direction.
- Basketball requires a lot of agility. Players can move more swiftly and shift directions with ease when they have a solid core. Core strength is a prerequisite for sprinting, jumping, and lateral movement.
- Basketball requires a lot of force, and having a strong core helps you produce it when doing things like jumping, sprinting, and shooting. Powerful core muscles help athletes create more force with each movement by transferring energy from the lower body to the upper body.
- Injury prevention:
- Poor posture and an increased risk of injury can result from a weak core. Injury risks for basketball players include ankle sprains, knee problems, and lower back pain. By stabilizing the spine and pelvis during movements and lowering the chance of falls, core strength helps prevent these injuries.
- Basketball relies heavily on rebounding, which calls for core strength. A strong core enables athletes to jump higher and with greater control, which is crucial when jumping for rebounds.
- Basketball is a physically demanding, high-intensity sport. For maintaining excellent posture and lowering the likelihood of becoming fatigued, core strength is essential. Players who have a strong core are better able to maintain perfect form during a game, which lowers their risk of injury and weariness.
In conclusion, having strong core muscles is essential for basketball since they help with endurance, injury prevention, agility, power, balance, and rebounding. Basketball players can significantly enhance their on-court performance by include core-strengthening workouts in their training regimen.
We’re going to cover some basic core strengthening workouts below!
Starting with the most basic core exercise, crunches and sit-ups are core workouts for basketball players to do at home. Crunches work abdominal muscles while also engaging your core or midsection too!
To get into position, lie on the floor face up with knees bent and feet flat against the ground. Keep back straight as you place hands behind head (or neck) without locking fingers together – just rest them in a comfortable spot.
Next, curl upper body upwards until shoulder blades lift off of the ground and hold this contraction for a few seconds before lowering yourself back down again to starting position.
Make sure not to pull on the neck when curling up so that only the core is working during the workout here. Do reps anywhere from 15-30 depending upon fitness level.
If you find crunches too easy, try doing them with a weight behind your head or hanging from some sort of bar to make core workouts for basketball players more difficult! This will help strengthen core muscles even further and build up strength so that it’s easier to complete these exercises during game time as well.
Next is the traditional sit-up exercise which focuses on hip flexors rather than abdominal muscles like the crunch does – but either way, both are effective ways to work core muscle groups at home without having access to equipment.
For this one, start by lying flat on the back with feet flat against the ground and knees bent slightly (with heels about 12 inches away from buttocks). Next place hands behind head/neck again while keeping fingers loosely touching head/neck.
Bend at core bringing knees towards the chest until upper thighs are perpendicular to the ground, then extend legs back out straight again while keeping core tight so that your lower back doesn’t touch floor throughout this movement. Hold briefly before repeating about 15-25 reps or so depending upon fitness level.
To make this workout more challenging you can add weight in the form of a medicine ball held across the waistline by a partner – just hold it steady there during sit-ups!
You can also wear ankle weights for added resistance too which helps build core strength quickly over time without having access to gym equipment.
Plus using these tools increase intensity levels and thus speeds up results when working on core strengthening exercises here at home.
Lay on your back with knees bent and core engaged. Keep core muscles tight throughout the exercise! Slowly lift shoulders off ground rotating to the left side, then when you hit mid-line lower down towards opposite knee using the core to control the movement. Repeat in an alternating fashion for the desired number of reps.
Keep abs drawn in while lifting hips off the floor into bridge position completing one rep. Lower hips down slowly till just above the ground – controlling motion with core strength – then push back upwards explosively pointing toes slightly inward during contraction.
To increase difficulty, try this move with legs straight instead of tucked in at hip-width apart position.
Start lying on your back with your core engaged. Keep core muscles tight throughout the exercise! Slowly push hips off of floor into a bridge position, driving heels upwards while squeezing glutes at top contraction point completing one rep.
Lower hips down slowly till just above the ground – controlling motion with core strength – then push back upwards explosively pointing toes slightly inward during contraction. To increase difficulty, try this move with legs straight instead of tucked in at hip-width apart position or extend one leg out for a single leg version.
Get into a forearm plank position with core engaged. Hold one leg out straight to make it harder as you hold for desired reps or switch legs on alternate sets.
This is an advanced exercise so be sure that you do not experience any pain in your lower back while performing this move at home, without a trainer overseeing your form and technique.
Start in a traditional push-up position, but make sure your core is engaged the entire time! Slowly lower yourself down towards the ground – core muscles tight and back straight throughout the movement.
Hold at the bottom for two seconds before pushing up explosively while still maintaining core strength to complete one rep.
For this core workout, you can perform either with a stability ball or on the floor for beginners. Keep core muscles tight throughout the exercise! Place hands shoulder-width apart and core engaged core as you lower towards the ground in one controlled movement before pushing back up explosively completing one rep.
For added difficulty try doing these pushups with your feet elevated off of the ground to make them more challenging!
A lateral lunge is a great core workout for basketball players to do at home. Start standing with core engaged and feet shoulder-width apart. Step out laterally into a side lunge position, then bring your foot back towards starting point as you push yourself back up vertically using core strength throughout the movement – one rep!
For added difficulty try holding lightweight dumbbells in each hand or adding an incline bench underneath you if this variation is too easy for beginners!
Single-Leg Hip Bridge
The single-leg hip bridge core workout is a great core-strengthening exercise for basketball players to do at home.
Start laying on your back with core engaged and one leg extended straight up towards the ceiling keeping core muscles tight – this will be your starting point! Lift hips off of the ground into a bridge position by squeezing glutes as you raise one hip upwards,
then slowly lower hips down till just above the ground before pushing up explosively using core strength throughout each rep completing one single-leg hip bridge!!!
For added difficulty try adding weight plates onto the chest or holding dumbbells in hand during this core exercise for beginners.
For this core workout, you can use a dumbbell or kettlebell for beginners. Keeping core muscles tight throughout the movement! Hold weight to the chest with both hands and slowly squat down while maintaining your back straight-core engaged at all times! Keep the core strong as you lower yourself till thighs are parallel to the ground before explosively pushing up through heels returning to a standing position.
Sample Workout Routine
Here’s a sample complete core workout routine for basketball players:
- Plank variations:
- High plank: Hold the plank position with arms straight and hands directly under the shoulders for 30-60 seconds.
- Side plank: Hold the plank position on one side of the body, with the other arm extended upward, for 30-60 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
- Medicine ball exercises:
- Russian twists: Sit with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, holding a medicine ball. Lean back slightly and twist your torso to the right, tapping the ball on the floor. Twist back to the left, tapping the ball on the floor. Repeat for 10-15 reps.
- Medicine ball slams: Hold the medicine ball overhead and slam it down onto the ground in front of you. Catch the ball on the rebound and repeat for 10-15 reps.
- Swiss ball exercises:
- Swiss ball crunches: Lie on a Swiss ball with your feet flat on the floor and your hands behind your head. Crunch up, lifting your shoulder blades off the ball, and then lower back down. Repeat for 10-15 reps.
- Swiss ball pikes: Start in a high plank position with your feet on a Swiss ball. Pike your hips up toward the ceiling, rolling the ball forward with your feet, and then return to the starting position. Repeat for 10-15 reps.
- Cable machine exercises:
- Cable wood chops: Set the cable machine to a high pulley position. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your side to the cable machine. Grab the handle with both hands and rotate your torso to pull the cable down and across your body. Return to the starting position and repeat for 10-15 reps on each side.
- Cable rotations: Set the cable machine to a mid-level position. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your side to the cable machine. Grab the handle with both hands and rotate your torso to pull the cable across your body. Return to the starting position and repeat for 10-15 reps on each side.
Here’s a table of the sample complete core workout routine to better understand for basketball players:
|Exercise||Sets x Reps||Rest time|
|High plank||2-3 x 30-60 sec||30 sec|
|Side plank||2-3 x 30-60 sec/side||30 sec|
|Russian twists||2-3 x 10-15 reps||30 sec|
|Medicine ball slams||2-3 x 10-15 reps||30 sec|
|Swiss ball crunches||2-3 x 10-15 reps||30 sec|
|Swiss ball pikes||2-3 x 10-15 reps||30 sec|
|Cable wood chops||2-3 x 10-15 reps/side||30 sec|
|Cable rotations||2-3 x 10-15 reps/side||30 sec|
Perform each exercise for 2-3 sets, with 10-15 reps per set. Rest for 30-60 seconds between sets. This routine can be done 2-3 times per week, along with other basketball-specific exercises and conditioning. As always, it’s important to warm up properly before starting any exercise routine and to consult with a medical professional before starting a new exercise program.
We hope you’ve enjoyed these core exercises! There are so many different kinds of core strengthening workouts that basketball players can do ranging anywhere up becoming too complicated for beginners or not challenging enough for advanced athletes looking to take their game to the next level.
Our goal with this post is simply to help get any basketball player’s core workout going with a few exercises that can be completed at home or anywhere else where a gym isn’t available.
Want to learn more about core strength training for basketball players? Connect with us in the comment below! We’re always posting new content from our blog as well – something you don’t want to miss out on!
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