Contact sports can be grueling; you have to be quick, not just to carry the ball to the goal post but also to keep injuries at bay. For this reason, building strength, speed, and agility play a vital role in basketball performance training.
Being a basketball player, you must move quickly, have a quicker response to your opponents’ attempts to grab the ball, and possess a great amount of body strength. And all these attributes are linked to rigorous training and technique perfection. In this article, we will share some practical tips to build strength, speed, and agility for your next basketball event. So read on.
What Movements Are Required For Basketball?
As you may already know, basketball is a dynamic sport that requires an athlete to move in multiple places of motion and execute a quick transition between sprinting, jogging, and jumping. During the sport, they have to be quick enough to elude defenders, shift quickly to sprinting when advancing toward the goal, and slow down immediately to jump to make a shot.
Moreover, the athlete must have full control over the execution of all the skills needed during basketball. This control mainly helps with injury prevention. All these requirements justify the extra training measures you must take to enhance speed and agility.
Strength, Speed, and Agility for Basketball Players
Strength is your body’s ability to perform different tasks that require energy expenditure. It is generally characterized by stronger bones and well-built muscles. During basketball you will need a significant amount of strength to cope with the challenging moments – typically the moments that involve physical contact with other players.
The next big thing in basketball is your speed. How quickly you can move across the court determines your chances to remain victorious in your play. This attribute can be achieved with specialized speed drills that help you sprint fast and outrun your opponents.
Perhaps the most essential characteristic of any basketball player is his agility. It is referred to as the ability to shift between different speeds and motions to judge the opponents and make a shot towards the goal. This also requires proper training drills.
Gain Strength for Basketball
As a basketball player, you can build the required amount of body strength through weight training. Yes, it is nothing more than that good old way of lifting weights. It will be a consistent workout regimen, so persistence is the key so that you can have a convenient transition from beginner to intermediate-level athleticism.
Here is a quick overview of exercises that you can perform to gain strength for the sport.
- Trap bar deadlift: Do you want to improve overall body strength, be sure to include a trap bar deadlift in your training regimen. This exercise blows energy into your hamstrings and glutes, which are the muscles that make you a faster and stronger person in the field. This exercise also works your quads, core, and gripping muscles, all of which get a good amount of usage during basketball.
- Push presses: A push press involves an overhead press and drives your legs to some extent. This exercise trains your triceps, shoulders, and core. It primarily strengthens your upper body.
- Bench presses: Although bench presses help build strength for basketball, athletes should avoid overdoing it.
- Squats: You want to strengthen your quads to have a great time on the basketball court. And for that, you can engage in squats. This exercise can also work your hamstrings and glutes if you go a bit deeper. This exercise also strengthens your core.
How to Become A Faster Basketball Player?
If you want to be a player who can make something out of nothing, you must be faster than the others. Watching other players fly by your left and right can be intimidating. So your best bet is to acquire good speed through consistent practice.
Here are a few exercises that can help you become a turbo athlete on the basketball court.
- Wall drive: The first thing you have to pay attention to is your body position. A wall drive is a specialized drill to help you form a body posture that supports acceleration. This exercise also develops proper mechanics used in driving the feet into the ground.
- A-Skip: This exercise helps you get dynamic control of your body posture. With this drill, you will be able to position your hip, knee, torso, and foot properly during a sprint.
- Straight leg bounds: With the help of this exercise, you can develop aggressive ground contact and hip drive. It also improves your muscles which help you move forward.
Increase Your Agility
If someone asked you: “what is the fastest way to reach point B from A?” Your answer would be “run straight and as fast as you can.” But this is usually not the case in basketball; you will need to take several curves to elude players to reach your intended point. This movement involved in this process is called agility, and it is a vital requirement of the basketball game at any level.
Here are some drills that can help you become an agile athlete on the court.
- Shuffling scoop: This exercise trains you to develop a wider stance and remain low to the ground when moving among the opponents.
- Single-leg lateral leap and hold: This drill helps you develop lateral control and power in your legs. The purpose of this exercise is to create the maximum lateral force and help your body manage that force.
- 2-4-6 Shuffle with a Stick: The purpose of this exercise is to help you perfect the acceleration and deceleration mechanics. The main point of this drill is to increase your ability to overcome the loss of balance when you shift between different speeds and give you more control over your body.
- 1-2 Crossover & Stick: This exercise also helps you accelerate and decelerate quickly.
Optimizing your Body Performance with VBT
Velocity-based training is a perfect way to enhance your physical ability to adjust to different speed requirements during basketball. You can perform several exercises in this regard, but it would be vital to discuss your plan with your trainer.
One of the exercises to help you improve your ability to jump and throw the ball is plyometric training. This exercise is based on the following three components:
- Drop jump: This jump allows you to transform elastic energy stored in your body into kinetic energy. The elastic energy comes from the descending phase of a jump, and kinetic energy is used to jump upward.
- Shock jumps: These jumps help store energy during the downstream phase. It involves jumping from a high surface to the lower one. The landing is generally followed by a squat position.
- Multiple jumps: Multiple jumps allow you to improve your ability to jump repeatedly.
Other VBT exercises to help you build speed and strength are the involving a barbell. Exercises like bench presses and deadlifts can be modified using VBT protocols to adjust speeds. VBT actively involves monitoring your moves during a workout. The device used for monitoring in this regard is a linear position transducer, which gives active feedback that gets interpreted by AI-based software.
Vitruve is a specialized linear position transducer that helps you measure your training speeds and provides real-time feedback. You and your athlete can use that feedback to optimize training performance and achieve different workout goals.