Basketball conditioning may not be a player’s favorite drill, but it is crucial to their on-court success. Being in top shape allows you to play at a high level. While many may see conditioning as a hassle, the truth is there are many of ways to get yourself in shape without having to drag yourself to the gym. Here are five basketball conditioning drills you can do on your own to get into great shape.
Jumping rope provides great health benefits, while also improving your explosiveness off the ground. A great source of cardio, jumping rope increases your heart rate and provides you with the same cardiovascular benefits as running. From a basketball stand point? Jumping rope helps elevate (no pun intended) your leaping ability. With quick jumps, you can increase your explosiveness off the ground, and finally find yourself playing above the rim, or grabbing those rebounds you seemed to be just missing.
Possibly the easiest conditioning drill on the list, wall sits help strengthen your lower body. By sitting against a wall at a 90 degree angle, your lower body muscles are forced to support your body. Strengthening these lower body muscles benefits you as a basketball player in two ways: it increases your jumping ability and also makes sitting down in a defensive stance easier. Wall sits are a great, weightless exercise to strengthen your body.
This is the only drill that requires two people to complete, and all that is needed is two tennis balls. To start, have one person stand in a defensive, athletic stance and your partner five feet in front of him with a tennis ball in each hand. With an outstretched reach, the person with the tennis balls drops either of the balls, resulting in the other to accelerate forward and catch the ball before it bounces twice. This drill helps reaction time as well as speed and acceleration. As you become more comfortable with the drill, you can increase the distance between you and the other person.
A classic conditioning drill, and not always a fan favorite, defensive slides is always a sure way to get you into basketball shape. Starting on one side of the paint, simply slide back and forth across the paint: easy right? While the drill itself is simple, it is important that you focus on staying in a low defensive stance, and pushing yourself to go as fast as you can for a set time. One way to continually push yourself is to set goals, such as 40 touches in 30 seconds. Setting goals always gives you something to aim for.
Full Court Lay Ups
A drill with a little more to it than just ordinary full court sprints, full court lay ups let’s you condition yourself with the ball in your hands. Start at the baseline and speed dribble down the length of the court, finish with a lay up at the other end. Then, rip the ball out and immediately head back down the other way. Go continuously for a minute and see how many lay ups you can get in; as always you should always push yourself to beat your personal best!
No gym, no problem. These five basketball conditioning exercises will get your heart pumping, your lungs breathing, and ultimately get you into basketball shape. The offseason is a time for staying in shape as well as getting better. Happy conditioning!