Top 10 Basketball Exercises You Can Do at Home – With Video Links

Yes, a natural endowment in height and arm length give you an edge in basketball. BUT, even with those, you’ll still struggle to keep up if you don’t have swiftness and good lateral movement.

LUCKILY, these are skills you can develop. How? With FOCUSED training.

If you asked any seasoned player or coach, they'd tell you that basketball exercises can give you injuries. Chronic back pain, sprained ankles, torn ligaments in the knee, and so on.

Focused workouts help you avoid these issues as well, by making your body stronger.

Outlined below are ten of the most important basketball workouts. The coolest thing is that you don’t need a gym to do these; you can do them from the comfort of your home.

NOTE: the workouts discussed below aren’t for basketballers only. Anyone looking to get physically fit will find them most helpful.

Dive in.

1. The Glute Bridge

To jump and do those explosive movements that are so needed in basketball, you need big gluteus muscles (the buttock muscles) that are strong and tight.  

How to do it:

Lie on the floor with your face up. Bend your legs at an angle of 90°, placing your feet flat on the floor.

Stretch out your arms and hold the floor to support yourself. Then, lift your hips off the ground till they’re forming a slope with your thighs. Don’t lift your uppermost part of the back or your feet.

Hold your hips up there for 10 seconds then move them down slowly.

Repeat the exercise 10 times.


2. Lateral Lunges

The shuffle is an offensive technique used in basketball. Lateral lunges are intended to mimic this technique, with the benefit being you get to open up the muscles in your hips and legs.

They also strengthen and define these muscles, especially the glutes and the hamstrings. On top of that, lateral lunges help you develop good motor patterns necessary for putting up a good offense/defense.

How to do it:

Start from a standing position. Now, step to the left and keep your feet straight.

Squat as low as you can on the left leg, resting your weight on it. Hold that position for three seconds, then stand, step to the right, and do the same.

Keep alternating like that till you’ve done 10 reps.


3. Lateral Bound

This is a great exercise aimed at helping you develop lateral explosive power in the legs. It helps you build your prowess in side to side movement and do those fast cuts.

How to do it:

Stand on your left foot. Balancing your weight on it, squat on the same leg and bend your right leg backwards in a lifted position. Your upper body should be bent forwards slightly, and your arms stretched outwards and backwards.

Jump to the right side and balance your body on the right foot, doing the same pose.


4. Goblet Squat

This one’s meant to help in developing power in the lower part of your body. Note that to do this exercise, you need a weight – something like a kettlebell or a dumbbell.

How to do it:

Begin by holding the kettlebell or dumbbell in your hands, against your chest. You can have a partner place the weight in your hands, or if you’re alone, you might find it easier to start from a sitting position.

Keep your feet about your shoulder width apart and begin squatting backwards, all the way till your elbows enter the space between your knees. Your hips should go to a level below your knees.

Also, try to keep your feet (including your toes) straight on the ground.


5. Fingertip Pushups

Tell you what? In basketball, finger grip strength is crucial. To dribble efficiently and hold onto that ball, you need strong hands and especially strong fingers.

Shooting effectively also requires you to have powerful fingers. And what’s the best exercise to make your fingers strong? Fingertip pushups of course!

How to do it:

Assume the normal pushup position, but instead of supporting your body with the palms of your hands, use your fingertips.

You can keep your arms open narrowly or widely.

Keep your torso straight, supporting your legs with the upper part of your feet.

Start with one set of 10 reps and gradually increase the number of sets.


6. Line Hops

The purpose of line hops is to help improve our awareness/perception of the motion and position of the body. Or, what the scientists call proprioception.

You see, basketball involves lots of movements – jumping, running, dribbling, shooting, lunging, and so on. The trouble is, if you do these movements without proper awareness of your body’s position, you’ll hurt yourself plenty of times.

So, doing line hops and developing that awareness helps you avoid injury when playing.

How to do it:

Stick an adhesive tape over the floor, running from one wall to the opposite wall. Test the tape first and ensure it’s easy to remove. Alternatively, you can tie a line running low in a straight line from one side to the other.

Hop quickly with both feet from one side to the other.

When you reach the other side, change your direction fast and continue hopping to the other side.

Once you’ve completed 20 jumps, you can take a breather before doing another set.


7. Squat Hops to Wall Squat

Ever seen a frog moving? Those are the movements you’re going to mimic with this exercise.

Well, you might not realize it, but you assume the squat position plenty of times, especially when playing the defense role. The thing about the squat position and basketball is that lower body strength is of great importance.

Squat hops are there to help you build that strength and stamina.

How to do it:

Bend your legs like you want to sit, moving down as much as you can. Make sure you’re supporting your lower body with the lower parts of your legs. Keep your back straight.

Perform 5 jumps forwards, 5 backwards, 5 to the left side, and 5 to the right side. All along, do everything to keep your body in that squatted position, raising a bit as you jump.


8. Heel Slide

Proper hip alignment, a critical factor in playing basketball, depends on the strength of the muscles in the hip region. These include the psoas, gemelli, glutes, and more.

To make the strong, perform the heel slide. It’s a relatively easy exercise, but it’s tricky at first, and you might do it wrong if you don’t follow proper guidelines.

How to do it:

Lie sideways against the wall, with your back against the wall, and your legs bent slightly.

Support your upper body with your arms. One hand holding the back of your head and the forearm of the other arm supporting your upper body.

Tilt your upper leg out. The foot should tilt upwards.

From that position, slide your heel upwards on the wall. Keep the leg bent as you go.

Slide it up slowly, as high as you can, then bring down again, touching the other heel slightly before moving it up again.

Repeat that till you’ve completed 10 reps, then switch.

Note: to switch, you’ll need to do it on the opposite wall so you can exercise the other leg.


9. Pullups

When doing a good jumpshot, you experience a full extension on your body, especially the arms, shoulders, and back.

Pullups are meant to imitate that full extension. They reduce tension in your body so your muscles can extend efficiently without strain.

They also improve grip strength and reinforce the back muscles.

First, you got to get a good pullup bar and install it. Some can be installed at the doorway, at the wall, and so on. Some have heavy supports and just need to be placed on a steady ground without any drilling.

Whatever model you choose, it’s up to you, but these suggestions might help:

How to do it:

Hang from the bar with your hands, keeping your back straight.

Assume a position such that you feel the main muscles that are activated are the back muscles and not the arm muscles.

Activate your shoulders and back, pulling them down before pulling with your arms to lift your body.

Go up all the way until your chest is in contact with the bar.

Move down slowly and repeat.


10. The jump rope

And last on our list – the fun exercise; the jump rope.

The jump rope has a myriad of benefits in store for you as a basketballer. It improves coordination and breathing efficiency, decreases foot and ankle injury, burns calories, and offers you many other benefits that will help you become a better player.

How to do it:

We think it’s a totally straightforward and intuitive process. You just hold the rope behind you and swing it to the front, all the way to make a full revolution, jumping as it crosses your legs.

Do 5 sets of 15 reps each, taking a breather between sets.


Over To You…

If you’re a serious basketballer, incorporating these workouts into your exercise routine will benefit you greatly. You’ll grow stronger, faster, more aware of your body’s position, and fit to do the perfect jumpshot. Moreover, your body will grow less susceptible to injury.

Remember, these aren’t for basketballers alone. Anyone looking to develop physically and become healthier will undoubtedly find the exercises useful.

Best part? Minimal equipment needed. So, you can do basketball exercises at home.

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