South Africa's basketball community

Day 17: Only the strong survive

By on September 17, 2010 in Resources

This article is part of the series “30 days to being a better basketball player“.

Basketball is probably not the first sport that comes to mind when you think of strength. Weight-lifting; boxing; even rugby are more likely to be ahead on that list.

"Dwight Howard" by Keith Allison, via flickr

Yet being strong gives a basketball player a clear advantage on the court. I still maintain that basketball produces some of the greatest athletes our planet has ever seen, and athleticism definitely includes being strong.

You might not be blessed with the body of a Dwight Howard or Lebron James, but you can still make the best of what you have and take your game to new levels by getting serious about getting stronger, and doing regular strength training.

Some of the clear benefits of strength training you should experience:

  • Increased bone, muscle, tendon and ligament strength, to lessen the likelihood of serious injuries and improve your body’s ability to recover quickly.
  • Improved muscle explosiveness, allowing you to surprise opponents with your speed and strength.
  • Reduced body fat percentage (along with a decent eating plan) thereby improving your overall athletic ability.
  • Increased strength to help you take and keep position on the court against opponents.

"Pushup" by Frederic Mancosu, via flickr

If none of that appeals to you then don’t worry about it, but if you’d like to do that, how about making sure you include strength training in your regular weekly schedule.

Exercises can vary from the basics, such as push-ups and sit-ups, to more intensive weight training routines or plyometric exercises (my personal favourite).

First decide to what level you need to improve your strength, and then plan accordingly depending on the resources available to you (for example, using resistance training if you don’t have gym equipment readily available).

These exercises can be built into your team practice routines or you can do them yourself. Either way, you’re sure to see an improvement in your game by building up your strength. Don’t fool yourself – it will take time and patience to do this properly, but the results will definitely be worthwhile!

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” – Mahatma Gandhi

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