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Proper Conditioning For Basketball
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Proper Conditioning for Basketball

Many people do not understand the complexities of conditioning for basketball. Basketball is unlike many other sports because it requires utilization of both energy systems. Conditioning strategies for basketball parallel closely with soccer

In basketball, there is constant explosive movement combined with periods of jogging up and down the court. Players must have the ability to explode in both a linear and non-linear direction. Linear speed is necessary for getting up and down the court faster, while non-linear is necessary for dribbling around defenders or actually playing defense.

Some may argue that basketball is primarily aerobic in nature, when in fact the majority of movements within the sport are anaerobic. These anaerobic movements require strength within the fast twitch muscle fibers.

It’s undeniable that the sport requires aerobic conditioning for the simple fact that players must be able to move up and down the court anywhere between 30-48 minutes per game. There is no dead time in basketball except during timeouts, so aerobic endurance is necessary. Constant movement also gives way to the possibility of muscular fatigue due to lactic acid build up. This is why developing muscular endurance is also an important element to this sport’s conditioning.

With all of that being said, every basketball conditioning regime should be designed to:

  • increase both anaerobic and aerobic conditioning.
  • develop better non-linear and linear explosive movement.
  • increase muscular endurance.

Below, I will explain some exercises that are the most effective for achieving these goals within your conditioning regime.

Interval Training

Since basketball requires both energy systems, interval training is undoubtedly the most effective way to train. Interval training can be practiced in a variety of ways including on a track, court, or stationary bike. One of the best interval training techniques is performed on a track. Simply go to your local track, sprint the curved side of the track and jog the long side or vice versa. Perform about 6-8 laps for maximum cardio training.

Suicides

Suicides have stood the test of time as a basketball conditioning exercise, and for good reason. This exercise will not only train both energy systems, but it will effectively increase muscular endurance. It also increases non-linear explosion because of the sudden change of direction necessary with each small sprint. Once you can successfully complete 4 or 5 suicides, then you will have achieved a high level of conditioning.

There are literally hundreds of different basketball conditioning exercises you can use, but there are also several you should avoid. Avoid prolonged aerobic conditioning such as long distance running. This training is not specific to basketball, and can actually be detrimental to your success.


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