Scratch’s Best Basketball Inspired Exercises

Dwight HowardJust watching basketball can be exhausting. Those 40-plus minutes of action see the players sprinting across the court, leaping, dodging, and feverishly moving non-stop. It’s no wonder NBA players are among some of the fittest men in the world. So let’s take a gander at some of these ultra-in-shape guys:

    1.) Kobe Bryant – The NBA star is arguably one of the best basketball players of all time. Now in his 14th season, Kobe is lean and muscular after bringing basketball legend Michael Jordan’s former Trainer, Tim Grover, on the road to help him with his training. “The key is to push yourself to a level where you’re hurting,” says Bryant.

    2.) Lebron James – The 24 years old, Lebron is a machine. It’s that simple. He looks more like a linebacker than a small forward, at 6’8″ and 250 lbs. Lebron does yoga and Pilates to endure the rigors of his sport. “I’ve been blessed with a lot of physical talent and a strong body,” Lebron recently told The Plain Dealer. “I’ve focused on working hard to maximize those gifts.

    3.) Dwight Howard – Coming in at a staggering 6’11”, Dwight Howard is not a man to be trifled with. Put Dwight Howard on the football field, and he would catch three touchdowns per game. Put him in center field, and the fence just got a few inches higher. Put him in goal and watch David Beckham cry. Seldom do we see an athlete with Howard’s combination of size and leaping ability. He is able to look down in the hoop when dunking and block shots at the top of the backboard. Howard continues to get stronger, but it doesn’t seem to come at the expense of his athleticism or body control.

So how do these guys maintain their demigod physiques? Well, it’s safe to say that they’re working out more than just the time they spend in games. The MBA regimen has those athletes working out and practicing their sport every single day. If you’re not up for the kind of sprinting, bench pressing, full-body workouts that players like Kobe put themselves through in the name of the game, there are still a number of easy, every day exercises that can help get you in the basketball spirit.

    1.) Vertical Leap Exercises – vertical leap exercises can help your fitness and leaping ability, improving both your basketball game and overall health. Before you start the exercises, warm up your muscles with jogging, running, or jump rope. For a good vertical leap exercise, slowly bend at the knees while keeping your back straight. Crouch down quickly, almost touching your bottom to the ground, then explode upwards as high as you can. The moment you land, immediately crouch and launch back up again. Do this 15 times, and when you can, increase to 20, 30, etc.

    2.) Calf Raises – leg training is also very important for basketball players. To perform a calf raise, stand normally with your feet shoulder width apart. Slowly raise your heels, steadily, until you’re standing on your tiptoes. Balance for a few seconds, and then slowly lower yourself back down. Don’t use your hands at all, except to maintain balance. This will work out your calf muscles – a very important muscle if you’re going to be playing basketball.

    3.) Biceps Training – As you can imagine, developing strong biceps are an integral part of basketball training. Shooting the ball requires power, precision, and skill. Bicep training will give you more control over the ball and more power behind your shots. To perform a basic bicep exercise – the hammer curl – stand up with a dumbbell in each hand with your hands at your sides. Keeping your knees slightly bent and your palms facing in towards your body, curl the right dumbbell up along your side towards your shoulders. As you begin to lower the right dumbbell, start to raise the left dumbbell in the same manner. Do this back and forth until your biceps are properly worked out.

With these simple exercises, you may not be giving Dwight Howard a run for his money, but you’ll certainly be on your way towards a better game and a stronger body!

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