In the competitive basketball climate of the 21st century, weight lifting has become an integral part of the game as it has grown to attract players that are bigger, stronger and faster than earlier generations’ players. Employing a good weight-lifting routine is an effective way to develop and strengthen muscles that are used on the hardwood and between the lines.
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One of the more obvious muscles used to play basketball include the leg muscles, which play a pivotal role in the jumping process. Jumping is a key aspect of the game and is crucial when rebounding or shooting. You can work any of an assortment of weight-lifting exercises, including calf raises, squats and leg presses, into your routine that target the leg muscles that come into play while jumping. Calf raises can be done using your body weight or a leg press machine and are an effective way to strengthen these muscles. Squats and deadlifts target the thighs, glutes and lower back, which help provide the proper elevation needed to play the game. Consistent and dedicated amounts of time should be put into these types of weight lifts for you to achieve the results you need for the court.
While the leg muscles can be described as the propulsion behind the elevating aspects of basketball, the arms can be likened to the target shooting devices on a jet fighter. The arms are used in many aspects of the game, including rebounding, shooting and dribbling. Strengthening and toning the arm and shoulder muscles, such as the biceps, triceps, forearms and deltoids, will help you become more efficient at the arm-centric aspects of the game. Curls, bench presses, pull downs and front and lateral raises are good weight lifting exercises that will help develop these critical basketball-playing muscles. Just as you put a lot of time into the shooting and rebounding aspects of your game, so you should also devote time in the weight room to work on the tools that put your skills to use.
The core muscles include the abdominal, hip, gluteus and lower back muscles, each of which play an important role in playing basketball. From sudden changes in direction to bumping and grinding for position under the rim, the core muscles are used often during a basketball game. Any of several weight lifting exercises that target the core muscles will prove to be effective in your training routine, including kneeling jump squats and dead lifts. Equipment-free exercises can also contribute to a stronger core, including situps and crunches.
Technically, any activity that requires your muscles to lift weight, your body weight included, can be defined as a weight-lifting exercise. With this in mind, jumping rope is another weight lifting activity that can produce many benefits associated with playing basketball, including improved leg strength, improved coordination and increased stamina. Jumping rope is a fully body exercise that is most effective when used to supplement weight training. When beginning a jump rope routine, focus on accuracy over speed, but strive to improve speed as you build accuracy. Each of the weight lifting exercises you adopt into your routine will produce a variety of on-court benefits, including increased speed and explosiveness.