Thursday, October 17, 2013

Basketball Conditioning Workout

Basketball requires a great deal of conditioning, along with many different planes of movement.  To be honest, in my opinion I think elite basketball players are the most conditioned athletes.  Why you ask?  Think about the amount of running (forward, backward, lateral), twisting (side to side, low to high and high to low), jumping (off 1 foot and off 2 feet), catching and throwing (passing) and all (or most of the time) while controlling a ball.  Their hand-eye coordination is tremendous.  These are just a few reasons why I feel that basketball players are the most conditioned.  

Sure there are athletes in different sports that are fitter, stronger, more powerful, and even faster, but the overall percentage of athletes in basketball vs. any other sport I feel is greater when discussing the term "conditioning".  Also keep in mind this is only MY opinion.

Here is a  sample of a full-body conditioning workout, by Josh Staph, that the University of North Carolina uses.  They use medicine balls during their warm-up which are great for training the body in 3 dimensional movements (forward and back, side to side, and rotating/twisting, and for training the small muscles along the spine.  

MedBall Circuit - 10 exercises, 20 reps each using as 8-12lb ball.  The Tar Heels repeat this circuit 4 times, I would recommend starting with 2 rounds and then increase as your fitness improves.

-Circles - begin by holding med ball above head.  move arms in a circle and do both directions.

-Wood Chopper - hold med ball in front of chest, then rotate towards one side and bring ball to outside of hips, then immediately swing the ball in a diagonal motion up toward the opposite shoulder.

-Side to Side Throw - Stand facing perpendicular to a wall.  Holding med ball at outside hip with arms extended, forcefully throw ball against wall.  Repeat on other side for same # of reps.

-Overhead Throw - Holding ball above head, throw ball against wall in a chopping motion.  Keep abs engaged.

-Russian Twists - Lean back at a 45 degree angle.  Holding ball in front of chest, rotate side to side keeping arms extended.

-Chest Pass - Face a wall holding ball in front of chest.  Keeping legs slightly bent, throw ball from chest against wall, catch and repeat.

-Sit up Throw - Lying on the ground with knees bent and feet flat, sit up and throw against wall.  Catch and repeat.

-Toe Touch - Lying on ground on back, hold med ball above head with arms extended.  Sit up and try to touch toes with ball.

After the warm up/med ball series, athletes would then go through a strength workout.  Depending on fitness level and strength training experience, athletes would do either a bodyweight circuit, or for the more advanced, a barbell complex circuit.   I would recommend starting with the bodyweight circuit and once you can complete 3-4 rounds, move to the more advanced barbell circuit.

 Bodyweight Circuit - complete all exercises with minimal rest and then rest 60-90 sec between rounds.  Each exercises has a specified number of reps, but you can always adjust based on time or fitness level.

-Push ups  x10
-Sit ups  x20
-Squats  x20
-Pull ups  x as many as possible
-Walking Lunges  x10ea leg
-Chin ups  x as many as possible
-Walking Lunge with Twist  x10
-Crunches  x20
-Back Extension  x10
-Close-Grip Push ups  x10

In an effort to keep the HR elevated during the workout and improve "work capacity" (the ability to work, tolerate the work, and recover) the Tar Heels do the barbell complex.  Complexes can make for a great "finisher" at the end of a workout boosting your Excess-Post-Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) leading to more calories being burned for several hours after a workout.

Barbell Complex - For theses exercises, select a weight that is roughly 40-50% of your bodyweight and repeat each exercise for 6 reps without putting the bar down.

-Upright Row
-Good Morning - Stand with bar resting on back of shoulders, bend forward at the hips keeping back straight and weight on heels.  Stand back up.
-Squat + Press - Standing with bar resting on back of shoulders, squat down keeping wright on heels and then drive bar back up overhead
-Bent-Over Row

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