USA Basketball's Stretch Band Warm-Up

April 1, 2008 | Featured in the April 2008 Issue

"Stretching is something to warm up and get your body loose before you challenge it [with] weightlifting, cardio or agility," says two-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Smith. Dave Richardson, strength and conditioning coach for Smith and Ohio State men's basketball, offers four stretch band warm-ups you can use to wake up your hips and the surrounding muscles before every intense workout. Perform 3 sets of 5 reps with both legs for every drill.

Quad Stretch
• Lie on left side; place band around top of right shoe, and hold ends with both hands over right shoulder
• Bend knee, bringing right heel back toward butt as far as possible
• Repeat on right side

Hamstring Kick and Lock
• Lie on ground; place band around bottom of one foot, holding ends with both hands
• Swing leg with band around so it is at 90-degree position to other leg
• Apply pressure on band, then slightly bend knee; kick back out and lock knee again

Hip Roll
• Lie on ground; place band around bottom of right foot
• Swing leg out to 9 o'clock position [3 o'clock when performing with left leg]; hold until well stretched
• Roll right leg/hip to 4 o'clock position [8 o'clock when performing with left leg], maintaining pressure on band
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