Improve Your Game With 5 Basketball Stretches

May 5, 2012

Must See Basketball Videos

Elite basketball players are incredibly strong and explosive—which is why they are able to effortlessly drive to the hoop. Another quality that sets them apart is their ability to move in all directions.

Basketball is never played in a straight line. You must be able to move in every direction around the court. This is particularly important when you're playing in traffic around the basket.

The key to developing this important skill is mobility in the spine and hips. It enables you to turn without hindrance so you can move into position for a shot or swiftly change direction to blow by a defender.

Focus on improving your mobility and flexibility with drills that mimic basketball skills. Perform the following basketball stretches so you can move around the court like a pro.

Basketball Stretches

Split-Stance Spine Rotation
Benefits:
Improves spine rotation
Basketball-Specific Benefits: Driving to basket, changing direction, defensive position

  • Assume split stance with right leg forward and hands on back of head
  • Rotate torso to right
  • Return to center and repeat
  • Repeat for specified reps; perform in opposite direction

Sets/Reps: 1x10 each side

Split-Stance Side Lean
Benefits:
Improves spine rotation
Basketball-Specific Benefits:
Driving to basket, changing direction

  • Assume split stance with right leg forward and hands on back of head
  • Bend torso to right
  • Return to center and repeat
  • Repeat for specified reps; perform set in opposite direction

Sets/Reps: 1x10 each side

Wall Lat Stretch
Benefits:
Stretches back muscles
Basketball-Specific Benefits:
End of jumping motion, defensive position

  • Stand facing wall, about two to three feet away
  • Lean forward and place hands on wall; keep body in straight line
  • Step back approximately one foot with right foot and drop head between arms
  • Step forward with right foot and raise head to return to start position
  • Repeat for specified reps; perform set with opposite leg

Sets/Reps: 1x10 each leg

Ball Quad Stretch
Benefits:
Stretches hip flexors and quads, improves hip mobility
Basketball-Specific Benefits: Sprinting, changing direction

  • Stand facing wall, about one foot away
  • Place small med mall between knees and squeeze
  • Grab right ankle with right hand and pull foot to butt; place left hand on wall for balance
  • Hold for specified time; perform set with opposite leg

Sets/Duration: 1x25 seconds each leg

Hamstring Rocker
Benefits:
Stretches hamstrings, improves hip mobility
Basketball-Specific Benefits:
Sprinting, changing direction

  • Assume split stance
  • Bend over and place hands on ground on both sides of front foot
  • Straighten front leg to raise hips
  • Bend front leg and drive hips toward ground
  • Repeat for specified reps; perform set with opposite leg

Sets/Reps: 1x10 each leg

Photo:  lakers.topbuzz.com

Courtney Campbell is the owner of Train to Ball and the head strength and conditioning coach for boys basketball at Gainesville High School in Gainesville, Fla. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Florida, where he served as a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach, working with basketball, golf and tennis athletes. Follow him on Twitter or at Traintoball.com.

Topics: BASKETBALL
Courtney Campbell
- Courtney Campbell is the owner of Train to Ball and the head strength and conditioning coach for boys basketball at Gainesville High School (Gainesville, Fla.)...
Courtney Campbell
- Courtney Campbell is the owner of Train to Ball and the head strength and conditioning coach for boys basketball at Gainesville High School (Gainesville, Fla.)...
Must See
RGIII Talks About His Legacy
Views: 25,543,650
NFL Wide Receiver Randall Cobb Outworks Everyone
Views: 28,434,823
Dwyane Wade Leads by Example
Views: 6,692,967

Featured Videos

Get in Shape for Baseball With Austin Adams' Metabolic Conditioning Circuit Views: 2,339
A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce Views: 7,008
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 4: Skill Training Views: 326,774
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Paul Rabil's Box Jumps
Views: 848,643
Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,308,963
Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 883,074
Abby Wambach Will Do Whatever It Takes
Views: 4,501,997
Dwyane Wade Jumps Onto a 42" Box
Views: 10,741,081

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

How to Release Muscle Knots and Trigger Points

Trigger points or knots in your muscles can interfere with the normal muscle and joint movement. When left untreated, these areas will disrupt local...

Reducing Tight Hamstrings without Stretching for Hockey Players

The Yoga Warm-Up for Basketball Players

How Hockey Goalies Can Get More Flexible for a Better Butterfly

The Ultimate Pitcher's Warm-Up: 4 Shoulder Exercises with Bands

Stay Pain-Free With These Advanced Stretches

Dig Like a Pro: Exercises for Volleyball Mobility

Improve Your Balance with Stability Ball Exercises

Best Exercises for Improving Joint Mobility

Pre-Workout Warm-Up Steps You Can't Afford to Skip

3 Exercises That Fix Common Baseball Hip Mobility Issues

Animal Flow Scorpion Reach for Injury Prevention

Increase Your Flexibility Without Stretching

Go the Distance With This Baseball Yoga Warm-Up

Fundamentals of a Pre-Workout Warm-Up

3 Yoga Twists to Keep You on the Field and Improve Your Game

Are Tight Hips Slowing You Down?

Why You Shouldn't Stretch 24 Hours Before a Game

The Most Important Muscle You've Never Heard Of

You're Doing It Wrong: The Warm-Up

Why and When You Need to Change Your Pre-Game Warm-Up Routine

Improve Your Squat With 6 At-Home Hip Flexor Mobility Exercises

Build a More Powerful Golf Swing With These Mobility Drills

These 9 Exercises Will Improve Your Hip Mobility

Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises for a Safe, Effective Workout

Must-Have Additions to Your Baseball Stretching Routine

Find Your Effective Pregame Basketball Warm-Up

The Best Stretching Exercise for You

Green Bay Packers Discover Football's Fountain of Youth

Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises Done the Right Way

Add Warrior Poses to Your In-Season Training

3 Tips To Make Your Stretching Routine More Effective

Balance Exercises That Are Game-Changers

Mobility Training for Hockey Goalies

How to Fix 4 Common Tight Areas in Your Body

Flexibility for Cross Country From the Ground Up

6 Thoracic Spine Exercises to Improve Mobility

The Importance of Recovery Workouts

Optimizing Energy Transfer in Your Lacrosse Shot