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Train Your Lower Body With an At-Home Basketball Workout

May 29, 2012

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Even if you lack access to a gym or weight room, you can still get in a solid lower-body workout. Training these powerful muscles enables you to improve your physical strength and eliminate weakness—and you don't  have to leave your house.

Increasing your lower-body strength and mobility will expand your basketball game. For example, have you envied Kobe Bryant's ability to change directions? He's able to drive to the baseline, stop, elevate and shoot without losing balance or control. All of these skills are derived from his leg strength. Performing this at-home basketball workout will help you hone the same skills, making you a better player. Increase your ability to start, stop, maintain balance and move with a lower body basketball workout. The best part? All the exercises can easily be done anywhere.

At-Home Basketball Workout Guidelines

Perform one exercise block at a time in superset fashion. Start with Block 1 and do one set of exercise A, then B and so on. Perform each exercise three times, then move on to Block 2.

Block 1

Squats
This tried-and-true exercise improves lower-body strength while also increasing hip mobility. The strength gained from Squats will help with your defensive stance, closeout, jump shot, vertical jump and rebound box-out.

How-To:

  • Assume athletic stance with bar on back and feet slightly wider than hip width
  • Keeping back straight and knees behind toes, sink hips back and lower into squat until thighs are parallel to ground
  • Extend hips and knees to drive up out of squat position
  • Repeat for specified time

Sets/Duration: 3x30 seconds

Feet-Elevated Hip Bridge
This exercise will improve strength in your hips, which will help with speed, quickness, agility and ability to change direction. Also, it helps reduce lower back pain.

How-To:

  • Lie on back with knees bent and heels on bench, table or chair and arms on ground to the sides
  • Extend hips to raise butt off floor to form straight line from knees to shoulders; keep ankles flexed toward shins
  • Hold for one second before lowering
  • Repeat for specified duration

Sets/Duration: 3x30 seconds

Block 2

Split-Squat
This lower-body strength exercise increases hip mobility and improves offensive basketball skills like driving to basket, single-leg vertical jumps and layups.

How-To:

  • Assume staggered stance with bar on back
  • Bend front knee to lower into lunge until thigh is parallel to ground; keep front knee behind toes
  • Extend hip and knee to drive up to start position; repeat for specified reps
  • Perform set with opposite leg

Sets/Duration: 3x30 seconds

Shoulder-Elevated, Single-Leg Hip Bridge
This exercise increases your overall speed, agility, change of direction and ability to drive to the basket.

How To:

  • Sit on ground with upper back against bench, knees bent and right foot on ground
  • Squeeze glutes and extend hips toward ceiling to form bridge, with right knee at 90-degree angle and left knee at 90-degree angle in air
  • Hold top position for one count and return to start position
  • Repeat for specified reps; perform set with opposite leg

Sets/Duration: 3x30 seconds

Block 3

Clamshell Exercise
This one improves adductor muscle strength, which improves balance and side-to-side movement, translating to a better defensive slide, pivoting, posting, vertical jump and first-step quickness.

How To:

  • Lie on ground on left side with hips and knees bent at 45-degree angle; keep knees and ankles together
  • Open hips and raise right knee as high as possible keeping feet together; do not move pelvis and keep left leg on floor
  • Repeat for specified duration
  • Perform set with opposite leg

Sets/Duration: 3x30 seconds

Single-Leg Balance Wall Touches
A sense of balance and body control are essential for competing at the highest level in basketball. This exercise will improve your dribbling balance, ability to change directions, first-step quickness, deceleration and defensive closeout.

  • Assume single-leg stance with right leg on ground and wall about one foot in front
  • Raise right hand straight overhead
  • Extend ankle to rise up onto toes and reach up and touch wall as high as possible
  • Lower to ground and repeat for specified duration
  • Perform set with opposite leg

Sets/Duration: 3x30 seconds

Block 4

World's Greatest Stretch
As the name states, this is one of the best stretches you can perform. It improves hip mobility and overall flexibility in the torso, all the way up to the chest. Incorporate this move into your training to see improvement in your balance, speed and agility.

  • Assume exaggerated lunge position with right leg in front
  • Reach down and place right hand on ground at instep of right leg, open up chest and reach left arm to the sky; hold for one second
  • Rotate torso and place left hand on ground at instep of right foot, open up chest and reach right arm to the sky; hold for one second
  • Continue in alternating fashion for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 3x5 each way

Use this video as a guide for your home lower body workout. It offers multiple options for the Single-Leg Balance Wall Touches, so choose the one you like.

Photo:  tcpalm.com

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.)...
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