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Train Your Upper Body With an At-Home Basketball Workout

October 5, 2012 | Courtney O. Campbell

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Even without access to a gym, you can improve your lower-body and upper-body strength. Strength is the missing link preventing many from becoming better basketball players. Upper-body strength allows you to stand your ground under the boards, fend off defenders as you drive to the basket, make your passes quicker and faster and increase your shooting range. Elevate your game by performing this at-home basketball workout for the upper body.

At-Home Basketball Workout Guidelines

Perform one exercise block at a time in superset fashion. Start with Block 1 and do one set of the first exercise, then a set of the second exercise, rest and repeat. Perform each exercise three times, then move on to Block 2.

Block 1

T-Shoulder Raises
This shoulder exercise helps you keep proper upper-body posture and strength while in your defensive stance, jump shot, vertical jump, rebound box-out and offensive post-up.

  • Lie on stomach
  • Straighten arms out to sides to form T with body
  • Raise thumbs toward ceiling and squeeze shoulder blades
  • Lower to start and repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 3x15

Push-Ups
This exercise improves strength in the arms, shoulders, core and chest, which will help with rebounding box-out, offensive post-up and engaging an opponent while dribbling.

  • Assume plank position with hands slightly wider than and underneath shoulders
  • Form straight line from head to heels
  • Move feet to about shoulder-width apart
  • Lower chest toward ground, keeping abdominals engaged
  • Return to starting position
  • Repeat for specified sets

Sets/Reps: 3x10-15

Block 2

Y-Shoulder Raises
A middle trap exercise that helps you keep proper upper body posture and strength while in your defensive stance, jump shot, vertical jump, close out, rebound box-out and offensive post-up.

  • Lie on stomach
  • Straighten arms above head to form Y shape with body
  • Point thumbs toward sky
  • Raise hands towards sky, hold for a beat and return hands to starting position
  • Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 3x15

Prone Towel Pull Down
A back exercise that helps you keep proper upper-body posture and strength while in your defensive stance, jump shot and vertical jump.

  • Lie on stomach
  • Slightly raise chest
  • Grab a towel with both hands above head
  • Pull towel apart and extend arms out straight
  • Pull towel towards chest while bending elbows
  • Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 3x12-15

Block 3

Towel Y-Wall Slides
A middle trap exercise that helps you keep proper upper-body posture and strength while in your defensive stance, jump shot, vertical jump, close out, rebound box-out and offensive post-up.

  • Assume tall kneeling position near wall
  • Grab towel with hands about shoulder-width apart
  • While pulling towel apart, slide hands up wall by straightening arms
  • Lower towel to start by bending elbows
  • Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 3x12-15

Shoulder (Tricep) Dips
Improves shoulder stability and strength; improves arm strength to help you fight off defenders while rebounding and posting up.

  • Place hands on chair behind you about shoulder-width apart
  • Lower butt toward ground by bending elbows
  • Adjust legs for more or less resistance
  • Push up to starting position by straightening arms
  • Lower to ground and repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 3x10-15

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