A well-rounded basketball training program incorporates preventative measures to ward off injuries that are prevalent in the sport. This is critical to your success on the court and to have a long and healthy career. (Create the perfect routine with The Keys to Basketball Training.)
Youth basketball players commonly sustain lower-leg injuries, hand injuries and concussions. Therefore, you should focus your injury prevention programs on these areas of the body. Fortunately, investing time in your health during your training can prevent these injuries, or at least reduce their severity. Incorporate the following exercises into your basketball-training program to help stave off injury.
This exercise prevents a loss of ankle dorsiflexion (toe to knee movement) from forcing you to wear restrictive bracing and mid- or high-top sneakers. A loss of dorsiflexion will typically trigger compensatory knee valgus and hip internal rotation as well as foot pronation.
Sets/Reps: 2x15-20 each leg
This exercise establishes pelvic control and prevents internal hip rotation to prevent knee injuries. It also serves as a valuable adjunct to horizontal pressing performance, as it encourages a rigid pelvis and leg drive.
Pair with: Barbell or Dumbbell Bench
This exercise strengthens the muscles of the hand and forearm to improve grip strength. Basketball players are often plagued by wrist, hand and finger injuries throughout the course of the season, so grip work is essential.
As it pertains to improving performance, a stronger grip usually equates to better ball handling and fewer turnovers. In the gym, a stronger grip recruits more muscle fibers during lifts, helping increase your overall strength and size.
Pair with: lower-body, core or mobility exercises (without holding a weight)
Sets/Duration: 2x15-30 seconds
Given the speed at which basketball is played, contact to the head is possible at any time. It's important to strengthen your neck muscles so they can absorb force and limit the amount transferred to your head. This may not prevent a concussion outright, but it may limit its severity.
In addition, training your neck will improve your posture. Taller athletes tend to look down frequently, creating tight and weak muscles. Neck exercises develop strength around the entire neck, eliminating imbalances that can create postural issues.
Sets/Reps: 2-3×10-15 each side
Sets/Reps: 2x8-12 each exercise