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Basketball Flexibility Routine

April 6, 2013 | Z Altug

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Basketball trains the body to be asymmetrical. Players predominantly  shoot with one hand and jump off one leg. That's why single limb exercises have become the preferred training method for hoopsters at all levels.

Developing symmetry throughout the body eliminates muscle imbalances, corrects postural faults and helps prevent injuries, prolonging your career. (See RDL Variations for Strength and Flexibility.)

Try the following stretching drills to promote flexibility in both your upper and lower body.

Upper Body Flexibility

Sets/Duration: 3x15-30 seconds

Yawn

  • Stand with your arms by your sides, palms facing forward
  • Stretch your arms back (first position)
  • Bring your arms to shoulder level with your palms facing the sides (second position)
  • Raise your arms overhead with your hands facing the ceiling (third position)

Hands behind back

  • Stand with your hands behind your back
  • Gently reach as high as you can and hold

Hands behind neck

  • Stand with your hands behind your neck
  • Gently reach as low as you can and hold

Wrist flexor

  • Stand with your palms together and elbows out to the sides at chest height
  • Press your palms outward, keeping your fingers clasped together

Wrist extensor

  • Stand with your arms at your sides
  • Rotate your arms slightly, curl your wrists up toward your palms and try to touch your fingers to your wrists

Lower Body Flexibility

Sets/Duration: 3x30-60 seconds

Squat

  • Hold on to a solid object (like a door)
  • Squat down to where your butt is close to your heels
  • Keep your heels flat on the floor and your upper body leaning slightly forward

Hip flexor

  • Hold on to a solid object (like a stair railing)
  • Place one foot on the second step and the other foot behind you on the floor
  • Keep both feet pointed forward and your upper body straight
  • Slowly lean forward at the hips to feel a stretch in the front of your hips and calves
  • Repeat on the other side

Hip external rotation

  • Sit in a sturdy chair
  • Lift and rotate one leg and rest the outside of your ankle on top of your opposite knee
  • Place one hand on your ankle to keep it in place, and gently push with the other hand to rotate the leg
  • Feel a stretch in your inner hip region
  • Repeat on the other side

Hip internal rotation

  • Sit in a sturdy chair
  • Lift and rotate one leg and rest the outside of your ankle on top of your opposite knee
  • Place both hands on the outer part of the lifted leg and pull your knee toward your opposite shoulder
  • Feel a stretch in your outer hip region
  • Repeat on the other side

Hamstrings

  • Hold onto a solid object (like a stairway railing) and place one heel on the second step
  • Keep both feet pointed forward
  • Slightly lean forward at your hip (do not round your back)
  • Feel a stretch in the back of your leg
  • Repeat on the other side

Quads

  • Hold on to a solid object (like a sturdy chair)
  • Bend your knee to where you can place the front of your foot on the seat of a chair
  • Keep your upper body straight
  • To increase the stretch on your thigh, either flatten your back (do a posterior pelvic tilt) or place your foot on a higher surface
  • Repeat on the other side

Foot arch

  • Hold onto a solid object (such as a sturdy chair) and stand on one leg
  • Slowly lift the heel of your opposite foot to where there is some pressure on the great toes and forefoot
  • Feel a stretch in your arch
  • Repeat on the other side

Torso Flexibility

Sets/Duration: 3x5-10 seconds

Look over the shoulder

  • Stand with your hands on your hips
  • Slowly turn your hips, shoulders, and neck to the right until you feel a gentle stretch along the spine and hips
  • Repeat to the left side
Z Altug
- Z Altug, PT, MS, CSCS, NSCA-PT, is a licensed physical therapist and athletic performance specialist out of Los Angeles. He co-authored the 2012 Healthy Lifestyle...
Z Altug
- Z Altug, PT, MS, CSCS, NSCA-PT, is a licensed physical therapist and athletic performance specialist out of Los Angeles. He co-authored the 2012 Healthy Lifestyle...
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