Sixty points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds, 4 steals and 1 block.
That was James Harden's stat line last night in the Houston Rockets' recent win over the Orlando Magic. It's the first time in NBA history a player had scored 60 points as part of a triple-double, and it also set a new franchise single-game scoring record for Houston.
"I just gave it all I had tonight," Harden said after the game. "(I) just try to go out there and make an impact every single night on the game, however I can. Whether it's scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, whatever it is."
Harden played 46 minutes and 26 seconds, the most minutes he's ever played in a regulation game. One training tool that's helped him become one of the most explosive and durable players in the NBA? The slideboard. Watch the video above to see Harden's slideboard circuit.
A slideboard consists largely of plastic that's highly slippery when lubricated. This unique surfaces allows an athlete to "slide" through a movement, as opposed to standard exercises, which require you to lift your hands or feet off the ground. In addition to strengthening major muscle groups, slideboard exercises are excellent for building stabilizer muscles, which are crucial for balance, mobility and injury prevention. Slideboard exercises are also great for increasing mobility and strengthening your core.
"The slideboard's (about) my legs. Making sure my legs are strong and can hold up over 82 games," Harden told STACK.
One of Harden's go-to slideboard moves is the Slideboard Leg Curl. A big part of what makes the Slideboard Leg Curl such a great exercise is time under tension. From the moment you bridge off the ground, your hamstrings, glutes, hips and core must stay engaged throughout the movement. That increased time under tension better builds up Harden's hamstrings, which he relies upon to burst to the basket, and help train the stabilizing muscles he needs to power through contact. It's nearly impossible to cheat this exercise, which isn't the case with something like a Leg Machine Curl.
Another one of Harden's favorite slideboard moves is the Slideboard Adduction. The muscles of the hip and groin are often neglected in sports performance training, yet they play an important role in injury prevention and countless athletic movements. The Slideboard Adduction helps Harden build the strength and stability he needs to execute his lethal Euro-step and increases his lateral explosiveness, as well. Watch the video in the player above to see how Harden executes the move.
A slideboard will run you about $170, but you can easily perform slideboard exercises at home with everyday materials. If you have a wood, tile or linoleum floor in your house, you can use a towel, a pair of athletic shorts or any other piece of fabric that slides across the floor smoothly. All you need to do is find some open space, throw the towel or fabric under your hands or feet, and get to work. If you're willing to spend a few bucks, you can order a set of furniture sliders for under $15. These move smoothly on almost any surface, even allowing you to perform slide board exercises on carpet!
Photo Credit: Bill Baptist/Getty Images
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