Most basketball players use weight training to increase upper-body strength in order to dominate in the post. Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Wally Szczerbiak, in contrast, sees weight training as a way to strengthen his speed and endurance to help improve his entire game.
"In the case of basketball, [the focus should be on] good synergistic exercise," says Szczerbiak's trainer, Kory Angelin, founder and president of Fast-Edge Sports Performance. Synergistic training is a combination of aerobic exercise [increasing the heart rate and breathing without straining the body's oxygen supply] and anaerobic exercise [using more oxygen than the body is taking in].
To train Szczerbiak, Angelin uses the Plate Push for a solid synergistic workout.
"We are trying to totally drain every ounce of energy that's in his body," Angelin says. "That exercise is something that they would be doing in the course of a game in terms of sprinting up the court and then really explosively sprinting back. This exercise is helping Wally whiz up and down the court faster than his opponents, because he is never out of breath."
• At start line, bend knees and lean forward
• Fully extend arms with hands on 45-pound plate, which is flat on ground
• Push plate 30 yards using legs to drive the weight forward
• After 30 yards, turn and sprint back without weight
Sets/Reps/Rest: 1x3, with 1-2 minutes rest between reps
Coaching Points: Stay as low as possible // Stay on balls of feet // Keep head neutral // Keep arms fully extended // Focus on technique when sprinting back
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