For basketball fans, Damian Lillard is must-see TV. The four-time NBA All-Star puts up dazzling numbers and has a penchant for coming through in pressure-packed situations. But what enables Dame to shine on the big stage is all the work he puts in outside the bright lights. Here’s an inside look at the training of the Portland Trailblazers star point guard.
Stability Ball Circuit
Perform these exercises one after another.
Place your back on a ball and feet flat on the ground with your hips elevated and knees bent. Rotate to the right, reaching your left arm across your body and feeling a stretch through your back. Then rotate until your arm is parallel to the floor and you feel a stretch in your chest.
Sets/Reps: 2×10 each side
Glute Bridge to Stability Bridge
With your upper back on the ball, lower your hips, then push them up toward the ceiling. On your last rep, hold the bridge and extend your arms upward. Ask a trainer to grab your hands and rock them left and right to work the small stabilizing muscles in your back.
Sets/Reps: 2×10 each
Stability Ball Plank
Assume a plank position with your forearms on the ball and your toes on the ground. Have a teammate or trainer place his hand six inches in front of your face. Keeping your hands pressed together, roll the ball forward to touch your partner’s hand with both of yours.
Single-Leg Dumbbell Combo
Balance on your left leg holding a dumbbell in your right hand. Bend at the waist, fold forward and slide the dumbbell down the front of your leg. Flex your left glute to drive up to the start position, pull the dumbbell to shoulder level and explosively press it up.
Sets/Reps: 1×5 each side
Half-Kneeling Med Ball Throws
Kneel on your right knee with your left leg bent in front. Raise the med ball overhead and tighten your core. Explosively throw the ball against the wall while contracting the muscles of your core. Repeat for reps and perform on the other side.
Sets/Reps: 1×5 each leg
RELATED: Dame’s Got Game: How Damian Lillard is Propelling the Trail Blazers Through the NBA Playoffs
If Keiser equipment is unavailable, perform against band resistance attached to a stable object.
Lateral Shuffle and Press with Basketball
Assume a defensive stance with the Keiser machine to the left and hold a basketball with both hands in front. Shuffle laterally away from the machine and press the ball away from your body after each step. Repeat the sequence as you return to the starting point.
Sets/Reps: 2×6-8 each side
Side Squat with Basketball
Assume a defensive stance with the Keiser machine to your left and hold a basketball with both hands in front. Step to the right and lower into a side lunge until your right knee is parallel to the ground. Use your right leg to drive back to the starting position. Repeat for reps and perform on the other side.
Sets/Reps: 2x 6-8 each side
Cable Chop Down with Basketball
Stand with the Keiser machine on your left and hold the ball at shoulder height. Keeping your core tight, pull the ball down and across your body to bring it to your right hip. Keep your core tight as you return to the starting position. Repeat for reps and perform on the other side.
Sets/Reps: 2×6-8 each side