The 2013 NBA Playoffs are providing all of us with a peek into just how good Kevin Durant can be. The three-time NBA scoring champ has emphatically picked up the slack after losing his right-hand man, Russell Westbrook, to injury for the rest of the playoffs. As a result, KD is playing longer minutes to help fill the void. With the Thunder’s championship hopes resting on his shoulders, Durant must now rely on the incredible strength and endurance he has built throughout his career.
Once doubted for being too weak to compete in the NBA, KD is now one of the fittest players in the league. Whether he was crossing up a Grizzlies defender and beating another to the rim in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals or simply outrunning everyone up and down the court for layups in Game 1, KD has put his fitness on display every time he’s taken the court.
To develop the strength and endurance that have allowed him to elevate his play for longer, more intense minutes, KD performs full-body exercises that improve both his strength and conditioning. His go-to move is the Walking Dumbbell Push-Up-to-Row, which forces him to engage every muscle in his body for an extended period of time as he crawls, pushes up and rows with resistance in hand.
Dwight Daub, strength coach for the Thunder, says, “This is a tremendous combination exercise that trains the entire upper body. You use your shoulders, lats, chest and core for stabilization. It’s not easy!”
KD is willing to put in whatever work it takes to one-up his competition, but he knows there is a lot left for him to do during the playoffs. “This has been my dream since I was six years old,” he says. “I know there is a long road ahead.”
If you share KD’s desire, use his endurance-building exercise to one-up your opponents.
Push-Up to Row
Walking Dumbbell Push-Up-to-Row
• Assume push-up position with light dumbbells in hands and legs slightly wider than hip-width
• Walk left dumbbell forward a few inches, then right dumbbell while dragging your legs forward
• Perform Push-Up
• Perform Row with left arm, then right
• Repeat sequence [walk, walk, Push-Up, Row, Row] for specified reps
Sets/Reps: 2-4×3-8 [entire sequence constitutes one rep]
Coaching Points: Keep your opposite arm locked out during the row // Keep your body in a straight line // Keep your feet wide to help balance