Basketball is definitely a full-body workout. So it makes sense that if you want to improve your basketball skills, you’ll need to get serious about training your body to keep winning those games, and one of the best way to do this is with basketball specific training shoes.
After all, if you’re a player, you know the feeling of an intense game...You feel the burn in your calves as you feint left, right—then your thighs come into play as you sprint towards the hoop, arm muscles working as you dribble the ball across the court.
Power surges upwards through your body as you jump towards the goal, leg muscles sending energy through your abdominals and up your arms as you guide the ball to the rim—and score!
Your leg muscles absorb the impact as you land back on the floor, and your teammates slap you on the back. You’ve won the game. But you know you’ll be feeling this victory tomorrow, in the form of muscle soreness!
Focus on Power
Explosive power is absolutely fundamental in the game of basketball. When you need to move fast, you don’t want to get tired halfway across the court. When you need to dunk the ball, you want your jump to get you to the rim. Speed and strength work hand in hand in this game, so you need to train your muscles in a way that helps you achieve both.
The way to do this is by targeting your fast twitch muscle fibers. These contract 30-70 times per second—two to three times as fast as “slow twitch” fibers, which work towards endurance rather than power. Activating your fast twitch fibers through consistent exercise is the best way to improve your strength and speed, giving you the explosive power you’ll need on the court.
Muscles with Fast Twitch Fibers
Most muscles have a combination of fast twitch and slow twitch fibers, but when you’re training for basketball, there are certain muscles you should prioritize. Here’s a run-down of the muscles you should be targeting.
Calf muscles: Your calves play a vital role in harnessing the power you need for sprinting across the court and leaping for the net. They have one of the highest percentages of fast twitch fibers in the entire body.
Hamstrings: The three muscles on the backs of the thighs that make up the hamstrings are responsible for knee flexion and hip extension. During jumping, hamstrings are critical for transferring power between the knee joints and hip joints.
Quadriceps: These four muscles, located on the fronts of the thighs, are activated when you bend and straighten your knees, which you do frequently in basketball, notably when feinting and jumping.
Glutes: Located in the buttocks, these muscles allow for hip flexion and extension. They come into play when you’re tensing for the jump shot, and they act as the middleman in transferring power from the legs to the hips to the abs.
Abdominals: When you’re playing a game that involves a lot of running and jumping, you need a strong core. Train your abs to keep your power at its peak.
Equipment for Basketball Strength Training
Training these muscles becomes a lot simpler when you have the correct equipment. Ideally, basketball training equipment will combine flexibility training and resistance training, to help your body move at its best. Check out some Strength Systems products that do exactly that.
Strength Vests and Shorts: Adding more weight to your body will help you improve your power all over. More weight means a more intense muscle work!
Strength Shoes: These target your calves, making your fast twitch fibers work even harder and become more efficient at running and jumping.
The Power Dribble: Trains your body to move correctly while dribbling.
While training, remember to switch between forward, backward, lateral, and vertical movements, to mimic the actual motions used in basketball. Engage all five key muscles and supplement your training with the right equipment, and you’ll be well on your way to never losing another game!