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Basketball demands an enormous amount of physical output from players. Whilst the level of physical attributes vary slightly between positions, guards, forwards and centres all need an adept amount of power, strength, agility and cardiovascular fitness in order to excel. .
Physical training for basketball starts first and foremost with power and agility. A combination of plyometric exercises (such as box jumps and power push ups) and agility work (such as ladder runs) are crucial. Base strength can be worked on in the gym, with large movements such as squats and deadlifts being key. Cardiovascular fitness will come from work on the court and additional power and agility training.
Hydration is key, given even a 2% reduction in body fluids can lead to a huge drop in performance. A well balanced diet with adequate protein is crucial in driving muscle growth and improvements in strength and power. However, be careful not to consume too many calories, as excess weight can have a negative impact on power and speed. Stick to complex carbohydrates pre-game, and consume a carbohydrate and protein rich meal immediately after.
Creatine supplementation is a must, given its benefits to power and strength output. A post-workout protein shake that also contains carbohydrates can make light work of recovery; allowing muscles to repair and grow so they aren’t feeling heavy during your next training session or game. Given the load placed on knees and ankles from all the movement and jumping, fish oil and other joint health products can do a lot to enhance your longevity in the game.
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