As a basketball player, core strength is an important part of your athletic development. Strengthening your core muscles will allow you to jump higher, run faster, be stronger, increase shooting range, agility and control of your body. Training your core can also reduce or prevent injuries, and since the core is responsible for stabilizing your body, training It will also improve your balance. Your core muscles are located in your abs, chest, hips and lower back. Here are 4 core exercise’s you can do, that don’t require much space;
The plank is a core strength exercise that involves maintaining a position similar to a pushup for a determined time. Planking targets, the abdominal and back core muscles as well as your shoulders. To perform a plank,
- Place your elbows and forearm on the ground directly underneath your shoulders.
- Place your toes against the ground to hold your body up
- Make sure that your back is flat, and your head and neck are aligned.
- Hold this position for a certain amount of time and gradually increase that time as you improve. We recommend aiming to do 3 sets of 60 seconds. You can gain core strength and stability from this core strengthening method.
Sit-ups are an exercise similar to crunches but are performed using a fuller range of motion and target more muscles groups. Sit-ups target multiple core muscles groups, such as your hip flexors, lower back, obliques and abdominal muscles (abs). To perform a sit up,
- Lie down on your back, bend your legs and place your feet on the ground.
- Cross your hands on your shoulders or place them behind your ears.
- Curl your upper body up towards your knees, then slowly lower yourself down back into the starting position. You should aim to perform 25–50 sit-ups a day, gradually increase the rate at your own pace of development.
Another great core strengthening exercise to do are squats, in addition to the lower body, squatting also targets your core muscles such as abdominal, hip and lower back muscles. The squat exercise will help develop and strengthen your base, which is a key for basketball players because it allows them to jump higher and run faster. To perform a squat,
- Begin with your feet shoulder width apart facing forward.
- Lower your hips as you bend your knees and ankles into a sitting position.
- Keep your heels and toes on the ground, your chest up and shoulders back.
- Make sure that your back is straight and aim to have your knees bent to a 90 degree angle.
- Use your knees to come back up into a standing position, then repeat the previous steps. Aim to do 3 sets of 10–15 squats, gradually increase the number of repetitions as you improve.
In addition to strengthening core muscles like abs and chest, push ups will also help increase the strength of your upper body. Push ups help improve things such as the strength in your fingers, arms, shooting range and your overall strength to hold your ground against opponents. Just like the other exercises we mentioned, there are different variations of push ups out there. To perform a push up,
- Get on the floor on all fours and place your arms slightly wider than your shoulder width on the ground.
- Extend your legs back so that your toes are touching the floor and your back is flat.
- Straighten your arms and back, then lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor.
- Briefly pause and hold in that lower position for 3–5 seconds, then repeat the process. Set your own goal for the amount of pushups you should do, progressively increase the total number. Aim to make 15 push ups to start if you are a beginner, make sure to maintain proper form as that is the most important part of the exercise.