Resistance Bands Exercises

Basketball requires strong legs, glutes, and hips: and resistance band exercises can help.

Use resistance bands as part of your workout routine to:

* Improve your overall flexibility and balance (helping you change direction more quickly)

* Gain strength in both your upper and lower body

* Increase your power (e.g., jumping higher to rebound the ball more effectively, blocking shots and passes, dribbling more effectively)

* Gain in speed (both while running forward and moving laterally)

* Improve your overall endurance and stamina (enjoying a longer period of peak performance)

Here are some resistance band exercises to help you become more powerful and effective on the court.

Banded vertical jumps

This exercise strengthens your legs: your quads, calves, hamstrings, glutes, and hips. You'll be able to jump higher and with more explosive power. You'll also be able to hit the ground and recover faster and with greater strength.

Here's how to do it:

1. Hold the basketball while you are standing tall. You can run 2 long resistance bands from each side of your waist to the floor (or get friends to stand on the ends of the bands).

2. Jump off one leg while you rotate your opposite hip in a circular motion. This movement will fire your glutes and hips.

3. Explode off, using the leg that is on the ground.

4. Ensure your back and spine are straight - if you bend over, you'll put unwanted stress on your knee, and you'll move more slowly. Any kind of repetitive stress to your knees can lead to injury.

5. Do jumps repeatedly for about 10 seconds on each leg (maximum effort).

6. Do two sets with a long resistance band and then two sets without a band.

7. Remember to focus on your explosiveness while you go up and down. Maintain good form throughout the exercise, as that will help your stability and balance.

You'll notice that your body will feel lighter once you take away the resistance for this exercise. You'll want to take flight explosively.

Note: If you wish, you can also do this exercise with one resistance band. Loop it around your neck and shoulders or your waist. Have your two partners stand on each end while you jump.

You'll also be in good company: this exercise features as part of a warmup routine for the Portland Trailblazers.

Banded staggered sprint drill

This drill will give your legs an excellent workout and help improve your speed and agility, particularly in your footwork.

To do this exercise:

1. With a resistance band around the thighs (above the knees), one player dribbles the ball down the court as quickly as possible.

2. The defender begins 5 feet behind and tries to catch up to the banded player who is moving fast while aiming to keep control of the ball.

Banded lateral shuffle pass

This exercise will work your quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and hip flexors. You'll also improve stability, balance, footwork speed, coordination, agility, and hip strength. Quite a lot in one exercise!

Here's how you do it:

1. Stand with both feet hip-distance apart and a booty band wrapped around your thighs (above the knees). Hold onto the basketball in front of your chest with both hands and get into a deep knee bend.

2. Move your right foot out and follow with your left foot. Shuffle to the right for ten steps (right foot then left), pass the ball to your partner, and then shuffle left (left foot then right). Your partner then passes you the ball.

3. Keep shuffling right and left for 4 sets.

4. Ensure you keep your core muscles engaged and your chest lifted.

Banded harness resistance sprint

This exercise will use resistance to trick your muscles into thinking you're going faster than you are.

To do this exercise, you'll need a harness, a long resistance band, and a partner (a coach).

1. Put a harness on the player.

2. The coach takes hold of the long resistance band (or rope), standing behind the player.

3. The coach says go, and the player sprints forward while the coach uses the band or rope to hold the player back.

4. The coach slowly moves forward till the player has finished the sprint.

Variations: The player can be dribbling a ball while sprinting. The coach could also use a breakaway rope so that as soon as the coach releases the rope, the player continues to sprint but without resistance.

Banded closeout drill

This basketball drill will improve your ability to close out in any direction, both quickly and efficiently. You'll be working on your explosiveness and quickness.

Here's how you do it:

1. Place a cone at the top of the key and on each wing.

2. Loop a resistance band around your waist and have your partner hold the other end.

3. You'll start in the paint with your partner holding the cord (on the baseline).

4. Start the drill by chopping your feet in a defensive stance. Your partner will call out middle, right, or left - you must close out that cone and then backpedal to come back to the paint.

5. You can choose to do this drill for a set amount of time or a number of repetitions.

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