Incorporate agility drills to build your speed and burn calories.
Unless you're already the star of your high school basketball team or being scouted by top coaches, the chances of you becoming an NBA star are slim. While you may not be able to make your living playing basketball, you can get yourself into basketball player shape by replicating the workouts of the pros. These workouts are designed to build muscle mass, strip fat and increase strength and power.1.
Hit the gym three times per week to lift weights. Your strength training sessions should rotate between heavy, light and medium sessions, notes trainer Jon-Erik Kawamoto. Make them full-body workouts too. As a basketball player, your body works as one unit during games, so it makes sense to train it in a similar way.2.
Base your weights workouts around compound moves, working both the upper and lower body. Strength coach Joe Rogowski, trainer to standout power forward and center Dwight Howard, recommends including bench presses, lat pull-downs, squats and leg presses in your routine.3.
Add in body-weight moves too. Steve Hess, coach at the Denver Nuggets, suggests including suspension training in your routine to make body-weight work more challenging. Using a suspension system, you can perform pushups, single-leg squats, pull-ups and lunge variations.4.
Perform two upper and two lower body exercises in your first session, such as barbell squats, box jumps, bench presses and weighted pull-ups for five sets of three to six reps each. Take off a day or two in between each session. In session two, go for a similar format but with slightly different exercises and higher reps, such as deadlifts, dumbbell lunges, dumbbell bench presses and pull-downs, for three sets of eight to 12 reps. For your final session, perform a body-weight only workout of six exercises for three sets of 15 to 20 reps each.5.
Include two days per week of sprint endurance and agility work. A 15- to 20-minute high-intensity session of hill sprints, stair sprints, shuttle runs, interval training, or a group conditioning session with your teammates under the supervision of a coach will suffice.6.
Eat a well-balanced diet and aim to eat every few hours, advises sports dietitian Tavis Piattoly. Carbs are your main source of energy, so prioritize these by basing your meals around whole-grains and fruits. You need protein to help recovery too, adds Piattoly, so add chicken, lean beef, turkey, fish or dairy to all your meals.7.
Reduce your consumption of sugars and eat more healthy fats. Physician and nutritionist Cate Shanahan, who works with NBA stars Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant among others, advises cutting out artificial foods, sugars and hydrogenated oils and eating more grass-fed meat, oily fish and cream from grass-fed cows.
- If you're also looking to improve your on-court performance, work with a basketball coach or join a local team to improve your skills.
- Get medical clearance from your doctor before starting a training routine or diet if you have been away from fitness programs for a while, or if you have any chronic health issues.