How do I get in Basketball Shape?

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  • Written By: Jim B.
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 28 January 2020
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The nature of the game of basketball requires a unique combination of strength, skill, and stamina. If you wish to get in basketball shape, you should incorporate a fitness regimen that improves all of these attributes. In addition to developing on-court basketball skills through game play and individual drills, players who wish to achieve a high level of play also have to work on improving his or her body strength, flexibility, power in terms of running and jumping in quick bursts, and overall conditioning level. This means that your workouts must include weight training, plyometric exercises, and cardiovascular exercises so that your fitness level complements your basketball skill.

In the past, there was a prevailing notion that weight training did not benefit basketball players. As the game has evolved, it's common for the finest professional and college players to include weights as part of workout routine to get in basketball shape and keep up with the physical demands of the sport. Too much bulk may be detrimental, so you should consider a full-body workout to balance strength, emphasizing high repetitions. Try to keep the amount of weight at a level below the maximum amount you can lift and keep the weight training sessions brief but intense. You should also do repetitions to a full range of motion and include an effective stretching routine to improve flexibility.


There are very few sports that place as high a demand on jumping as basketball. To get in basketball shape, you must incorporate exercises that improve your leaping ability. Common plyometric exercises such as broad and squat jumps are excellent ways to improve jumping power. Try to do these exercises when your legs are fresh each day.

Overall conditioning level should me maintained by a combination of cardiovascular training and a nutritional, balanced diet. Basketball requires plenty of sprinting from one end of the court to the other, but it also requires the stamina to do this over the course of four quarters or two halves of action. In order to get in basketball shape, you should include sprints in your fitness routine to improve short-burst speed, as well as runs of longer distances to help your stamina. All of this should be accompanied by a sensible diet to reduce the chance of excess fat.

All of the off-court training should be balanced by plenty of work on the court to keep your skill level high. In addition to participating in as many games as possible to get your body used to the rigors of game action as well as to develop your skills as a team player, daily drills that emphasize individual skills are also necessary. These drills should concentrate on sport-specific skills like shooting, ball-handling, passing, rebounding, and defensive slides.


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Post 3

I still have yet to get accustomed to basketball players being built like football players. Weight lifting has changed the way the players look and the way the game is played to some extent.

Post 2

Drentel - I remember the suicides. How could anyone forget. Our coach would make everyone run them during tryouts. His rule was that anyone who could survive the sprints would make the team. Of course, he never had to worry about not having enough jerseys once the season started. Half of the would be players didn't make it through the first practice.

Post 1

The best exercise for getting into basketball shape are suicides. Anyone who has ever played organized basketball and anyone who has been to a girls' or boys' basketball camp most likely still remembers those sprint exercises known as suicides. And I bet those memories are not found memories. I get exhausted just remembering all those practices during which we ran them.

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