How do I Improve my Basketball Fitness?

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  • Written By: Elva K.
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 04 February 2020
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Basketball is a popular sport worldwide; however, participation in basketball requires a certain level of fitness. For instance, having basketball fitness requires enough strength, stamina, and speed to be able to run up and down the court continuously while also being able to pass the ball or stop and shoot the ball into the hoop. Having basketball fitness also requires having the ability to jump when necessary to rebound the ball if the opposing team misses a shot. In order to get into shape for basketball participation, you have to become fit aerobically and anaerobically, while also maximizing your arm strength and jumping ability.

Targeting your aerobic fitness will improve your basketball fitness. Improving your aerobic fitness will require exercises such as running or swimming or other exercises where you get your heart rate up and keep it up for enough time that you get an aerobic conditioning workout. The goal with aerobic exercises should be stamina. Do not overexert. Rather, just focus on keeping your legs moving for the duration of the workout.

Improving your anaerobic fitness will improve your basketball fitness. For instance, to improve anaerobic fitness, you can do leg presses in the weight room or calf raises that target increasing the strengths in your thighs, hips, and calf muscles. Also, you can do repeated wind sprints where you are forced to run back and forth continuously in the same manner that you would do in a basketball game.


Increasing your arm strength will improve your basketball fitness. To improve your arm strength, you can do push-ups, bench press exercises in the weight room, pull-ups, or pull downs. Or, you can strengthen your arms by practicing passing the ball or practicing your free throw shooting.

Maximizing your jumping ability will improve your basketball fitness. To maximize your jumping ability, you can jump rope, do knee bends, or do jumping exercises where you repeatedly do knee bends and then jump as high as you can. Doing toe raises while holding a five-pound weight can also be a helpful exercise to improve jumping ability. Of note, these exercises should be done perhaps five times per week.

Keep in mind that it is a good idea to begin slowly and gradually improve your fitness level. Warming up and always doing stretches to prepare your muscles for workouts can be helpful. Also, talking with a professional basketball coach or other fitness expert and talking to a physician can be helpful in terms of making certain you are doing the right exercises at the right intensity to prepare for playing basketball.


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Post 3

Jumping rope can do wonders for your vertical leap. Stick to it and do 5 to 10 minutes every day and you will see results quickly. I am not talking about a little bit, I am talking about inches. Basketball players throughout history have been jumping rope to help them jump higher.

Post 2

I cannot believe how big the guys in the NBA are these days. Most of them look more like football players than basketball players. That, more than anything else, is what I think has changed about the game.

It is now a lot more physical and a lot more about strength. Watch the games from just a few decades ago and most of the players were rail thin. Even Jordan was a twig compared to a lot of these guys.

So I would imagine that today's basketball players have to do a lot of weight training. They probably work with dedicated strength coaches who can get them as big and as strong as possible.

Post 1

In basketball, like in most sports, you need to have serious cardiovascular endurance. The longer you can push yourself at a peak level the greater the advantage you will have over your opponent.

So I would recommend that you run and run and run. Go for long runs. Do sprints. Do shuttle runs like your coach made you do in JV ball. But do something everyday that gets you winded and raises your heart rate and gets you used to being pushed to the edge of your capability. Because the more time your spend there, the farther out that edge will grow.

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