May 23, 2024

Saluti Law Medi

Rule it with System

How to get into shape

NBA players like Cole Anthony exemplify how much work goes into being ready for basketball. “I just want people to respect how hard I work and how much I sacrificed to get here,” says the Orlando Magic point guard.

While fitness is important in the regular season, it’s pivotal in the play-offs. In game six of the 2022 NBA Finals, Celtics guard Jaylen Brown played 44 out of 48 minutes, scoring 34 points in the process. That level of intensity requires him to keep his body fat down and maintain a consistent cardio, weight training and nutrition plan.

Brown dribbles downcourt during a home game against the Atlanta Hawks

© Getty Images

If you want to develop your skills on the court, whether playing 5on5 or 3on3 like at Red Bull Half Court, you can rely on an assortment of drills, and if you want to get in shape for tournaments like that or just basketball you’ll want to add exercises like these detailed below.

To do a suicide all you need is somewhere to run. If you choose a basketball court, start on either baseline and run to the free-throw line and back to the baseline. Then, run to half-court and back to the baseline. Now run to the opposite free-throw line and back to the baseline. Lastly, run from baseline to baseline. If you don’t have access to a court, use this template with similar distances anywhere you can run.

For the best results, you should do between 10 and 15 suicides, three to four times per week. Each suicide should be completed in no more than 35-40 seconds. Suicides help basketball players get in shape in a variety of ways. The main gain is that they get used to running up and down the court nonstop and making quick directional pivots.


Full court partner sprints

All you really need for this exercise is a partner and space to run, but access to a basketball court is ideal. To begin, you and your partner should stand on the same baseline. Player one will sprint to the opposite baseline, touch the line, turn and return back to the starting point as hard as they possibly can. Player two will then do the same, while player one rests. Try to do three sets of 10 to 12 with five minutes of rest in between each set. Again, if you don’t have access to a court, mimic the distances and sets.

Players performing full-court partner sprints will be primed to repeatedly run the court in transitions and on fast breaks, which basketball games are full of.

These are a staple for basketball conditioning and can be done alone or with a full team. Each player will start on the sideline and sprint to the opposite sideline repeatedly. The goal is 17 times in no more than 70 seconds. You should perform three sets, with three minutes of rest in between each set. This drill helps improve speed in bursts.

A variation of 17s is 17s/13s/6s. To perform the variation you’ll first complete the 17s drill, but instead of three minutes worth of rest, you will get only 60 seconds. In the lost time, you will run to the sideline and back 13 times. Instead of 65-70 seconds, you’ll only get 45 seconds. After performing 13s, you’ll get 45 seconds of rest and then run sideline to sideline six times. When performing the set of six you will get only 30-35 seconds to complete the drill.

To perform a military press, you need a barbell or dumbbell. If using a barbell, start by holding the barbell a little below eye level and lift the weight straight up until elbows are locked out and then back down. If you choose dumbbells, follow the same principle, but move the individual weights at the same time. Your goal is to do three sets of 10 to 12 reps. The military press is an exercise that mainly focuses on the shoulders, but builds overall upper-body strength.

Strong shoulders are very important in shooting and the military press will help you shoot late in games and from deeper spots. Also, when you’re driving and rebounding, you often catch contact on your shoulders from opposing players. Having strong shoulders will help you withstand that contact.

Training can help improve your shooting, especially late in games

© Jon Lopez/Red Bull Content Pool

To perform an incline press, you’ll need a workout bench and a barbell or pair of dumbbells. The players will lie on the inclined bench, grab the weight and lift it vertically until their elbows are completely locked out and back down touching their chest, then back up again. The goal here is three sets of 10 to 12 reps.

The incline press motion involves players driving up the weight, which in turn helps improve shooting range. Late in games, when you’re tired, this exercise will help because you’ll have more upper body strength and be able to get more shots off. The incline press helps forwards and centres down low when scraping for rebounds.

Squat jumps are one of the best exercises for building lower body strength and can be performed with dumbbells. Start with your hands by your side and a dumbbell in each hand, squat down until your knees and buttocks are parallel, and explode up, extending your legs completely and jumping as high as you can. For the best results, do five sets of squat jumps, with each set lasting around 30 seconds.

Weighted squat jumps will do wonders for a player’s vertical jump. They’ll also help improve basketball skills like rebounding, dunking and shot-blocking.

Deadlifts are one of the most essential powerlifting exercises and mainly focus on building lower back muscles, hamstrings and glutes. To perform deadlifts you will need a barbell or weights. You should start with the barbell on the floor in front of you and your feet shoulder-width apart. Next, you should bend at the waist, grab the barbell and lift the weight up without bending your back. You’ll now be standing straight up with the weight placed around your lower abs. Lastly, you’ll bend at the waist again and return the weights back to the floor. For best results, you should perform three sets of at least six reps with about one-and-a-half times your body weight.

Deadlifts will almost immediately contribute to a player’s jumping and overall speed. Deadlifts are a compound exercise that works more than five muscles at a time. They will improve your flexibility and hip flexors, which are imperative for getting faster and jumping higher.

A healthy diet is key to maintaining fitness as it’s the fuel your body runs off of. Basketball players need carbohydrates for energy and protein for building muscle. The ideal diet has multiple servings of fruits and vegetables. It also includes whole grains, seafood and legumes like beans. Basketball players train hard and often, so they benefit by eating four or five meals daily and throwing in a snack or two. Healthy snacks like trail mix, yoghurt, fruit and energy bars are great for before and after practices and games. You should also aim to keep your overall fat intake low.

Red Bull Half Court requires players to be extremely fit

© Markus Berger/Red Bull Content Pool

Rest is also very important for basketball players. You should dedicate one or two days per week to rest, allowing your body to recover from workouts. The off time is when damaged muscles recover and your energy, or glycogen, replenishes. Rest also lessens the chances of overtraining which can cause injury, fatigue and depression.

If you are starting from a moderately healthy condition, know that you can get yourself into basketball shape in about six to eight weeks using these training exercises routinely. While it can be more beneficial to go to a gym or court, because you’ll have the proper equipment and a more focused mindset, it’s possible to get in great shape at home. No matter what position or what basketball tricks you possess, it’s all enhanced by being in shape.

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Red Bull Half Court

The world’s most global streetball tournament returns as the very best 3on3 basketball teams battle it out worldwide for Red Ball Half Court 2024.