Basketball is a team sport characterized by high intensity activities such as jumping, sprinting, shuffling and direction changes. Basketball players’ physical conditioning is focused on enhancing aerobic capacity, speed, agility, muscular strength and power.
Strength training is a fundamental element for the physical conditioning of basketball players. Its purpose is to improve explosive power and acceleration/speed around the court and to reduce the risk of joint and tendon injuries. During the season, resistance training and power training are performed in different periods. Moreover, individual and team development plans optimize the improvement of each player.
Let's find out how athletic training aims to improve strength, speed and acceleration in the fiesl of play, as well as reducing the risk of joint and tendon injuries. We will understand specific team roles, their charateristics and champions who have had specific success in these roles. We’ll also aim to understand how much work work and fatigue are hidden behind the results and notoriety of such players. And finally let's have fun in shooting basket!
Some numbers in basketball
In the top 10 most popular sports, this sport counts between 2 and 3 billion fans in the world. More than 450 million people around the world play basketball both as professionals and for recreational activities. 300 million do in China. In Asia and Australia basketball has replaced football as the most popular sport. NBA basketball players are the most well-paid sports professionals on the planet, and names such as Jordan, Shaq, Kobe, and LeBron are almost immortal. They act as magnets for millions of hopeful young people who would like to achieve their own glory and fame.
Aside from being just a team sport, basketball can be practiced alone, one against one or with 3 players per side. A professional game is made up of teams of 5 players each.
As a team game, basketball is played on a rectangular field 94ft wide and 50ft long. The height of the basket from the ground is 3.05 meters, so there is a fair advantage in being high but not necessarily, depending on the role in which you play.
The team that scores the most points by putting the ball into the opponent's basket wins. It seems easy to say, but this discipline needs a variety of sports skills and abilities unlike many others.
Roles in basketball and champions of all times.
Also known as number one, they are the organizers of the game, as the name itself says.
They call the schemas, dictate the times, receive instructions from the coach and bring the ball into the opponent's half of the field. A real director of the game. Excellent dribbler with fast thinking and a decision-maker who must have a vision of the game and move safely on the field..
One of the iconic examples is Magic Johnson, while today figures such as Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook stand out.
He flanks the playmaker and builds the action. They are not necessarily tall, but handle the ball with familiarity and speed. They are nimble and deadly when shooting for three points. This is why they are called the shooter guard.
The unchallenged hero in this role has to be Michael Jordan: he was not only receiving and shooting, but also very strong in penetrating, crushing and defending the field from every point. Characters such as Kobe Bryant, Manu Ginobili or Dwayne Wade have also distinguished themselves. Today the most famous names are Paul George, Klay Thompson and Italy’s very own Marco Belinelli.
Named forwards in English, they were formerly the so-called "attackers" but today their tasks are much broader. The small wing has features halfway between the shooter guard and the strong wing. They are high performing but also snapping and have a good shot from both outside and from a medium distance.
Examples include James Le Bron and Kevin Durant. Among those of the past, how can we not remember the great Larry Bird and Julius Erving?
Their field of action is the same as the small wing, but their most important feature allows them to be more insidious under the basket. Usually back to the basket, they are assigned to receive the ball in the area of three seconds (the area painted under the basket), with the defender making it tight. Their game consists in trying to repel the opponent and advance under the basket to then turn around at the last moment and shoot. Because of the contrast with the defender, they need to "hold the impact" with their body while remaining ready to bounce.
Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Italy's Danilo Gallinari and Andrea Bargnani are excellent interpreters of this role in the modern era. Charles Barkley and Kevin MaHale have been among the largest in the past.
Once called pivot (pin of the team), they represent the primary role of the center and protect the basket. Therefore, players specialized in this role are usually the highest and most physical players on the field. Moving high and slow, they take care of helping the playmaker to break away from the defender, to flip over to score tap-in (crushed) or to pave the way for the penetrations of their companions. In defense, their contribution is vital because they must be ready to stop the opponent when a companion loses his man, and prevent him from going to bounce. They are also great attackers: they collect bounces (i. e. when the ball does not make a basket and bounces out of the bulletin board or basket) near the basket to make easy points
Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O' Neal, Yao Ming and Dino Meneghin in Italy were all famous centers. Today, although many teams play without a center, they talk about their DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard.
Why do you need to train strength in basketball?
Many famous players today have started their love story with basketball by throwing the ball into a basket in their backyards. However, the work to reach certain levels of professionalism and notoriety links to rigid and challenging workouts and lifestyles. Let's discover together how a basketball player trains strength.... and more.
Throughout the sports season, strength and power training is carried out at different times. In fact, an individual and team program must be developed to optimize the improvements of each player.
- The first programming step is the most important. It consists of functional training for postural muscle reinforcement, rebalancing between right and left parts of the body, and between extensor muscles and flexors. Exercises are carried out at low intensity, with a load equal to 50-60% of a maximum repetition (1-RM), 2 or 3 times a week.
- In the second phase, the first pre-season period, is based on the development of ceiling strength of each player. The exercises are performed with loads of 80-90% of 1-RM, 3 times a week for about one month.
- In the late preseason phase, players begin to train together and muscle work consists in the development of muscle power. Exercises are performed with free body using different methods (e. g. pliometry, circuit training), taking into account to avoid exceeding 120 contacts with the ground within the same session (e. g. jumps). During the championship, training is functional to maintaining the previously developed muscle strength.
- A key component in training is the recovery. This can consist of a week without strength exercises every 6-8 weeks, or 2 weeks of low intensity training in the same period of time.
Despite the importance of strength training, exercises can negatively affect the player's technical skills due to neuromuscular fatigue. In particular, the high-intensity training circuit reduces performance capabilities in jumping, agility and accuracy of basket shooting. On the other hand, a circuit training of muscle power does not result in a reduction of these skills and, therefore, can be considered the most effective method of working to train the strength behind a competition. If, on the other hand, the aim is to perfect technical gestures in situations of fatigue, high intensity circuit training can be adopted as a working method.
Basketball also involves many lateral movements and jumps, squatting and sinking, which require strong leg muscles and stability of the core. Strength training using weights to perform squat or leg curl allows you to build quadriceps and strong calves. Finally you can build the strength of the core with abdominal crunch.
Not only strength
- Elevation (strengthening thigh and foot extenders)
- Resistance and stamina
- Explosive strength
- Resistance to speed
These are some of the features that come into play during a basketball game:
Changing Speed - Increase (or decrease) of the speed of movement, executed in the shortest possible time.
Changing Direction - Deviation of the direction of your movement, keeping the movements and the coordination necessary for a positive response to changes in the game. The change of direction never draws a curve, but instead creates an angle formed by two straight lines.
Contracting foot - Attack conducted at high speed in order to reach a close conclusion and with little disturbance on the part of defenders.
If we also add that the Forwards and Point Guards do about 4km per game and develop more actions at high speed while the Centers and Wings are defending constantly on the weak side (the side of the attack where the player in possession of the ball is not present), it becomes clear that a lot of stamina is required in basketball.
Basketball fast pace and erratic movements mean that players have to be agile, strong and able to make sudden and explosive moves. But also can quickly change direction. Exercises that work with the cardiovascular system and include all major muscle groups are ideal for improving basketball skills.
The Synchro Forma by Technogym is perfect for a wide range of cardiovascular workouts and the fact that it is a total body is ideal for both toning and improving coordination. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) programs are also suitable because they include sudden bursts of high-intensity activity typical of this sport. The ability to run at speed in all directions is also crucial for good basketball performance. When you don't play on the field, running is a good cross training activity for basketball players. This can be done either with the side rod running or using a treadmill like the MyRunTechnogym.
To train for shooting
Although not everyone in the team are shooters, some of the most enjoyable activities that you can have in basketball, are basketball shots. There is a real sense of achievement in looking at the ball from the sides of the basket sliding down through the net.
Shooting is a skill that can be improved with the correct technique and daily practice.
The first step to correct the shot is the "square up", which means standing by pointing all the feet straight towards the basket. Now turn the upper part of the body so that the sides align the front side parallel to the basket. This helps to make shots more precise; the hand of fire is usually the dominant hand. Then keep the elbow of your shot in tight with your hip and balanced ball on the fingertips at the base of the ball.
The power comes from the hand of the shot, but you can stabilize the ball with the other hand. Bring the ball at chin level and bend your knees so that you are squatting. Extend the shooting elbow upwards and forwards by turning the wrist forward. Let the ball jump forward while the arm stretches out completely, pulling it back instead, while the ball is released. It is also important to continue to follow the movement with your hand after releasing the ball. To get more power from your shot, you have to push up with your legs from the crouching position while you shoot.
Whether you play basketball in a competitive way or for recreational activities, it's essential to know how to be fully aware of the surrounding environment. In other words: do it without looking down. This requires advanced hand-eye coordination, achieved through many hours of practice. Correct manipulation of the ball involves the use of fingertips and the possibility of b-balling with both hands.
As a result, basketball is ideal to ensure a balanced approach of the body to training. Unless you want to limit the game by playing only with your dominant hand, you need to train both sides of the body in the same way. In addition, the high degree of concentration and concentration required to play basketball well means that you must also be mentally agile. The combination of the physical and mental abilities of basketball makes it the ideal candidate for a total wellness activity.
Check out the strength training from the Olimpia Basket Teens!