7 Essential Core (Ab) Exercises & Workouts for Basketball Players
Core strength is a key component to any athlete’s development. Increase in core strength allows you to run faster, jump higher, and simply be stronger than your opponent at the end of a game. Bracing exercises such as planks, dynamic stability, kneeling with bands, and anti-rotation with bands, will help increase this area of an athlete’s strength.
Overview of Bracing and Core Strength
With all your training, you should think about how the training transfers to the court and how it helps you improve as a basketball player.
The core is your midline. It is the center of everything you do. If there's an energy leak from the ground to your upper body, as it relates to what your arms are doing or what we're doing with the basketball, the energy leak will diminish your performance on the court.
Your core establishes that control and that balance that you need to move quickly, to maintain position, and really influence what you do as a basketball player.
Core strength is ultimately going to help you jump higher, move faster, be able to get that rebound, change directions, increase shooting range, finish through contact, and more.
Core Exercises for Basketball
You can add stability and core strength with bracing exercises like planks.
The hollow hold is another bracing exercise that gives you stability and strength.
Planks With Hip Extension And Abduction
You can address torso strength further with anti-rotation exercises as well as hip extension exercises from the same "plank" positions.
From the front plank position, raise your leg -- bracing and engaging the hip at the same time. This is what's called dynamic stability. You're moving and you're stabilizing at the same time.
Side Plank With Leg Abduction
Get down in a side plank position, elbow directly under shoulder, shoulders stacked, stabilizing that position but then moving through your hip trying to maintain stability and posture. Your leg stays straight and you it move up and down.
The next exercise is from the half kneeling position. Toe is tucked, glutes are on, and ribs are down. Hold something like a band.
Move the band as you brace and maintain your position. You should feel like you’re going to brace for a punch, glutes on, or even actively moving as you resist the band and maintain posture.
As an athlete, you’re developing that motor control where you’re engaging muscles and simultaneously moving at the same time. This is that foundation that’s important to develop as you progress with your training.
When you are "bracing" and "resisting" any sort of movement with the exercises above -- this is what happens when you sprint, run and cut. When you run, you are resisting that rotation that the pelvis wants to do -- but you're continuing to maintain and run in a straight line. Your core strength is imperative for running and agility.
All the core exercises above will help with speed, agility, change of direction, stopping, and restarting, redirecting in any sort of movement.
Basketball Core Workouts and Full Body Workouts
If you’d like a complete (step-by-step) workout plan to increase core strength, improve vertical jump, get faster, and improve overall athleticism ... follow this link to a 12 Week Athletic Development Program for Basketball Players.
This program takes you through every aspect of the process step by step.
Be sure to work on your core and follow a complete program that keeps your muscles balanced and mitigates the likelihood of injury. Developing a strong core is your first step toward becoming a more athletic and durable player.