Staying in shape for a professional basketball play in the off-season is not just an option, it is a must! There are many techniques to do so, but the best ones are generally those that do not include getting on the basketball court. “Cross-training” is an excellent way to maintain high conditioning levels, while also giving your body a break from the consistent pounding on the hips, knees and ankles that basketball season always has in store for you. Two of the best strategies for cross training are utilizing the prowler sled in unique ways, and doing Tabata training. Both methods promote both aerobic and anaerobic endurance, while also having the ability to build strength and muscle mass in the process!
Tabata intervals are simply, but they can feel almost deadly! The 8 sets of 20 second max effort training with only 10 seconds of rest can be exhausting when using even a stationary bicycle; but trying out different exercises is flat out tough! For a basketball player; burpees, air-squats, and rowing are all amazing exercises to use with Tabata intervals.
Doing this interval method with burpees and air-squats can provide drastic improvements on your vertical jump, while the rowing will exhaust your cardio vascular system as well as strength the entire core of your body.
Don’t forget about the traditional stationary bike method either! The stationary bike is always a great tool for basketball players, as it completely takes the load off your knees. This is vital for maintaining longevity in your career overall!
Use these exercises with Tabata intervals to build endurance and explosive power during the off-season!
The prowler sled is another amazing tool for off-season conditioning for basketball players. The prowler can be used to build mass, strength, power, aerobic and anaerobic endurance depending on the distance you push it and the load you use; and always includes a certain amount of all four of these qualities at the same time!
This seriously is a “wonder” piece of equipment! Pushing a lighter load for a longer distance will work on speed and aerobic endurance, while shortening the distance but adding more weight will work more on building muscle and anaerobic power. Multiple sets of Prowler sled pushes will leave you absolutely gassed, there is no doubt about it! For a unique challenge, try undulating the distance and load over multiple sets. Start with a lighter weight and more distance, then switch your next set to a heavier set with less distance; and rotate back and forth. This will confuse your muscles (and definitely your lungs), promoting a serious metabolic and hormonal response!
Finding ways to build conditioning levels in the off-season is imperative for any athlete. These two strategies are excellent because they will build a stronger and more athletic body, without putting unnecessary stress on your ankles, hips, and knees. Working with exercises such as this will absolutely get you strong and athletic for you season, as well as healthy and mentally ready to go! Use these exercises to your advantage, and crush the competition in your upcoming season!