5 Essential Core Exercises for Basketball Players

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Last Updated on November 4, 2022 by admin

Just like any other sport, performing excellently in a basketball game takes a lot of training. If you are a basketball fanatic or player, you understand the kind of work it takes for one to be an outstanding player. The reactionary nature of the game calls for core strength in all planes of motion. Basketball also demands explosive power, lateral movement and quickness- all of which you can improve. The best basketball players in the world sacrifice a lot of time investing in their physical performance as well as the best training gear like shoes.

Basketball is played on a small space measuring 94 by 50 feet, yet it involves a lot of movement and focus. That means a player needs to be swift on their actions while keeping the focus on the ball. With every jump shot or dribble, you engage your core muscles. The core is the center of everything you do. Increasing your core strength will help you jump higher, run faster, increase shooting range, change directions and be stronger than your opponent.

Best Core Exercises for Basketball Playeers

In recent years, core training has evolved tremendously. Core exercise now feature many movements that incorporate large muscle groups. To enhance the basic basketball skills and play like a pro, the following are the core exercises that should never miss in your workout schedule.


Push-ups strengthen several core muscles, including the arms, stomach, and thighs. Basketball players need to perform a lot of push-up reps in training. That is because it is the simplest yet most effective work out for the arms. Basketballers need to have strong arms that can pass or dribble the ball without interfering with the body balance. Know that there are also times when players get to contest for the ball if the opponent manages to get their hands on it. As a rule, players are only allowed to contest for the ball using their hands and not by involving the rest of the body in pulling or pushing the opponent. Without strong hands, you can easily be displaced from your pivot, or the ball can easily get snatched away.

Running Exercises

As small a basketball court seems, believe that running four quarters is not possible even to some of the best players in the world. That is because all that running can make you tired and reduce your performance rate. To avoid getting tired quickly, basketballers are supposed to have more ‘gas.’ Other than enabling basketballers to play longer, running is generally healthy for any athlete. That is because it engages the whole body. Running allows you to work out your core muscles to help your body to become more stable. This will, in turn, add your strength, and it will also have an impact on your performance. Running also strengthens the legs for flexible movement on the court. Note that most of the time you will be spent playing basketball, you will be in a bent position with knees slightly bent. This position is not easy to maintain for long if your leg muscles are not strong enough.


This is a work out method that adds core strength and stability. Planks target the stomach, back, thighs, and other core muscles. Planks are intense and other than basketballers, people with weight problems have managed to lose weight by doing planks continuously. There are two kinds of planks; the regular plank where you lie on your stomach and support yourself using the elbows and toes to keep your body off the ground. There is also the side plank whereby you lie on your side, supporting yourself using your shoulder and one hand. Performing planks is quite similar to press-ups since all you need to do is move the body up and down repeatedly. Most professional basketballers use planks to help them become more stable. Being a contesting game, there can be contact, and some of them are allowed by the rules. Being unstable can, therefore, make you weak, and that might put you at more risk as well.


This is one of the toughest workouts that you can do without gym equipment. It’s unfortunate that some players don’t properly understand why sit-ups are essential for a basketballer. Sit-ups strengthen the muscles along the stomach area. When playing and panting due to being tired, the muscles around your stomach will be contracting and retracting at a higher rate than usual. If they are not appropriately hardened, they can become fatigued, making them painful. As mentioned, contact is expected in a game situation, and most of the foul contacts are by the elbow to the stomach. Through sit-ups, you can harden your stomach muscles and gain a ripped six-pack. Sit-ups are used by almost every athlete and not only basketballers. In court, where there is a coach or captain in charge of the team, sit-ups will never miss in the training schedule.


There are different ways of performing squats. If you lack the weight to put on your shoulders, you can as well do the squats without them. Squats are suitable for the thighs and legs in general. Also, they help strengthen the muscles around the stock as well as the back. If done correctly using the right posture, regular squat exercises can improve your general physical performance. As for your back, even the backbone and nervous system will be exercised, therefore enhancing their balance. Sit-ups also make the muscles around the back and those attached to the spine to be stronger. This goes a long way in improving your general balance and stability.


As you can see, there is no shortage of core exercises for basketballers. Most of these core exercises are shared across all athletes and work out enthusiasts. That is because, they have a general impact of strengthening all body muscles especially the core muscles.

Attaining the right balance and outstanding performance is all about preparing the body well enough to withstand physical resistance. This will require strength, which comes from all the muscles of the body. That is why you need to perform the above core exercises as part of your training.