To gradually ease into a workout or a practice session, athletes can perform a series of dynamic footwork drills that mimic many of the movements used throughout the course of a basketball game. Unlike static stretching, a dynamic workout routine is safer and more effective for the preparation of physical activity and can be considered additional practice, therefore maximizing a basketball player’s time and skills.
The following video demonstrates a group of high school girls performing a dynamic warm for basketball using body weight exercises. The dynamic warm up in this video is part one of our basketball conditioning program and is performed to warm up an athlete’s muscles and tendons to better prepare them for practice, more intensive training or a game. The basketball drills in this video can be performed by any basketball player who wishes to gain strength, body control, and speed on the court.
Tips and instructions on how to perform the exercises in part one of our dynamic warm-up routine are provided below, as well as what area of the body each drill focuses to improve. After going over part one of our basketball dynamic warm-up, we will head into part two, which includes exercises with the addition of the Myosource Kinetic Bands to fire up the muscles at a higher level.
Focus: core exercise that also builds lower body strength (including the hips) for better mobility, and balance.
Standing with your feet about shoulder width apart, step one foot forward into a lunge position. From your torso, twist your upper body to the side and stretch your arm across the body (towards lunged leg). Slowly move your arms back to center and step forward with the opposite foot, twisting the body to the other side. While alternating the legs and arms with each step, be sure to keep your knees over your ankles and avoid twisting at the knee. Maintain a slow and controlled movement throughout this exercise. Repeat this exercise backwards to add an additional element of balance and body control.
Focus: effectively uses several muscles throughout the body, particularly the legs and especially the hamstrings. The addition of the arms, shoulders and core for twisting makes the toy soldier stretch an effective full-body warm-up exercise.
Walk forward and alternate lifting each leg straight out in front of your body with the foot flexed. With each step, you will reach the opposite arm out in front of the body to try and touch your toes. Take your foot to your hand (not the hand to the foot). Keep your back neutral and your core tight. Range of motion should come through your hips and not your spine.
Focus: effectively stretches the quad muscles located along the front of the thighs that control how the knee straightens. If the quadriceps are too tight, they can pull the kneecap out of position slightly, causing friction at the knee. Stretching the quadriceps during a dynamic warm up will reduce knee pain and help prevent injuries.
Standing on one foot, lift the other leg up behind the body and grab the ankle with the hand of that same side (I.e. left foot, left hand). Pull the heel of the foot in towards your booty. Keep your hips centered and the raised leg as close to the standing leg as possible with the knee pointing toward the ground. As you stretch the quad, reach the opposite hand up and back toward the ceiling. Walk forward, alternating the legs and arms being stretched with each step. To achieve a full body stretch, all the way up through the hips and core, make sure you pause at the top, going up on the toes and extending out through the arm as high as possible. Leaning forward will greatly reduce the stretch, so keep your upper body straight with your chest up and open.
Focus: helps develop flexibility and strength in the hip flexors, glutes (buttocks), and inner thigh. Performing this exercise is also great for increasing range of motion and mobility in the hips.
First, start by “opening the gate” on each side. To open the gate, stand with your legs together and arms at your side. Lift your right knee up to form a 90 degree angle in front of the body. Slowly rotate the right knee outward to the side of the body, then release it back down to the ground next to the standing leg. Next, lift your left knee up to form a 90 degree angle in front of the body. Slowly rotate the left knee outward to the side of the body, then release it back down to the ground next to the standing leg. Repeat this exercise, alternating legs each time.
Repeat this exercise backwards by “closing the gate.” To close the gate, stand with your legs together and arms at your side. Lift your right knee up and out to the right side of the body, forming a 90 degree angle with your leg. Slowly rotate the right knee inward towards the midline of the body, then release it back down to the ground next to the standing leg. Next, lift your left knee up and out to the left side of the body, forming a 90 degree angle with your leg. Slowly rotate the left knee inward towards the midline of the body, then release it back down to the ground next to the standing leg. Repeat this exercise, alternating legs each time.
Athletes looking for a more challenging warm up and quicker gains can add resistance to their dynamic routine by wearing the Myosource Kinetic Bands just above knees as they perform the exercises. The resistance bands will drastically improve the effectiveness of any dynamic warm up as they target and fire up specific muscle groups in the legs, hips and core. After athletes perform part one of our dynamic warm up series, also known as the initial warm up, they can move into part two, which makes use of resistance.
The following video demonstrates a group of high school girls performing the second phase of our dynamic warm-up series for basketball. However, in part two the players are completing the exercises while wearing the Myosource Kinetic Bands. As players continue to warm up, the bands provide resistance to each movement the players makes during these sport-specific drills, increasing the workload of the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hips, and hip flexors. In order to gain the benefits of this dynamic warm up, players must work through the resistance. For this reason, basketball players should go at a nice, steady, and slow pace while performing the exercises provided in part two. Athletes whom challenge themselves with the addition of resistance during their dynamic warm up will fire up more muscles and get the blood flowing more effectively, better preparing themselves for the next segment of training or practice.
During part two of the dynamic warm up series, players will be expected to move backwards, move laterally, and change direction quickly. Instructions and tips on how to perform the exercises in the video while wearing the Myosource Kinetic Bands are provided below, as well as what area of the body each drill focuses to improve.
Focus: targets the quads, glutes and hip flexors to improve core strength and balance.
Start in a nice, neutral stance to hold a good center of balance. Squat down and bring your hands out in front of the body. As you begin to stand up straight, drive one knee up and out to the side of your body, keeping the knee bent to create a 90 degree angle. To engage the core muscles, work to maintain a center plane each time you drive a knee up. As you lift each leg up, do not move it from side to side or rock the leg all the way over to the standing leg. Instead, squat to parallel and drive the knee straight up. After each squat, alternate the leg being driven up.
Focus: an intense variation of the squat exercise to help athletes gain better balance, agility and ankle flexibility.
Stand with your feet spaced shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides. Bend your knees and lower your body into a squat as if you are about to sit down on a chair. Stop descending when your knees form 90-degree angles (only squat as far as you can without losing form). From the squat position, take a step forward with your right foot, leaning forward slightly to help maintain your balance. Step forward with your left foot and continue alternating feet. The work should come from your buttocks and legs. To be sure of this, squeeze the muscles in your legs and buttocks as you walk while keeping your hips back and chest tall.
Tips: Keep your back straight as you do the duck walk. Don’t arch or slouch, which can strain your back muscles and spine and lead to discomfort. If you find it difficult to remain balanced while duck walking, clasp your hands together in front of your chest. For best results, press the ball of your foot into the floor each time you step. Do not use your arms to propel yourself forward as this reduces the intensity of the exercise.
Focus: targets the quads, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, and calves to develop power, acceleration and speed. Can be used to increase stride length, improve a player’s ability to change directions and transition between skills. Particularly useful for movements that have to be made when a ball is rebounded or comes out of an opponent’s hands.
Sprint forward to a designated spot on the court. Once spot is reached, change directions by backpedaling (backwards running) to another designated spot on the court.
Food for thought: Going backwards requires a lot more focus and concentration from an athlete. While it improves a player’s balance, it also challenges the brain to activate muscles in different ways. Establishing new patterns of muscle activation in this way will become essential as players move into actual sport specific training and during games.
Focus: develops strength and endurance in the hip flexors and quads while also stretching the hip extensors.
Keeping the arms at the sides, slowly lift one knee at a time in front of the body. Create a 90 degree angle with the lifted leg by keeping the thigh parallel to the ground. After alternating legs in this way a few times, begin to add arm swings while maintaining a slow pace. Pick up the pace and lift the knees as quickly as possible. To maintain good overall form, focus on lifting the knees up and down rapidly, rather than moving forward quickly. Keep your core muscles tight as you explode the knees up at a fast pace.
After basketball players perform part one and two of our dynamic warm-up series, they are prepared to complete other phases of training. Head to the main basketball page to access information and videos for more basketball training workouts.