How to Become Faster like Your Favourite Ballers
Athletes of any sport need speed – it’s the one proponent that never slumps.
NBA players can go through stretches in which their shot is not falling, they’re having trouble scoring, but the one thing that never hinders is court speed and with it, athletes can still find ways of being productive, whether it is defensively or beating the opposition to loose balls.
Eventually the offence will come back, and with superior speed, it will only return faster. To outrun your competition always gives you an edge as an athlete and to become as fast as your favourite NBA players, this is the workout for you!
Build Power and Strength
Before any speed work or acceleration drills are even done, the first priority is getting stronger – increasing muscle mass and the body’s fast twitch muscle fibers. This will be the engine behind your speed.
The way to strengthen your body to eventually build speed will require leg exercises such as calf raises, barbell squats, hamstring curls, and leg press. The upper body, especially the core, is also an important aspect to building speed. To build upper body strength it is important to complete compound lifts such as the bench press and barbell rows, while focusing on individual muscle groups with bicep curls and tricep extensions. To build abdominal strength, circuit training is the way to go. Include variations of leg raises, crunches, Russian twists, etc.
Work on Acceleration and Quickness
This is simple high school physics. Acceleration is the ability to increase one’s velocity and therefore a key factor to increasing court speed. In a sport like basketball, the ability to accelerate may even be more important than actual raw speed.
First step quickness, the ability to accelerate from a stationary position in basketball is how players can beat their defenders off the dribble, grab boards, and become good defenders themselves.
Various drills such as the Illinois agility test and suicides are the optimal way to improve an athlete’s acceleration. As well simple exercises such as squat jumps are great exercises too.
If you train acceleration, you cannot forget deceleration. NBA players must understand how to stop-and-go – when to be under control and when to accelerate and run past their defenders.
If John Wall accelerates past his defender in the open court, he better find a way to slow himself down as he approaches the basket to safely complete the dunk or lay-up. If John Wall cannot decelerate, he will find himself possibly injured or worse, on the next episode of Shaqtin’ a Fool.
Examples of deceleration exercises can be any strength exercises in which you decelerate the extension portion of the exercise. For instance slowly going down in your squat before exploding upwards, or slowly extending your biceps on bicep curls before curling the weight back up.