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Training endurance as a basketball athlete

by | Jul 19, 2020

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Although training endurance won’t directly lead to more explosive movement in basketball, it is still important to work on.

The importance of endurance

Training endurance is important as it minimises the drop in muscle performance as fatigue builds up.

Basketball is a sport in which you are frequently running up and down the court.

Even in casual half-court play, there’s CONSTANT cutting, sliding, running and jumping.

In the final stretch of a close game, one thing often separates the winners from the losers…

Who can perform the best under fatigue?

Even during strength training, good endurance can help push through a set whilst still maintaining good form.

Indirectly, this helps to improve explosiveness down the line.

Starting to sound wise to train your stamina and endurance isn’t it?

Might not be flashy, but it’s a major key.

Aerobic training vs Anaerobic training

What’s aerobic training?

Aerobic (“with air”) refers to the production of energy using oxygen.

This concerns movement that occurs over a longer period of time like over two minutes. (Such as running a mile)

What’s anaerobic training?

Anaerobic (“without air”) refers to the production of energy without using oxygen.

This typically involves higher intensity movements that occur in shorter bursts of time. (E.G. running a fast break and finishing with a layup)

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Basketball is dominated by anaerobic movements such as cuts to the basket and jumping for a rebound after boxing out.

But, there is also an aerobic aspect…

Players run back and forth from one basket to another over the course of a quarter.

Because of this, it makes sense to combine the two when training endurance.

training endurance for athletes in basketball

Endurance training

Here are three exercises for training endurance as a basketball athlete.

Jog-Sprint-Jump Progression (Anaerobic + Aerobic):

  1. Jog across the width of the court (roughly 15m if you don’t have access), then back-pedal to where you started
  2. Sprint at full speed across the width, then back-pedal again
  3. Do two-footed jumps across the width (trying to cover max distance with each jump), then back-pedal again

This counts as one rep. Depending on your ability, experiment with the reps and sets to push yourself and boost your endurance.

5k run (Aerobic):

Focus on finishing the full distance at a consistent speed rather than going fast and then having to stop.

Increase/decrease the distance to suit your training and improve your aerobic system.

Hill runs (Anaerobic):

Running up a hill at max speed for between 8 and 20 seconds is a great way to challenge your anaerobic system.

Start at a length of time that suits you and increase it as you improve to build up your endurance.

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All these exercises are very beneficial, but the best way to build endurance for basketball is by playing basketball.

The movement patterns across a whole game of basketball are VERY unique and difficult to mimic through other training.

Playing basketball without any laziness attached (playing offense and defense at the same high intensity) is your best friend when training endurance for basketball.

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