Resistance Bands for Basketball Training: 6 Ways to Improve your Game
This article is all about how to use resistance bands in your training and get better at basketball.
You can use resistance bands to improve your explosiveness on the court and develop better agility and a higher vertical jump. Bands are perfect for strengthening your legs for movement in basketball or for building your arm power for shooting and passing.
When you look at all the great basketball players you’ll see they all have certain things in common – fast footwork, high vertical jump, long forward leap and great explosiveness on the court. All of them spend a lot of time in supplemental training, using tools like resistance bands to develop those fast twitch muscle fibres which are essential for these skills.
Basketball resistance bands are the perfect tool for upping your game because they’re so flexible in the way they can be used – you can add resistance to any of the movements you might want to do on the court.
Here are 6 ways you can use resistance bands for basketball training and take your game to the next level:
#1 Use mini resistance bands to improve your movement skills
Mini resistance bands can be looped around your ankles or above the knees. Wearing
them while doing lateral and linear movements builds up the leg muscles you need for fast and effective dribbling.
The great thing with these bands is that the resistance is applied constantly from all angles, instead of just from one angle as with regular weights. So using mini resistance bands for basketball training lets you develop power when moving in any direction.
You can use resistance loops while doing side-to-side shuffles or forward/backwards walking. But the best way to improve your basketball game with mini resistance bands is to wear them while doing your regular movement and dribbling drills, or even wear them while playing a game. This will help you develop explosive power in the specific moves you would use during competitive play.
#2 Use resistance bands to improve your vertical jump
Having a high vertical jump requires explosive power in your legs, especially the quad muscles. Building the power for high jumping is best done with higher repetitions and lighter weights. Doing heavy barbell squats certainly will give you strong legs, but won’t develop on the fast twitch fiber muscles you need to achieve that slam dunk.
Longer bands, like 208cm resistance loops, or long, flat resistance bands are ideal for adding resistance to your jump training. This is because of the versatile way they can be looped around your body and attached onto other objects. As with all other resistance bands, they come in different levels so you can increase the resistance as you get stronger.
Try looping a resistance band around your neck and shoulders, or around your waist, and having two partners stand on each end while you practice jumping high. Training in this way over time will make your legs adapt to the extra resistance and increase their ability to store and release elastic energy. Meaning your airtime will increase.
#3 Use resistance loops to develop explosive sprint power
Getting to the ball first, or reaching the hoop before your opponent, requires explosive sprint power and lightning acceleration. This again depends on your fast twitch fiber muscles. As mentioned, developing these is best done with lighter resistance and high repetitions.
For basketball sprint training, resistance bands are perfect because they can apply horizontal resistance, unlike weights which depend on gravity and so only work on a vertical plane.
Try using two 208cm resistance loops and tying them together. Then attach one end to a fixed object (or have someone hold on to it). Loop the other end around your waist and wear it while you practice sprint drills. You only need to sprint three or four meters, but focus on exploding yourself forward as fast as possible.
#4 Use resistance bands to build core strength for basketball
Perhaps you wouldn’t think it, but resistance bands are actually very effective for building up core strength. And core strength is super important not just for basketball but for any sport. Because a strong core provides the platform from which all other movement occurs.
You can read more about building a strong core in this article. The important thing to note is that doing sit ups is not the best way to work your core muscles, because ideally the exercise should not round your spine, but rather use the muscles that prevent it from rounding.
Doing plank variations with a mini resistance band is an excellent way to gain true core strength, not just in your abdomen but in all the auxiliary core muscles – in the hips, groin, glutes, and back – and you need these for basketball.
#5 Build springy power in your arms and upper body
Passing the ball and shooting effectively requires explosive power in your arms. Doing too much heavy weight training will give you strong arms but doing too much will actually slow you down.
Using resistance bands as an alternative to weights will help you build up springy power in your arms necessary for effective passing and shooting in basketball.
You can also use a resistance tube (pictured), which comes with foam handles and a door anchor. Simply fix the centre of the tube to a door jamb, at any height, and practice passing and shooting movements while holding onto the handles.
#6 Use a glute band to build rock solid hips and thighs
Glute bands are like mini resistance bands except they have much stronger resistance (around 150lb). They’re also fabric coated to prevent them slipping during use.
The super high resistance level makes them too difficult for most people to use for doing fast movement exercises, however once your strength level improves, you’ll find yourself able to move fairly fast while doing forward/backward stepping and sideways shuffling exercises with the band on.
Fabric glute bands will build massive strength in the hips, thighs and glutes. This is important for basketball because of the huge demand which is placed on these areas during competitive play.
You can wear a glute band while doing exercises like squats, glute kickbacks, clamshells and glute bridges to injury-proof yourself and build up awesome lower body strength.
Using resistance bands for basketball training is one of the best ways to improve your game. They’re great for increasing your explosiveness in movement, your agility, balance, strength and stability. And regular training will hugely decrease your chance of injury, one of the biggest fears of any athlete. There are many types of resistance bands – see our full range here and find the one which is best for you!