Medicine balls are one of the most versatile workout tools you can use, and I’m going to show you some different exercises you can do with it as part of a basketball workout routine.
This basketball medicine ball workout will target the areas of your body you’re going to need in order to do well at the sport.
Best Basketball Medicine Ball Exercises
A lot of the exercises I will be showing you are pulled from the same movements you would use to play basketball.
So, you can see why this workout might be effective for someone who’s trying to improve their basketball game and build the muscles necessary for playing the sport.
The Woodchopper Exercise
This exercise will build shoulder muscles, back muscles, and your upper arms. Start by standing with your feet a little bit more than shoulder width apart.
Keep your arms straight and fully extended and hold the medicine ball over your head. From that position, pivot forward at the waist and pretend like you’re throwing the ball backward in between your legs, but keep the ball in your hands throughout the motion.
Then, bring that movement back in the opposite direction quickly, keeping up your intensity, and get back to the starting position.
You can do 10 to 15 reps of this full motion for a set, stop briefly, and then do a couple more sets. This is one of the simplest exercises in the medicine ball basketball workout, and it’s a great way to start out your routine and warm up, beginning the exercise slowly and then building up intensity with each set.
Squat to Press
You will find the squat incorporated into most exercise regimens that people do these days, and this is a variation on the squat that uses a medicine ball. Begin by holding the medicine ball close your chest with two hands as you stand straight and tall.
Your feet should be a little more than a shoulder width apart. From this position, bend your knees and push backwards with your hips.
Then, bring your body down until your thighs are lined up parallel with the floor. Push down on the floor with your heels and push your body upwards back to the starting position, all while you’re holding the ball over your head.
Then, bring the ball back down to the starting position, and you’ve done one rep.
This is one of a number of exercises that are part of the North Carolina basketball medicine ball workout, so, it’s what the pros are using to work out and prepare themselves for an entire season of playing basketball.
If you want to develop the muscles, flexibility, and range of motion necessary for a vigorous game basketball, you need to be doing different kinds of exercises that work different areas of the body.
Side to Side Slams
This is an exercise that will work most of your body, but the focus is definitely on your obliques, arms, and shoulders. Start in the standing position, standing tall and straight.
Pick up the medicine ball and lift your arms overhead, fully extending them.
You want to get your core engaged with this exercise and throw the ball powerfully down to the ground and close to your foot.
Throw it at such an angle that it will bounce right back in your hands, and when it does, you can catch it and toss it down to the opposite foot.
Alternate the sides back and forth, making sure that your core is kept tight as you’re doing this. Try to do the slams as quickly and forcefully as you can, as you will be working your arms and shoulders more that way.
Here’s another flexibility exercise you can use the medicine ball for. Start by lying on your back and lift your legs to where they are fully extended and straight and are at a perpendicular angle to the floor.
Then, hold the medicine ball in your hands and place it above your head with your arms extended straight.
Now, don’t move your legs at all or allow your elbows to bend, and then lift your torso and arms at the same time until the ball is touching your toes. From there, bring your body back to the starting position, and you’ve done a single rep.
This is another of the North Carolina basketball team medicine ball workout moves, and see its usefulness in preparing for a basketball game.
You are going through some of the motions you would use to turn and pass the ball as well as prepare to shoot. You’re limbering up those muscles, stretching them out, and building them up.
Sit-Up Wall Slams
How would you like a medicine ball workout for basketball that works your core, shoulders, and arms? This does all that and feels empowering and invigorating at the same time. It’s a really fun exercise, and I always look forward to this part of my workout session.
Start by sitting down and facing a wall. You want to distance yourself from the wall based on how heavy the ball is and how well it bounces back to you.
What you’re doing is throwing the ball up against the wall and then catching it as it comes back to you. So, put enough distance between yourself and the wall to do that.
Sitting down in front of the wall, grab the medicine ball with your hands and lie down. Pull the medicine ball up to your chest and then do a sit-up.
As you rise from the sit-up motion, toss the ball at the wall. You want to try for a precise throw that will allow the ball to come back to you.
You may want to give it room to bounce onto the ground first and then to you or straight from the wall back to your arms. When the ball comes back, catch it and go back to the initial position with the ball up against your chest.
You’ve done a single rep, and you can do about 15 to 20 of these, take a rest, and then do another couple of sets.
Let’s give you one more move you can do for your medicine ball workout basketball routine. The diagonal crunch works your core, particularly your abdominals, as well as your arms and some other muscles.
Hold the medicine ball in your hands and lie flat on the floor. You should have your leg extended straight out and spread open wide.
Then, roll onto your left side on the hip and then hold the ball out straight over your head at the 10:00 o’clock position. From that position, raise your arms and torso together and then allow the ball to brush the floor in between your legs.
Bring your body back down from there, but don’t roll back onto the same hip.
Instead, roll over to the other hip and hold the ball out above your head at the two o’clock position. Then, come back to your starting position. That is an entire rep, and you want to move back and forth like this several times for an entire set.
My name is Ellis Francis and I have been a personal fitness trainer, sports nutritionalist and health and fitness advisor for over 25 years. I am the lead health and fitness advisor at https://ahumanbody.com.