5 Basic Pre-Game Stretches for Basketball Weekend Warriors
As the pandemic comes to a close, and basketball courts start getting packed again you might want to dust off your basketball shoes and lace them up once again... But once you walk into the gym and shoot your first shot you realize that you're not moving like how you're used too. Here's a way that you can overcome that feeling in 5 minutes!
Hip mobility is vital in basketball for changing direction quickly and defending great offensive players. A focus on hip stretches will make your joints feel comfortable and stable when moving in a greater range of motion.
1. Hip Flexor Stretch: Kneel on one knee creating a 90° angle with the opposite hip. Tilt your pelvis backwards to flatten your lower back and transfer your weight forward until you feel a gentle stretch on the anterior aspect of your hip of the lower leg.
2. Hip Crossovers: Lie on your back with your arms out, feet flat on the floor, and your knees together. Let both knees fall to one side in a slow controlled movement, letting the weight of your legs help you get to end range. Pause briefly at the bottom. Then use your hips and take your legs to the opposite side in a controlled manner.
Your calf muscles are essential for walking and running, generating the final push when jumping in basketball.
3. Calf Stretch: Stand facing a wall or object and place your foot up against the wall. Keeping a straight knee, lean forward until you feel a stretch in the calf and hold the position.
The quadriceps muscle, which are in the front of your thighs, straighten the knee joint every time you run across the court or jump vertically which makes it the powerhouse of your lower body.
4. Quad Stretch: Grab the top of one ankle with one hand and pull your foot towards your buttock until you feel a gentle stretch in front of the thigh. Hold the stretch, keeping your lower back neutral.
The adductors (or your groin muscles) are important for providing stability during explosive movements such as jumping and running for basketball players.
5. Butterfly Stretch: Sit down and bring your heels together as close as possible to your hips.
Grab the forefoot with your hands to pull the torso forward to feel a comfortable stretch in the groin/inner thigh.
*My lawyer told me to inform you that this is an informative article, not medical advice.*
Zuhair Haque, Exercise Specialist at Rehabon Physical Therapy. Zuhair enjoys basketball and he cannot wait to start the DPT program at North Central College in 2023. Zuhair has an extensive experience for working for multiple physical therapy/rehab organizations.
-- Irfan Ibrahim is an Owner/Physical Therapist at Rehabon Physical Therapy, Downers Grove IL 60515. He enjoys sunshine and rainbows with his three children. Loves hiking, biking and golfing but he has accepted to live with his mediocre skills. Questions??!! Email him: Irfan@rehabon.com follow him on Facebook