Basketball Specific Agility Training

Basketball Specific Agility Training

This article was written by Layton Westmoreland, a basketball trainer at Spartan Training center in San Antonia, Texas. 

 

Running two miles on the track or scaling the bleachers at the football stadium is not training like a basketball player.

These types of activities work your body aerobically. They won’t take your game to the next level. Why? Because they engage the wrong energy system. Basketball consists of intermittent bouts of all-out effort, which tax the anaerobic, not the aerobic, energy system.

To train your anaerobic system, you should be doing sprints and agility drills instead of long runs. They will increase your power and capacity on the basketball court because they activate your fast-twitch muscle fibers, the ones you use for on-court movements like jumping and cutting.



Anaerobic Exercise Definition: Any short-duration exercise that is powered primarily by metabolic pathways that don’t use oxygen. Such pathways produce lactic acid, resulting in metabolic acidosis. Examples of anaerobic exercise include sprinting and weight lifting.

Aerobic Exercise Definition: Any physical exercise that requires additional effort by the heart and lungs to meet the striated muscles’ increased demand for oxygen. Aerobic exercise increases the breathing rate and ultimately raises heart and lung efficiency. Prolonged aerobic exercise (at least 20 minutes three times a week) is recommended to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. Examples of aerobic exercise include running, jogging, swimming, and vigorous dancing or cycling.

 

Agility Training

Here are some great footwork and agility workouts to work on your anaerobic system and improve the basketball player’s quickness. It is important that the players stay low and in good form for both of these agility drills. You don’t want to promote and develop bad habits.

Lateral Circle Agility Drill

Sets/Duration: 5×30 seconds

  • Stand in athletic position on the half-court line or free throw line circle, facing into the circle.
  • Perform defensive slides at full-speed around the circle, trying to stay along the line.
  • Once you reach your starting spot, plant, and slide back in the opposite direction.
Linear Circle Agility Drill

Sets/Duration: 5×30 seconds

  • Stand in athletic position on the half-court line or the free-throw line circle, facing into the circle.
  • Sprint at full speed around the circle, trying to stay along the line.
  • Once you reach your starting spot, plant, and sprint back in the opposite direction.

Option: Both basketball agility drills can be done in a “chaser” competition, where one player follows and tries to catch her partner.

 

Circle Agility Drill Video (YouTube)

 

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