BUILD SINGLE-LEG EXPLOSIVENESS
Basketball is not played standing still on both legs. You only had to watch a few minutes of this year’s NBA Finals to see how Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki made himself a Hall of Fame career from one-leg fadeaway jumpers.
At any level of basketball, from JV to the NBA, you stop, start and are always off balance. Still, you don’t need to sacrifice strength, power or explosiveness in your training. You just need to work a little differently.
Instead of grinding out long sets on Leg Press or Leg Extension machines, work more unilateral movements—like Single-Leg Bodyweight Lunges. They’ll help your body get used to the way you’re asking it to move during games.
You can take your training one step further by working with a Keiser Triple Trainer Infinity, a multi-functional cable machine that forces you to deal with resistance as you learn how to balance on one leg. The equipment’s pneumatic technology lets you work against constant resistance without shocking your muscles, so you can move freely through your exercises, just like during a game.
You’ll more easily create space for yourself on the court if you’re used to changing directions, says Michael Atkinson, Elite Pro Performance national consultant and A.C.E. certified personal trainer. “The ability to create leverage from deceleration in the lead leg allows for quick counter movement and separation from the defender,” he says. “This allows the player to create space while being tightly guarded.”
The Keiser Triple Trainer Infinity can help train any athlete for three different basketball situations:
While attached to the bungee, step forward with one leg and cross the ball between your legs. As you lean into your front leg, sink your hips down and keep 75 percent of your weight on that leg.
While attached to the bungee, drive off your lead leg and keep your hips down. Your back leg will help you deal with counter movement.
While attached to the bungee, set up in a triple threat stance and get your hips set slightly angled down to the floor. Balance and visualize going through with a jump shot with the cable pulling you.
If you don’t have access to this machine, you can replicate the movement pattern in any gym. Exercises like Bulgarian Split-Squats or Step-Ups prevent one side of the body from overcompensating, which forces each leg to get stronger.