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10 basketball moves to improve your game

There’s nothing better than a game of pick-up at the gym, but to improve your basketball moves and prevent injury on the court, there are some basic exercises you should include in your normal workout routine. While these movements aren’t applicable only to basketball players, they are essential for maximizing quickness, explosiveness, and the ability to complete lateral movements quickly without serious injury.

Below, you’ll find a quick checklist of 10 moves you should add to your conditioning workouts. This Men’s Journal article goes into the “why” behind the movements in depth and gives a how-to if you’re not familiar with the moves by name.

Focus on basketball moves to prevent injury

These movements are meant to strengthen and support the most-often injured joints, while also providing strength to help level the playing field for anyone who isn’t built like LeBron. We’ve separated the exercises into upper and lower body so you can focus on those areas in your normal workout rotation.

You’ll notice there are a lot more lower body-focused moves than upper body, and that’s for good reason. Most basketball injuries are to the legs and back and result from quick direction changes or strain from playing on a hard surface. Address the leg and joint strength and flexibility issues, and you’ll be that much closer to preventing serious injury.

Upper body work

  • Alternating dumbbell press (dumbbells) – shoulders, lats, back

  • Pullups – back, shoulders, wrists, and lats

Lower body work

  • Lateral lunge – groin, hips, lateral movement

  • Glute bridge – glutes

  • Physio ball leg curl (medicine ball) – hamstrings

  • Lateral bounds or skaters (pause to a 3-count to balance on landing) – explosive lateral movement

  • Romanian deadlift (RDL) (dumbbell) – glutes, hamstrings, back

  • Goblet squat (dumbbell or medicine ball) – lower body power

  • Single leg hop or hurdle (get some height and pause to balance) – explosiveness and stability

  • Squat to press with a jump (dumbbell or medicine ball) – hips, jumping explosiveness

Put it all into action

Improve your game with these basketball moves and some pointers from the pros, then set up a game with workout buddies to test your progress. Our rooftop basketball court is ready for your next match-up, so make a reservation and get your game on. Invite friends to check out Etage Athletic and sign up for a free pass before your game.



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