It’s March Madness–a month filled with buzzer-beating games from the NCAA college basketball tournament. As the Sweet 16, Final Four, and Cinderella teams are ramping up for this major spring sporting event, basketball fever is in the air. Whether you’re working on your brackets or could give a rip about b-ball, March Madness offers amazing motivation for your own workout game. The ball is in your court. Here are some tips on what to do with it.
Dribble and Jog: Bounce the ball with your right hand as you run up and down the court (or for 15 seconds). Switch the ball to your left hand and repeat. Take a 30-second break and go again. Complete 5-6 rounds.
Basketball Push-ups: Assume a push-up position (stay on your needs to lower intensity), placing the basketball below the middle of your chest. Place your hands on the sides of the ball, and lower your body until your chest touches. Push up to the starting position while keeping the ball steady. Your upper body builds strength while your core and stabilizers muscles get toned.
High-Knee Toe Touches: In a standing position, place the basketball in front of the center of your feet. Raise your knee and touch your toe to the top of the ball. As you lower your foot back to the starting position, repeat with with the other foot. Keep this repetition up at an increased level to complete 50 toe touches–25 on each foot. Change the intensity by using the rhythm of music to follow–a faster beat picks up the pace.
Torso Twist Walking Lunge: Hold the basketball at rib level with both hands. From a starting position, step your right leg out to a lunge position, making sure that your bent knee doesn’t extend over your toes. Lower your body toward the floor as if someone were pushing down on the top of your head. When your knee touches the ground, rotate your torso over the bent leg. Return to facing front and step forward so that your back foot meets your front foot. Repeat on the other side, taking a total of 40 steps–20 per leg.
Backboard Wall Balls: Standing slightly in front of a basketball backboard (to the left or right of the net), squat so that your butt drops below parallel. As you stand, jump and toss the ball up and against the backboard. As you catch the ball, drop back into a squat and repeat for two minutes. Take a one minute break, and go again, completing 5 rounds.
Seated Core Twists: Sit on the ground with your knees bent as if you were at the top of a sit up. Lean back slightly so that your core muscles are engaged. Holding the basketball at chest level, lift your feet off the floor so that you’re balancing on your sit bones. Rotate the ball to the left and touch the floor with the ball. Then rotate the ball to the right to repeat. This is one rep. Complete two sets of 25 reps.
You don’t have to be a basketball fan to take advantage of what the on-game court can do for your body. Try these exercises, or find some friends to play Horse, match-up one-on-one with with, or work together on ball drills. Whether you’ve never played or are an old pro, basketball can be just the thing to beat the boredom of your regular routine.
Who’s your favorite basketball team from the NCAA or NBA? Shout it out in the comments!