by Keila Chliotis, Staff Writer
Nothing better than exercising in open air playing a sport that offers so many important benefits for our mind and body. These benefits are direct, fortifying our lung capacity, blood circulation and cardiac rhythm. In the mental part, it favors the development of agility and logic, improving our state of awareness to prevent any kind of physical attacks, increasing vitality, stress attacks, anxiety and depression, as incredible as it sounds. We can find all these benefits in one single sport: basketball.
The best part is that you don’t have to be skilled in basketball to be able to play it. Thus, we will start with some basic and simple exercises that will help us get into shape with only three days a week. All we need is adequate clothes, tennis shoes, a basket ball, a basketball hoop and lots of willingness to become mentally and physically fit.
Basketball is a team sport that consists in getting the basket ball into the hoop, which stands three meters above the court. It is a complete exercise as it requires abilities such as concentration, equilibrium, self-control, confidence, personality and rapid execution.
I use the following exercises in my personal training due to their usefulness and amenity. These are adequate for beginners. What is important in exercise is having rhythm and concrete objectives. Once you have established a workout routine it will be easier to start playing each game.
For a sport like basketball, as is the case in most sports, warm up is a must. Warm up must be done in the upper body (head, shoulders, chest, abdomen, waist, arms, neck, hands and back) since this is the area that will see the most action during playtime. However, the lower body (hips, knees, legs, ankles) must not be left too ignored.
Once we have warmed up we can start with the first exercise.
- We start with a basic exercise for leg and endurance development and management. You line up on the baseline, under the backboard and get into racing position. Start running towards the free throw line, touch the line with your hand and run back to the baseline. Once you reach the baseline run towards the midcourt line, touch the line with your hand and run back to the baseline. You keep doing this until you reach the other baseline and have come back. Many people tend to run as fast as possible while doing this exercise from the very beginning. However, you can start slowly at the beginning and increase speed as your endurance increase. After all, this exercise is designed to increase your endurance and increase your muscle strength and tone in your legs and calves.
- The second exercise will work your gluteus, waistline and legs. Instead of running at high speed we will move laterally on each court line with knees bent and buttocks pointing downwards. This exercise helps increase agility and speed as well as strengthens the leg muscles. It also helps for defending the ball during playtime.
- Bouncing the ball against a wall increases the passing precision a player has when passing the ball. Use masking tape to mark an X on a wall and distance yourself 10 feet from the wall. Using the chest pass technique, aim towards the X mark and throw. Repeat up to 15 times before increasing the distance between yourself and the mark. This exercise will increase the strength in your biceps and triceps and will help you with become more precise when passing and shooting the ball. It also help helps your concentration and aiming.
- Do some rapid free throws shots. This exercise consists of throwing ten to fifteen consecutive and fast free throws shots. You will need a partner, under the hoop, to help you get the ball fast in order to not lose the rhythm. At the beginning it doesn’t matter if the throws go in the basket or not. This exercise is best if done after some tiring exercise. Its aim is to help the tired player throw and score when the energy reserves are low. It helps with focus and concentration.
You can start with these exercises and as you continue to practice them you will feel changes in your body. Your legs will be stronger, your muscles more tone and your endurance level will be higher. Your focus and concentration levels at the job place will be better and your stress levels will be way down. It also helps relieve any anxiety or depression you might feel. Your body will be in better shape and more energetic and your mind more sharp.
After doing these exercises you should try to play a game with your friends or coworkers.
So get yourself to your local park and enjoy playing in the open air this wonderful sport that not only exercises your body and mind but also helps you meet people with whom you will share a common interest. It will increase your bonds if you practice with friends.