Depending on whom you're playing with or against, basketball can be a very grueling exercise. No sport has as much variety of movement as basketball. You run, jump, move sideways, move backward, and occasionally dive to the floor for a loose ball. On account of the variety of movement, basketball works a variety of muscles. It requires excellent stamina and hand-eye coordination, and you have to be physically and mentally quick. The sport is a wonderful cardiovascular activity and a total-body workout.

Whether you play basketball competitively or play for fun, the yoga-with-weights exercises in Table 16-4 help you jump higher for more rebounds and scoring and build your endurance and stamina. "There is no way I could have played as long as I did without yoga," NBA all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar told Men's Health magazine. "My friends and teammates think I made a deal with the devil. But it was yoga that made my training complete."

Warm-up exercises (see Chapter 6): Head Turner, Lateral Neck Release, Backward Shoulder Roll, Forward Shoulder Roll, Side Bender, The Big Stretcher, Wrist Rotator, Hip Twister, Quad Stretcher, All-Out Hamstring Stretcher

Table 16-4

A Baller's Workout

Chapter Exercise


7 Heaven and Earth

Stretches and lengthens your back, sides,

arms, and legs

7 The Rag Doll

Releases tension in your head, neck, shoul

ders, and back; conditions your abdominal

muscles, back, and legs

7 The Airplane

Strengthens and conditions your legs, back,

and arms; enhances balance and stability

7 The Triangle

Strengthens, stretches, and conditions your

legs, hips, back, abdominal muscles, shoul

ders, and arms

7 The Warrior II

Strengthens and conditions your legs, the

core muscles of your trunk and torso, and

your shoulders

7 The Dog

Offers total-body strengthening and


7 The Frog

Stretches your groin, hips, and pelvic girdle;

stretches and strengthens your legs





The Chair

Strengthens and conditions your legs, buttocks, hips, back, shoulders, and arms


The Crow

Stretches and strengthens your inner thighs, pelvic girdle, legs, buttocks, upper torso, and arms; tones and conditions your abdomen and core


The Runner

Strengthens and tones your legs, buttocks, back, shoulders, and arms; enhances balance and coordination


The Rise and Shine

Enhances balance, coordination, and overall body toning and stretching


The Twister

Strengthens and tones your abdomen, sides, and back; opens up your upper torso and arms


The Plow

Strengthens and conditions your core, abdomen, back, and legs; stretches and tones your arms


The Lightning Bolt

Builds strength and brings flexibility to your legs, buttocks, hips, back, and shoulders


The Swimmer

Strengthens and tones your arms, back, buttocks, legs, and abdomen


The Tree

Strengthens your legs, core, trunk, upper torso, and arms; develops balance, coordination, and stability


The Dancer

Helps stretch your quads, back, and shoulder girdle; enhances balance and stability


The Straddle

Stretches your groin, hips, and legs; strengthens your abdomen, back, and biceps


The Flying Locust

Strengthens and tones the front and back of your body; strengthens your shoulders, arms, chest, legs, and buttocks


The Locust

Strengthens your shoulders, chest, arms, legs, buttocks, and abdominal muscles


The Staff

Strengthens your shoulders, chest, arms, legs, buttocks, and abdominal muscles


The Burning Boat

Strengthens your core and abdominal muscles; builds endurance and stamina


The Archer

Strengthens, stretches, and tones your back and legs

Fire Up Your Core

Fire Up Your Core

If you weaken the center of any freestanding structure it becomes unstable. Eventually, everyday wear-and-tear takes its toll, causing the structure to buckle under pressure. This is exactly what happens when the core muscles are weak – it compromises your body’s ability to support the frame properly. In recent years, there has been a lot of buzz about the importance of a strong core – and there is a valid reason for this. The core is where all of the powerful movements in the body originate – so it can essentially be thought of as your “center of power.”

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