Stretching before playing will help you prevent injury and increase flexibility.
Stretching before you play basketball is vitally important to your physical health and safety. Doing so not only increases flexibility and builds muscle but also will help prevent injuries. Stretch each major muscle group before playing to help you reach your peak performance level. Your shoulders, arms, wrists and even your fingertips help you pass, dribble and shoot the ball, so stretching to loosen up these areas will help you execute the basic fundamental skills needed to be successful.
Strong shoulders can help you be a more effective jump shooter by allowing you to put more arc on the ball when you release your shot. Stretch your shoulders while standing by placing your right hand over your left shoulder. With your left hand, grab your right elbow and pull it toward your left shoulder. Hold this stretch for 20 seconds before switching arms and repeating the exercise with your left hand over your right shoulder.
You can effectively warm up your arm muscles by extending your arms straight out from your sides with your elbows locked and moving them in small, compact circles. As you continue this stretch, begin to widen the circles you are making until you are swinging your arms in a circle from the floor to the ceiling. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and begin again with your arms rotating in the opposite direction.
Your Wrists and Forearms
As a basketball player, your wrists are one of the most important body parts you have. A successful shooter releases the ball by flicking the wrist toward the basket on the release. The looser your wrists are, the more backspin you can put on the ball and the more likely your shot will go into the basket. Extending your right arm with your palm up, grab your right hand and finger tips with your left hand, pulling it down and back as far as you can without pain. Repeat this with your left hand pulling your right.
If you play a lot of basketball, chances are you have jammed a finger. Your fingertips are one of you most important body parts as a basketball player because fingertip strength allows you to control the basketball while dribbling, passing and shooting. Simply extend each of your fingers back one by one, followed by extending them back all together. Repeat this exercise until you begin to feel your fingers and palms loosening up. Finish by bringing your hands in front of your chest and shaking them out as loosely as you can.
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