Build Grip Strength for Better Ball Handling
Grip strength is extremely important for basketball players and should be a focal point of a player’s basketball training. As a former basketball coach and avid basketball fan, I have witnessed countless occasions when a player coming down with a rebound only to have it ripped right from his hands. This is very frustrating to watch and can be easily avoided by adding grip development exercises to your programming. Having strong hands is not only important for holding on to the basketball, but also for becoming a better ball handler. Simply stated, the stronger your hands are the better you are going to be at handling the basketball because stronger hands will give you a better feel for the ball and more control over it. It is for these reasons that I am a huge advocate of using sandbags, medicine balls, and fat gripz in your basketball strength training programs. Doing so will guarantee that your hands and forearms are developing along with the rest of your body and you will see gains not only in your exercises, such and deadlifts and pull ups but also on the court where your handle will be much improved and you will be less likely to lose the basketball because of weak hands.
Basketball Hand Strength & Sandbags
Training with sandbags is a fantastic way to increase your overall body strength as well as build tremendous grip strength. The shifting weight of the sand in the bag forces players to stabilize their core and use muscles that they would not necessarily use when lifting with a barbell. This type of odd object lifting is a great supplement to a basketball player’s regular training regimen and the odd nature of the object will create a much stronger more athletic basketball player. One that is less likely to get injured when the game forces your body to work in a way that is not as linear as it would like. Beyond the overall strength and athletic benefits of sandbag training it provides an abundance of grip strength development. When training with a sandbag, there is no easy way to grip the bag (providing you don’t cheat and use the pre fab handles). Once again, due to the shifting nature of the sand it forces your hands to adjust throughout the lifts thereby making them stronger.
Basketball Grip Strength and Small Sandbags
Sandbag training is not the only way to develop grip strength. Another great way to build stronger hands is to incorporate smaller medicine balls (4 or 6 pounds) into your basketball skill development workouts. Start by just tossing the medicine ball up and catching it with your elbow and forearm horizontal to the floor (like you would have your guard arm up while handling a basketball) and palm facing down and out. This will challenge your hands to really grip the medicine ball as you catch it and force you to keep your guard arm up (another common mistake that novice ball handlers make). Do not catch the medicine ball underhand! This is too easy and defeats the two main purposes of the drill: building grip strength and getting your guard arm up. As you progress through this drill, the next step in this series would be to pound the basketball while executing the toss and catch with your opposite hand. Once again, make sure that you are catching the ball with your arm up and palm facing out.
You could also have a partner toss you the medicine ball while you are dribbling the basketball. This is a little more challenging since the medicine ball is now travelling a greater distance towards you for you to catch. Finally, execute a change of direction move such as a crossover, a between the legs move, or a behind the back move while the medicine ball is in flight. This will make the drill even more of a challenge because you now have to focus on the change of direction move as well as the medicine ball catch. (These last two progressions that I mentioned are viewable in the video below).
Finally, you can also build grip strength by incorporating the use of Fat Gripz into your weight training. Fat Gripz are fat blue pads the slide over the bar that make gripping the bar in pulling situations, like the deadlift, more challenging because it makes the gripping area of the bar thicker and difficult to hold on to. This are a less expensive option to the chubby bars that many manufacturers are making these days and equally effective. Other exercises players can use to improve their overall grip strength include plate pinches, dumbbell grips, or even the use of a towel when doing pull ups or rows. Overall, incorporating grip strength work into your basketball training regimen on and off the basketball court will provide the player with tremendous benefits that include improved ball handling and dribbling as well as fewer turnovers as a result of the ball getting ripped from your hands.
Learn The Best Basketball Grip Strength Tips In Your Next Workout!
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