Courtesy of STACK.com
Blake Griffin’s explosive hops and intimidating physique might lead you to believe he’s all about lifting heavy weights and performing countless squat jumps. While he does his fair share of lifting and plyometrics, the bulk of his training consists of full-body cardiovascular workouts and exercises that force him to control his own body weight.
The result of this style of training is a ripped, high-flying monster dunk champion. Try Griffin’s workout below to see what it can do for you.
Swim one length of the pool only taking a breath after seven strokes. Swim back doing the same. Repeat for 6-10 lengths, resting as needed.
Griffin says: “You try to swim seven strokes without taking a breath, so it’s only like two breaths down and two breaths back.”
Swim one length of the pool without using your legs at all. Keep your head above water and use only your upper body. Swim back the same way. Repeat for 8-12 lengths, resting as needed.
Griffin says: “You can’t use your legs and you have to keep your head above water so it’s all upper body.”
Place both hands on top of the ball. Lower down into a Push-Up, then rise back up. Keep your elbows in tight. Repeat. (A variation involves placing one hand on the ball, the other on the ground.)
Griffin says: “Everyone does push-ups for arms and the chest and everything like that, but with the basketball, it forces you to really grip and use your forearms a little bit more. Keep the core tight through the push-up, which works almost everything except the lower body.”
Split Squat With Basketball
Start in a staggered stance with your left leg in front and hold a basketball against your chest. Lower down into a squat position with control until your right knee is just above the ground. Drive up until you are in an upright position and your right leg is completely straight. Repeat for reps and perform with your other leg forward.
Griffin says: “Works with anything you do on the court. Hold the ball and keep the core tight through everything.”
Sets/Reps: 4×8-12 each leg
Swiss Ball Plank
Assume a push-up position with your hands on the sides of a Swiss ball and your feet on the ground. Keep your core tight, your arms locked and your body forming a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. Hold this position with minimal movement for the specified duration.
Griffin says: “Grip on the ball is huge when you’re going up for a rebound and pulling it down with one hand or going up to finish and control the ball with one hand.”
Sets/Duration: 4×45-60 seconds
Sit with your knees slightly bent and your feet off the ground. Hold a med ball in front of your chest with your arms slightly bent. Rotate your chest to the left and gently touch the ball to the ground next to your left hip. Slowly rotate back to center and to the right, lightly touching the ball to the ground next to your right hip. Repeat continuously.
Griffin says: “I have to stay on my core and make sure I’m doing it every single day to keep my back from messing up, which can in turn mess up something else.”
Sets/Reps: 2×15 each side
Blake Griffin’s workout above is one of the reasons he is arguably the most explosive, powerful player in the league. His ability to contort his body for acrobatic finishes around the rim can be contributed to his focus on workouts that strengthen his core and force him to control his entire body through various movements and positions. Add this workout to your fitness routine to see increases in overall strength and your ability to perform basketball-specific moves. Once you’ve done that, head to Eastbay for the best basketball gear in the game.
For more great workout tips, head to STACK.com.
Nike Basketball’s Elite Series Hero Collection celebrates LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant, real-life heroes that electrify the basketball universe. The collection represents the best for the best: footwear designed to the superhuman specifications of James, Bryant and Durant.
Now, Eastbay wants to know who your hero is. The “Who’s Your Hero” Sweepstakes gives you the opportunity to bring home the LeBron 11 Elite, Kobe 9 Elite or KD 6 Elite from the Hero Collection. To enter, simply head over to the official sweepstakes page and fill in the required fields. Three different winners will win one of the three shoes from the pack.
Entries close Thursday, June 12 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Good luck!
Courtesy of stack.com
There are a few things college baseball scouts especially look for when watching prospects: throwing speed, baseball hitting coordination and power, and fielding skills. Many baseball players and most coaches think lifting weights increases baseball hitting, which is true, but you must have the correct exercises to get the most benefit.
The following five fundamental exercises, performed during the off-season, will give baseball players their best chance to succeed.
Fundamental Baseball Exercises
1. Med Ball Rotational Tosses
It is not brute strength that cranks the ball over the wall, but the ability to quickly generate immense amounts of power. The perfect tandem of power and strength will greatly increase your hitting distance. Med balls are a great tool to help generate power.
The problem with sports training is everyone trains predominantly on a rotational plane. This means if you swing right-handed, coaches focus on rotating to the left, because that is the same direction in which you hit. Developing balance — not neglecting the opposite side — will help stabilize ballplayers and improve their baseball hitting abilities.
2. Kettlebell Swings
The kettlebell swing may be the best single exercise you can do. Not many exercises besides Olympic lifts can generate both strength and power with such a high demand. The force generated in the posterior chain for the kettlebell swing mirrors that for hitting. Increase the amount of kettlebell swings in your strength program, and watch your hitting power progress nicely.
3. Sled Pushes and Pulls
There are countless lower-body and midsection strength exercises, but maybe the most all-around exercises are sled pushes and pulls. You can use sleds for conditioning tools, but you can also use them for leg strength. Pushing and pulling a loaded sled will dominate an athlete’s legs and promote huge increases in leg strength during the off-season. There is not a great deal of form importance on the sled, which makes it very easy and effective for youth athletes. Sleds and baseball hitting distance go hand-in-hand, because the majority of the baseball swing’s power is generated from the lower body.
4. Hang Clean
Olympic lifting can be very complex. Shortening the learning curve can help. You can do a hang clean with a barbell and not have much competition when it comes to force production and speed. Just like when hitting a baseball, the hang clean takes just fractions of a second and tests your coordination and speed. Start light and work on technique, then
add plates to the bar and watch your hitting power explode.
5. Front Squats
When you swing a baseball bat, the vast majority of the force production comes from the front of your body. Your upper body, abdominals, hips and quads generate a great deal of power. The more power and speed produced, the farther the baseball travels. Front squats are a great full-body exercise that increases trunk stability and skyrockets leg strength. Incorporating front squats in a strength program for baseball players will lead to further ball travel.
Now that you’ve got five new exercises to increase your hitting ability, head over to Eastbay to get the latest game-changing baseball cleats, clothing, and gear and prepare to win.
Courtesy of stack.com
One of the most decorated players in lacrosse history, Paul Rabil set the MLL single-season scoring record in 2012 with 72 points.
Video: STACK Performance Series 121: Improve Your Explosve Offense Like Paul Rabil
Rabil has one of the hardest shots in the game. However, he scores most of his goals because he’s able to catch goalies off guard with his quick release. To improve this critical skill, he performs drills that require him to shoot while sprinting toward the net to simulate an offensive attack.
To improve his explosive offense, Rabil performs the shot-on-the-run drill.
To improve your explosive offense, add the shot-on-the-run to your training. Perform three sets of 10 reps, twice per week.
Once you add the shot-on-the-run drill to your training program, head over to Eastbay to get the latest game-changing lacrosse cleats, clothing, and gear and prepare to win.
words // Ben Schumacher
Two different scenarios.
The other team is applying full-court pressure with your team down one with seven seconds left in the game. You receive the inbounds pass. You try to split the double team, but your dribble between the defenders isn’t quick enough and they pick your pocket, ending the game. Or maybe you’re able to split the double team. You speed dribble past a defender at half-court and crossover a guy at the 3-point line. As you rise up to hit the game-winning jumper, your shot is partially blocked by the defender that closed out on you and you lose the game.
These scenarios are a player’s worst nightmare – realizing your skills weren’t where they needed to be at crunch time to help your team come out on top. Now imagine a basketball that tracks every possible statistic about your shooting, your dribbling, your consistency, and your improvements made in key drills. That’s exactly what the 94Fifty Basketball does; it helps you improve your dribbling speed and power, shot speed and arc, along with many other important skills that can mean the difference between winning and losing.
If you’re a competitor, like we know you are, you’re willing to do whatever it takes to improve your game. You’re going to exhaust every possible resource in order to turn your weaknesses into strengths. By communicating with your smartphone via Bluetooth, the 94Fifty basketball can track things in your game like shot arc, shot speed, dribbling speed, dribbling power, and help you turn them into strengths. This allows you to do things like develop a shot with an arc that maximizes the ball’s chances of going through the hoop more consistently.
By tracking daily- and all-time bests, the 94Fifty basketball will show how your skills are developing in an easy-to-read display. In addition real-time scoring and leaderboards allow you to compete head-to-head with up to five of your friends at once to determine who the real king of the court is.
Now imagine this: you’ve put in countless hours in the gym over the summer, honing your dribbling and shooting skills. You can now dribble just as quickly and confidently with your “weak” hand as you can with your dominant hand. Your shot arc is consistently at 45 degrees, which means you’re making more shots, more often. Now you’re the best player on your team. It’s the last game of the season. Six seconds left and everyone in the gym knows you’re going to be the one taking the last shot. The ball is inbounded at half court, you drive hard to your right, and then quickly crossover just under the hand of the double-teaming defender. You rise up at the 3-point line. Another help defender is closing out fast as you get the shot away just above the outstretched hand. The horn sounds as the ball goes through the hoop. Nothing but net.
It’s what you dream about – coming through in the clutch to help your team win a big game. The difference between winning and losing can be a very fine line, but the choice is yours: will you pass on the 94Fifty Basketball and leave your game to chance, or are you all in for the win?