Being on offense in basketball can require a lot from a player. You need to be able to dribble properly, pass efficiently and shoot with accuracy. At the same time, you must keep your eyes on the defense for the threat of steals or turnovers. Because of these challenges, players need to have well-developed reflexes and instincts on the court. A great tool to add to your training routine to sharpen these talents is a weighted basketball.
WHAT IS A WEIGHTED BASKETBALL?
This style of ball is a resistance training tool that can help strengthen your forearms, wrists and fingers. These training aids are similar to a normal basketball in size at the official 29.5″ circumference (28.5″ for women’s basketball). Heavy basketballs can feature either leather or rubber exteriors like a normal ball for indoor or outdoor play. The main difference is in the weight of the ball. Most weighted balls weigh in at roughly 3 lbs. This is more than double a typical basketball’s weight of 1.4 lbs.
Despite the weight difference, these training aids have a similar feel and bounce to a normal basketball. This quality can help you add resistance training to ball-related drills.
WEIGHTED BASKETBALL DRILLS
Training with a weighted basketball can be an easy addition to your workout routine. Because of the similarity between a heavy basketball and a normal basketball, there should be little change. The added resistance of the weighted basketball can enhance some of your ball-related training. Dribbling, passing, shooting and rebounding skills can all benefit from weighted basketballs.
Weighted balls can force you to put more effort behind your downward motion when dribbling. The extra push is necessary to have the ball return to the desired dribbling height. Using a heavy basketball during dribbling drills can help build wrist and forearm strength. Looking for a comprehensive basketball dribbling drill to train your talents? Try the dribble tunnel drill to learn how to push the ball up the court with confidence and control.
Weighted balls can help you build arm strength in passing drills. Heavy basketball training can also work pass-receiving skills like touch and soft hands. The similarities between the bounce of a regular basketball and that of a weighted basketball are what make this possible. With a weighted basketball, you can read bounce passes and become accustomed to receiving and sending balls off the court. Try these basketball passing drills to train chest and bounce passes with added resistance.
SHOOTING AND REBOUNDING DRILLS
A weighted basketball can help build forearm and wrist strength in shooting and rebounding drills. The added resistance can force you to use your arms more, thus building up these key areas. However, it’s important to be mindful of your shooting range. You don’t want to compromise form in order to get the weighted basketball in the basket. Habits learned while training can easily manifest themselves during gameplay. Want to give weighted basketball training a shot? Look to add resistance training to the Mikan drills series to help train your layup and rebounding around the rim.
BONUS PRO TIP: When practicing with a weighted basketball, use it in repetitions. After a few reps with a heavy basketball, continue your training with a normal basketball. This can help you reap the benefits of the resistance training without compromising form or developing bad habits.
A NOTE ON “SMALL” BASKETBALLS
Just as weighted training can increase your strength in dribbling, using lightweight and miniature basketballs can enhance your skill set, too. These 22.5″ basketballs can come in either official or light weight. By training with mini basketballs, you can boost your feel for the ball and create better awareness. These traits are necessary on the court to help you keep your eyes on the game around you.
Weighted basketball training can help give you that added boost in court command. Use these training aids to get a better grip on basketball’s essential skills and take your play above the rim.
Want more resistance training to add to your routine? Learn the benefits of using a power band to improve acceleration, strength and speed with these basketball Pro Tips.