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Foam rolling is one of the best ways to see immediate gains in performance. If you can release muscle adhesions to get better muscle fiber recruitment, you will increase your performance. Foam rolling is also a great way to reduce injury risk. The key areas we want to focus on to release adhesions are the IT Bands (side of the legs), Quads (top of the thighs), Adductors (groin), External Rotators (beneath glutes) and Calves (back of the lower legs).
To foam roll the IT band, place the roll on the ground and lie down on your side with the roll placed mid-thigh and your forearm on the ground to brace yourself. Roll up and down on the roll from your hip to your knee to find areas of increased tenderness. Areas of tenderness are where the muscle is stuck in a contracted state.
Areas of increased tenderness should be targeted with focused rolling over the tender area until the pain subsides.
The quadriceps are the large major muscle group on the front of your thighs. The quads are made up of 4 large muscles that connect the hips to the knee and are a primary force generator for knee extension (think straightening the knee as occurs in the jumping motion). To foam roll the quads, place the roller on the ground and lie over the top of the roll with the roll across your thigh length-wise.
Since the quadriceps are a collection of muscles, its important to move the roller to target each muscle. To hit all of the quad muscles, move the roller across three areas: center of the thigh, outside edge of the thigh and inside edge of the thigh.
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Side steps are one of the best exercises you can add to your routine to improve stability. Hip stability improves jumping efficiency and is key to generating maximum force.
To perform the loop band side steps start by putting the loop band around your feet as shown in the image above. Start with your feet shoulder width apart and knee slightly bent. Step sideways in one direction making sure to always keep tension in the loop band. Once you complete 15 - 20 steps, reverse directions allowing the opposite foot to lead.
When selecting a resistance level for performing side steps, make sure you can maintain tension in the band without the band pulling your feet together when you lift a foot. You should start to feel fatigue after 10-15 correctly performed reps, if not move up to the next resistance level.
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The jump rope is an important part of improving your foot-speed and coordination. Foot-speed and coordination translates into quick reflexes and helps you use your vertical in a game by being able to react quickly. There are many jump rope exercises you can perform, from two foot jumps, single-foot hops and many more.
To jump properly, it’s important to make sure the jump rope is the right length. You can adjust the jump rope by pulling the cap off the handle and pulling the cord through to the right length.
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The jump cord is a great addition to your strength and power exercises. It can be used to add a directional force (vector) while performing certain exercises. When you add this “pulling,” it forces you to engage your core and stabilizing muscles to counteract the force from the jump cord. The more stable you are the more efficiently you convert force into power production for your jump.
The jump cord can be used to perform any number of jumping, running or even basketball skill exercises. The two-foot max jump exercise below is a great example of adding the jump cord to engage and stabilze hip and core muscles.
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Shotscience All-Access is the premium content you need to become an elite player. From extensive walkthroughs to the drills you need to be working on, its all here and updated monthly with new content.
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