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Core Workout, Training The Abs & Lower Back

A different approach to training the abs and lower back

  •  Why is training the core (abs and lower back) essential for basketball players?
  1. Injury Prevention – prepare their body for the rigors of the game. A strong core will help prevent hip and back injuries.
  2. Performance Enhancement – A well-developed abdominal area will increase their jumping ability.
  • What makes this workout different?
  1. Creative – The days of doing regular crunches are long gone; players want and need to be stimulated with new and innovative exercises.
  2. Competitive – To get the most out of an athlete, tap into their competitiveness. They must “compete” every exercise, either against another teammate or against the clock.
  3. Uses a ball – Basketball players love to have a ball in their hands. By giving them a ball, they like to work their core!

Perform each exercise in the order shown for 1:00 each (8:00 for the entire routine)

Plank (with hands-on ball)

Place your hands on the ball directly below your shoulders, and assume a “push up” position. Keep your hips up and to do tuck your chin.

Plank (bringing knees to elbows)

Same position as the basic plank, but now you will attempt to touch your elbow with your knee without letting your foot touch the ground.

Plank Training The Abs and Low Back

Plank (with feet on the ball)

Similar position to the basic plank, but now you will place your hands on the ground and your toes on top of the ball keeping your ankles at a 90-degree angle.

Alternating Push-ups

Begin in a push-up position with one hand on the ball and the other on the floor. Perform a push-up, roll the ball to the other hand, and repeat until failure.

Over & Unders (Figure 8’s)

Sit up on your backside without letting your feet touch the ground and alternating pulling each knee to your chest while placing the ball “over and under” each leg.


Lye on your back with your legs slightly bent and your heels on the ground (a “crunch” position). Hold the ball firmly in both hands and perform a modified sit-up. You will touch the ball against the background above your head and then on the floor between your legs.Woodchoppers exercise

Side to Side Twists

Assume the same starting position as the Over & Unders. Holding the ball with both hands, twisting your shoulders from side to side, and touching the ball on the ground next to your hip. Do your best to get your shoulders square in the direction you are tapping.

Toe Touches

Lie on your back with your feet in the air (forming a 90-degree angle with the ground). In a crunching motion, try and touch the ball to your shoestrings.

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