Routines to Integrate in Your Basketball Warm-ups

basketball warm-ups

Written by Aliesha

August 9, 2021


Basketball warm-ups are a great way for a player to get loose for a basketball game. There is more to it than just running lines. In order for the players to be successful, they need to be able to do passing drills, shooting drills, and other activities that will loosen up their bodies for the game. When done right, warm-ups can be very effective in helping the players. Here are some essential routines basketball players should practice. 

Delve into an Athlete’s Preparation: Must-have Routines You Must Integrate in Basketball Warm-ups 

Be it in the amateur ranks or the professional scene, basketball warm-ups are an important part of an athlete’s development and performance. It is the core activity in the pre-game or pre-training phase that allows a hooper to loosen up and prepare the muscle of the body for intense action while helping prevent unwanted injuries. So, it goes without saying that you should have a planned routine during this crucial period.

Dynamic Warm-up 


While it may seem like a relatively unimportant activity, the benefits of jogging more than justify the time and hard work required to get in shape. The benefits of regular jogging include better digestion, reduced risk of heart disease and stress, increased mobility and balance, improved coordination and balance, and more energy for day-to-day activities. 

As you warm-up for your workout, your body will start to work hard to warm itself up and prepare for the activity. As you run, your muscles and joints are forced to adjust to running also causing you to release endorphins (natural chemical messengers that are responsible for feeling good). 

Skip running drill

The skip running drill is one of the most important basketball warm-ups. It helps players extend their range and become more accurate. However, not all skip is created equally. Some players benefit more from an advanced skip that improves their balance and efficiency; others need to work on strengthening their core and improving their flexibility before they get started. Skip drills can help players develop a powerful core that will aid in their smooth traveling and the additional vertical jumps that come with running. 

Furthermore, this drill provides a quick way to increase blood flow to the muscles being trained, warming up the tissues in minutes instead of hours or days. Skip running also helps you become more flexible and build powerful muscles by working for different muscle groups at one time.

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Run and Shuffle

Run and shuffle is a warm-up basketball exercise that helps players prepare for the explosive lateral speed and endurance necessary to succeed at basketball. Run and shuffle can help players develop a level of fitness that will make them less susceptible to injuries as well as maximize their athletic ability. 

In addition, run and shuffle is mainly done in basketball before the commencement of the game.  This is essential to break the flow and enable players to warm up, stretch or gear up to learn how to play better. Shuffling involves moving back and forth at a very high speed, forcing the players to be on their toes all the time. It also helps them develop skills that they will require during the whole game.

Side Shuffle

Create better lateral movement by shuffling laterally. This side shuffle warm-up is designed to teach players how to create better lateral movement by mastering the side shuffle drill in basketball. One of the best basketball warm-ups, the side shuffle is done when one player dribbles across the free-throw line and back while the other player faces the opposite direction and shuffles sideways. The players move as mirror images of each other.

Walking Romanian Deadlift

The Walking Romanian Deadlift is one of the best exercises for fast-growing muscles. It targets muscles that get used a lot during walking and running particularly. This can give you an instant better physique or you can use it to build endurance for sports such as basketball as well as to increase strength for activities that involve heavy lifting. Walking while holding weights is one of the most effective ways to burn fat especially around the midsection. 

Reverse lunge and twist

The reverse lunge is one of the most efficient basketball warm-ups you can do for improving your overall body strength. The reason it’s so effective is that it mimics the motion of lifting a weighted object. It also works other muscles in the body and makes you look like you’re working out harder than you actually are. This exercise works every major muscle cell in the body — including the muscles of the back, chest, shoulders, and biceps. If you are looking for a way to supplement your workout routine, then reverse lunge and twist are perfect exercises for adding an aerobic benefit to your workout routine.

Heel kick

When it comes to increasing speed, there are a lot of exercises that are more sport-specific than the heel kick. But what makes the heel kick such a great exercise is that it hits multiple muscles and improves many components of performance. Most importantly, research has shown that this movement can improve your ability to contract your hamstring muscles.

It is also a great explosive leg exercise that can help improve your speed as a basketball player. This exercise will improve speed, agility, and power. It is an effective way to target your glutes, hamstrings, and hip flexors if you place emphasis on the extension of the knee.

High knee

A high knee is a type of workout that will fire up your muscles and cardiovascular system. It targets areas of your body that are hard for you to work in, such as your hips and lower back. By working out in this manner, you can build up strength in your core, accelerate fat loss and improve your balance and coordination.

High knees are a great addition to any basketball warm-ups. This exercise targets your hips, thighs, glutes, and calves. To perform this exercise, begin running with high knee lifts to increase your heart rate and warm up your muscles. Try to sync it up with your breathing as you run faster and faster until you can’t continue at the current pace.

Ball-handling warm-ups

Fingertip drill

Using your fingertips to dribble is important because it gives you better control of the ball. You’ll also be able to dribble faster than if you were using your palm. Using your fingers will also help you dribble more precisely, which will help you avoid defenders and make them easier to beat.

Around-the-waist drill

The around-the-waist basketball drill is a good drill for helping you improve your dribbling skills and getting your body in better shape so you can be a better player. It’s also ideal for getting players used to playing without their hands since they’ll have to hold the ball down around their waist. This helps them rise more quickly on defense.

Between-the-legs drill

This basketball drill is designed for practice to develop accuracy, control, and speed between the legs. One of the edge-guarding tactics favored by many coaches across the globe is to force the point guard to turn his back to the basket. If it is successful, then the defender has enough time to recover from an out-of-control dribble and attempt a steal. This is why dribbling between the legs is often necessary for any point guard. The move allows them to maintain total control of their dribble while simultaneously putting a defender on his heels.

Power dribble drill

A power dribble drill in basketball uses different footwork patterns and teaches players how to drive to the hoop. It also allows the player to work on their body control. The goal of this drill is to develop a low center of gravity while keeping balance throughout the drill.

Right-to-left/Left-to-right dribble drill

Right to left or left to the right drill in basketball is an excellent drill to teach players to catch the ball on their right/left and then move it to the left/right hand in one fluid motion. It is also good for players to practice ball handling while moving towards the basket.

Behind-the-back dribble drill 

This is an advanced drill that will help build strength and balance in your legs. Start out in an athletic stance with the ball in your right hand. Cross the ball behind your back to your opposite hand. Without taking any stationary dribbles in between, immediately dribble the ball back behind your back. Cross behind your back again and immediately take a step back toward the center of the court. As you step back, bring your right foot slightly to your left and push off with your right sock toward the opposite sideline, keeping your center of gravity low.

Focus on your preparation!

Shoot around the court

Three-point practice shots

If a game goes longer than three minutes, players are running out of time to shoot free throws. You can make three-point shots much easier than normal by practicing until they become a habit. Three-point shooting drills are simple and easy to implement into your workout routine. Once you do, your form will become more fluid and accurate and you’ll find yourself taking more three-pointers in games that would normally end in missed shots.

Good three-point shooters don’t just make their jumps but also change speeds and directions while changing which leg is bent. The more you practice shooting in this manner the better your game will be on the court even if you aren’t yet an excellent shooter.

Freethrow practice shots

With practice, you are able to improve your skills. This makes the freethrow a useful tool in your game. The freethrow shooter needs great range, acceleration, and a good touch. As you progress and practice more, you will master these skills and become better at them. 

Perimeter practice shots

The perimeter practice shots in basketball are the best area for a player to learn the most and get better. Having a variety of shots around the perimeter is essential in building an arsenal of great options from different spots on the floor. Practice shots will help you become more than just a spot-up shooter or a one-trick pony. 

Rim finishing

Layup drills on both hands

The layup drill is the best basketball warm-ups because it gets your body into a position where you can catch and shoot an approaching basketball with one hand while your other hand is extended in a shooting motion. 

Floater drill on both hands

The floater drill is a fantastic basketball drill that you can do to help with your jump shots from all different spots on the court. You don’t need any special equipment and you can pretty much do it anywhere. All it involves is having someone pass you the ball and then shooting jump shots!

Reverse layup drill on both hands 

A reverse layup drill is an ideal exercise to help basketball players in mastering dribbling techniques. The reverse layup drill will develop your overall coordination and also more importantly it will improve your concentration.

Footwork drills

Drop-step, layup drill

The drop step is part of the baseline move set for basketball. It basically consists of a series of three hops followed by a downward cut or a coming-down step. Essentially, it’s a jump shot with a different body command. It involves learning how to put your body in the right position to make this move work – aided by your development of explosive strength in your legs, hips, and core.

Inside pivot, jump shot drill

The inside pivot is a move designed to get the ball closer to the basket without taking any of the other attackers with you. It’s an excellent move for anyone who wants to improve their shooting stats for any reason — it’s just basic basketball. But what makes the inside pivot unique is how effective it is in making you more deadly from a three-point range. 

Reverse pivot, jump shot drill

The reverse pivot drill is an excellent movement drill to develop balance and flexibility in the legs and core. It works well for those who are either overweight or who have difficulty maintaining a straight posture while moving quickly. Working the reverse pivot drill will develop both your balance and explosiveness while working on your jump-shooting game.

Jump stop, pivot drill 

There are a couple of different ways you can use the jump stop drill. The first is a simple variation on the basic hop. You can use it while on a break or during a set. You can also use it after a made shot to disrupt your opponent’s rhythm and get a switch violation. It’s important to use the proper technique here because the defender has to decide whether he is going to contest the shot or move away from it.

Never Neglect Preparation

It is vital to have sufficient basketball warm-ups in place prior to playing a basketball game. This is to prevent muscular imbalances and injuries which could be detrimental to the health of the player. So, never neglect to do these drills and exercises before playing on the court.


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