Upper Body Warm Up Exercises to Best Prepare You Before a Basketball Match

Upper body warm up

Written by Aliesha

October 12, 2021

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Upper body warm up exercises to prepare you before a basketball match includes various combinations of ball handling, drills and coordination plays that can help you enhance your overall skill level. Playing sports has always been a great way to stay active and fit. However, with sports being as competitive as ever, enhancing your upper body strength and endurance is always a must.

Get Ready for Action: Upper Body Warm Up Exercises in Preparation for a Basketball Game

It is no secret that preparation is integral in the game of basketball. And this phase includes upper body warm up exercises to get yourself ready for all the action and physicality on the court. So, in case you are on the lookout for pre-game exercises for this, here are several you can incorporate.

Arm Circles

Arm circles are an upper body warm up that is effective in toning and strengthening your arms, but they also contribute to the ability of your core muscles to work more efficiently and effectively. Arm circles can improve the range of arm motion—for example, they can help you extend your arm further backward or forward more quickly and smoothly without feeling too much stress.

Jumping Jacks

Sports like basketball that depend heavily on the hands and arms require upper body exercises designed to build fast-twitch muscle. The jumping jack is the ultimate upper body exercise. It conditions your chest, shoulders, arms, abdomen, lower back, hips, glutes and thighs. It increases your coordination, balance, and peripheral vision.

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Wide Arm Chest Stretch

The wide arm chest stretch is a great upper body exercise to start your off-season training. This is not only a good warm-up exercise for dribbles and your waist, but it will also strengthen your back and shoulders, as well as increase your range of motion of both arms. 

Scapular Slides

The scapular slides are great to do before a basketball match. They will activate the rhomboids, your scapular retractors, and your serratus anterior, both of which are crucial for shoulder health. Just make sure you feel your shoulder blades moving during this exercise!

Shoulder Dislocates

Practicing upper body warm up exercises before a basketball match is important for pre-game warm ups. Shoulder dislocates help strengthen and loosen the shoulders, and help get your hearts pumping and keep you loose for your match ahead of time. They can also be used just to get a good sweat going and get your muscles warm before the match begins.

Thoracic Opener Stretch

Thoracic opener stretch is an exercise that is all about the spine. It has many different variations, but the basic premise is to stretch the muscles in the back. And if you are an athlete with a stiff back, tired of having pain, or have had any form of back surgery, this is something you should definitely focus on.

Cat and Cow Stretch

Cat and cow stretch is a dynamic duo of the upper body warm up that help develop control and stability in the spine. It can be done before a game to increase one’s range of motion, or after a match to ease muscle tension. In the process of doing this exercise, you will also work on improving your posture and preventing sports injuries.

Band Pull-Apart

The upper body warm-up exercise is very important as it improves muscle performance and reduces the risk of injury before a basketball match. Band pull-aparts are easy to perform and concentrate the force on the muscles of the chest and shoulder, which aid in good arm positioning and good arm movement during a jump shot.

Standing Press Ups

This is one of the most elementary exercises that will improve your muscle strength and endurance. It involves a few moves on your part, so it’s easy to do. The standing press up is designed to target the shoulders, triceps and pectoral muscles. Even if you choose to not play basketball, or any of the other sports mentioned above, this exercise still has its benefits for your body.

Make your upper body strong enough!

Medicine Ball Floor Press

This medicine ball floor press is a great way to get your upper body warmed up and loosened up for a basketball match or workout. It not only gets your shoulders and chest muscles warmed up, but it also works your core too. 

By using the medicine ball to press yourself into the floor, you are essentially working out your entire upper body to best prepare you for that tough match or workout. Whether you are looking to practice before a game or just want an extra upper body warm up, try this medicine ball workout to fully enhance your performance on the court.

Medicine Ball Slam

Generally, the medicine ball slam is performed with two hands. The medicine ball is held at chest level. It’s then slammed upwards against the ceiling and caught once it returns to chest level. If you really want to make this exercise more effective, wear ankle weights for extra resistance.

Always Brace for Action

Developing a high level of upper body strength is critical for athletes who play sports such as basketball, baseball, softball, and many more. You need to have great overall strength throughout your body so that you can enhance various sport-specific movements such as passing, dribbling, shooting, and much more. Not only will you be able to achieve a greater range of motion but you’ll also be able to perform certain movements quicker and more efficiently.


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