What are the best upper body strength exercises for basketball players?

There are many great upper body exercises for basketball players but I would recommend that you make sure a good old fashion push-up is part of your program. The push-up develops chest, delt, and tricep strength but it also strengthens the core. The push-up should be a part of a much larger program but if you wanted something to do right now try a set of 10 push-ups. Then try 3 sets of 10. If this is easy then try 3 sets of 15 for your next workout. If this is easy try 3 sets of 20 for your next workout. Obviously I am oversimplifying a program design here but until you get all your ducks in a row; play basketball and do 3 sets of 20 push-ups twice a week, not two days in a row and you will increase your upper body fitness.

Since basketball is a whole body exercise, compound movements (ones that employ several muscles together) are more appropriate for increasing sports performance than single joint, isolated exercises.  Example exercises include bench press, rows, pull-ups, and overhead shoulder press. Strength exercises should be performed using heavier weights for less repetitions.  For example, perform 6-12 reps at roughly 75% of your one repetition maximum. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.