Animal Movements as On-Court Strength Training

Early in the season, I held a coaching clinic for the club’s coaches. When I was hired, the club manager said that one goal was for all the teams to incorporate more training for athleticism or strength training. However, only the senior teams have memberships to the fitness center, and there is no equipment to use with any of the youth teams. 

With those constraints, I showed the coaches a number of “animal movements” that they could use with their teams as part of a dynamic warm-up or as a post-practice flexibility/strength session. The coaches, most of whom are senior players, had a big laugh. I have not seen any teams, other than the senior women, use any of the movements. Instead, the coaches stick to what they know, including sit-ups, even after I expressly said to eliminate sit-ups. Change is hard.

On Twitter today, a link was posted to an article about the strength and conditioning coach for the British Ski and Snowboarding team. He uses many of the same movements with his athletes to improve coordination. The article describes the movements and includes a video of some of the different moves. These are excellent additions to a dynamic warm-up pre-practice or as a pre-lifting work warm-up.

By Brian McCormick, PhD
Coach/Clinician, Brian McCormick Basketball
Author, Cross Over: The New Model of Youth Basketball Development
Director of Coaching, Playmakers Basketball Development League

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