Basketball players are known to be some of the most physically active sports people on the planet. It’s super amazing to get to know and learn the fitness secrets of some of the greatest basketball players of all time.
Players like Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and a few others who ran the courts in their hay day have a secret or two that works for them to maintain good physical fitness as sportsmen.
Kobe Bryant, an American ex-professional basketball player spent the whole of his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Bryant holds the NBA record for the most seasons playing with one team for an entire career and is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
Kobe was known to be a clutch player with a lot of stamina, and is the first guard in NBA history to play at least 20 seasons.
His workout secrets include focusing a lot on weight training to build up his strength level during the season.
He also does his best to stay stronger and agile during the off-season by skill conditioning to stay in shape.
According to the former NBA star, his off season workouts last over 6 hours a day. Kobe Bryant is reputed as having one of the longest and hardest workout routines in the NBA.
He begins his routines with a lot of track work even before he steps foot on the basketball court, then transitions into Olympic style weight lifting.
He does the following :
- spends 2 hours running,
- 2 hours hooting and skill conditioning,
- and 2 hours of olympic style weightlifting and cardio workout.
To improve your power and energy level off the ground, olympic movements are important, especially for sports people just like Kobe.
Also, the former basketball great’s workout routine that involves olympic-style weightlifting, enable him deliver a higher vertical jump, faster sprinting action, lots of quickness, and speed.
Undoubtedly one of the most sensational sportsmen of all time, Michael Jordan is famed for his signature “air jump”. He does have a few fitness secrets you may want to know.
Michael Jordan is pretty much synonymous with Air Jordan . His incredible ability to move lightning fast, outrun opponents, make unbelievable jumps, and span seemingly impossible amounts of air to the basket made him a spectacle to watch.
Michael in his career won six championships, five MVP awards, All-Star appearances in every full season he played, and the status as possibly the best defender ever in the NBA.
His scoring average per game stood at 30.1 points per game, and is the NBA’s highest career scoring average.
He began training with Tim Grover who was hired to specifically workout and increase Jordan’s core, lower and upper body strength.
Grover began by addressing Jordan’s core that not only consists of abdominal muscles, but also side muscles (obliques) and back muscles (erectors).
Michael Jordan was required to do medicine ball exercises and other core strengthening exercises. He did medicine ball sit-ups— these are sit-ups performed while holding a medicine ball in each hand and spinning one in the air.
This secret workout is a superb abdominal exercise that also engages the hip flexors.
He also did pushups with his hands placed on a Physio ball as well as leg raises and other common core strength exercises.
Jordan’s fitness secrets involve him doing the following:
- core workouts two days a week before getting into his two hour basketball practice. He would complete 3 sets of between 10 and 15 reps of each exercise.
Fitness Secrets of Basketball Greats Exposed
Earvin “Magic” Johnson, perhaps one of the most energetic and passionate personalities to ever play in the NBA,
Famous for his charisma and physical charm, he did help propel the massive increase in the NBA’s global popularity in the 1980s.
Magic’s fitness secrets involve him doing:
- workouts 5 days a week,
- 1 hour of weights, and
- 1 hour of cardio.
He recommends that ex-athletes who want to get back into shape should eat right and workout.
Shaq who at a time was regarded as one of the most “attractive players” to watch, led the NBA in field-goal percentage 10 times in his career.
The big man used his 7’1” and 315 pounds stature effectively to bully his way to the basket and slam the dunk decisively. Shaquille O’Neal did great with close-range jump shots and free-throw shoots.
Shaq says he’s to stay healthy, he is on an all-protein diet and works out twice a day. Having gotten overweight during his playing career due to his burger and bread diet, he stuck to working out to stay trim.
Now, he picks two to three exercises that keep his heart up, so he can keep burning calories.
He shares this fitness secrets to folks out there who want to keep fit:
- Walk to work. Walk with your wife around the neighborhood. Walk to your gym
- Get on the treadmill for 30 minutes.
- If you stick with exercise, you can still have a burger every now and then. The more junk you eat, the harder you have to work to get weight off and keep it off.
Tim Duncan, nicknamed “The Big Fundamental” by fellow ex-NBA star Shaquille O’Neal was one of the most superlative basketball players of all time.
Duncan’s suave and fluid game style and his calm disposition may not have helped him be as influential culturally as an NBA player. However, his four championships, 14 All-Star Games, and two NBA MVP awards are indisputable evidence of his fantastic ability.
The Big Fundamental did intense workouts that included swimming, sand running, tire flipping and boxing between the 2012 and 2014 seasons, helping him lose a terrific 20 pounds!
He did this while spending the bulk of the 2012 off-season working with fellow center Roy Hibbert. Duncan was known for beginning his off-season workouts at the Spurs’ practice gym in July, a month before the doors were opened to the team.
To relieve pressure on his legs and knees, Duncan also changed his diet as he approached his mid-30s.
Duncan’s former teammate Bruce Bowen in 2012 said about Tim:
“He lost a lot of weight,”
“In fact, when we would go out to eat, Tim would split the bill and we had a big plethora of food out of us. But now, he’s starting to eat wheat bread and chicken only, no mayonnaise, no mustard, none of that.”
Tim Duncan also cut down on sugar and bread consumption as he got older, and he stopped snacking late at night.
Tim’s secret workout routine, even as a retired NBA star, includes some mixed martial arts training, courtesy of Leading Sports Media on Twitter:
Tim Duncan is enjoying retirementpic.twitter.com/8m6DyUv3oz
— Spark ⚡️ Sports (@SparkSports) July 26, 2017
Know of any other basketball great’s fitness secrets you’d like to share? Feel free to add your comments!