One of the most sought after athletic skills for a basketball player is explosiveness. Basketball players are constantly looking for ways to get faster and improve their vertical jump. Basketball workouts that claim to improve your explosiveness, vertical jump, and speed often work to further slow you down and bring you closer to injury. Thankfully, there are some really good explosive power and strength training protocols out there put out by some great trainers. One of the exercises they all agree on that gives the most bang-for-your-buck in the power development category is the Kettlebell Swing. In this post, we will look at the benefits of the Kettlebell Swing, how to perform the exercise and ways to incorporate it into your workouts. But before we continue, a quick note: If you do not have access to a kettlebell at the end of this post we will show you a dumbbell variation that you can do in its place.
Why The Kettlebell Swing Can Make You A More Explosive Basketball Player
1. The kettlebell swing, if done with a hard pulldown “to the zipper”, teaches you how to quickly load up the hips and glutes to capture that pre-stretch and use it to create the dynamic power to re-accelerate back to the starting position. This should sound familiar as this forceful downward acceleration is the exact motion of the standing vertical jump you can see on the court or in a draft combine or practically any explosive vertical or horizontal movement.
2. The KB swing strengthens the glutes and hamstrings in a very sports-specific way. The glutes and hamstrings are often very weak and inactive due to our tendency as humans to sit down all day and do everything on our tip-toes, putting more emphasis and tightness in the front side muscles of the body (hip flexors and quadriceps). Turning on the glutes and hamstrings can help reduce knee injuries as well give these two extremely larges and strong muscles a reason to wake up and contribute to the explosive power generation you need to excel on the court.