Back pedals and walking backwards are great for knee health and basketball defense.
Knee injuries are one of the scariest accidents that can happen while playing basketball, especially for older players.
This was one of my biggest fears when I joined a basketball league with my friends in my late 30s.
The reason why is that your knees are the largest joint in the body and can easily be damaged.
And since they’re the largest joint, they’re also used in almost every important movement you do and if they’re compromised, you won’t be able to walk, run, jump, squat, or bend over properly.
And that’s just annoying to have to deal with.
That’s why you need to make strengthening your knees and adding more mobility to them a priority.
One of the best and easiest ways to do so is by walking backwards and practicing the backpedal.
Benefits of Walking Backwards for Knee Health
Walking backwards improves your knee health by helping them increase their range of motion thus improving their mobility, and strengthening muscles that aren’t often used in forwards walking.
Via Very Well Health:
“Reverse walking may help increase knee extension range of motion… While walking backward, your bent knee straightens fully while you are moving from your toes onto your heel…
“As you are walking backward, your quad is active while your knee is straightening as you move from toe to heel. This may improve the function of your quadriceps muscles.”
When you have a good range of motion, injury is less likely because your ligaments are more elastic and harder to snap or tear.
Additionally, walking backwards also improves your posture, stamina, balance, stability, and coordination.
This exercise is easy to do as well.
All you need to do is every time you go for a walk or a jog, just walk backwards for 5 or so minutes.
This will be enough because walking backwards uses more brain power and energy than walking forwards as we are not used to it.
Benefits of Backwards Pedaling for Basketball
Another thing you should do is backwards pedaling.
Pedaling backwards is not only good for physical training but also for basketball skill training.
Physically, it will make your legs stronger and more mobile.
Basketball skills-wise, it will improve your defense by helping you keep your head up so that you can see the floor and your opponent better, especially if you’re a point-of-attack defender.
It will also help you move with more fluidity as well because of muscle memory.
There are a few backward movements you should do:
- Backwards Jogging
- Backwards Shuffle
- Backwards Shuffle and Pivot To Forward Sprint
You should do 3 laps (the length of the court) of each exercise every other day.
Improving your knee health will decrease the probability of them getting damaged.
So, do these exercises to prevent injury.
P.S. If you’re struggling to improve in basketball, you may be training wrong.
This is why you need to check out my Old Man Game Activity Guide. It’s a convenient training system that will help you work on your fundamentals and conditioning.