benefits of sprinting for basketball

What Are The Benefits of Sprinting for Basketball?

If you’re struggling to hold your ground or defend bigger players, it’s because you lack strength. Try sprinting to build a stronger lower body.

When Chris Bosh entered the NBA, he was a gangly, scrawny 19-year-old. As a result, he wasn’t able to hang with the old school bigs.

He often got dominated by 240-pound centers inside the post because of his lack of strength and experience.

But a year and a half into his career, the Toronto Raptors’ captain, Vince Carter, decided he wanted a change of scenery and jumped ship. Now, Bosh was tasked with taking the team to the Promised Land (aka the playoffs).

He knew some things had to change. He knew he had to get stronger. This was the only way he could hold his own against the titans of the NBA.

So, Bosh started sprinting on a regular basis.

Yes, you read that correctly. He started to run sprints to condition his body, specifically his lower body, for basketball.

Benefits Of Sprinting, According To Chris Bosh

In a segment of NBA Fit, Bosh talked about the benefits of sprinting. He discussed the wonders that sprinting did for him on the court and why it boosted his game.

“It strengthens your hips. And the hips are very important. It’s the foundation for what you need to do for everything. You gotta be down low, exploding, running, jumping. That’s everything. You get a good hip workout from running… And just running in the correct form helps your speed, your quickness, and it helps your muscular endurance.”

Following the 2004-05 season, Bosh became an NBA All-Star for the first time because his production improved (ah, the miracles of sprinting).

However, the Raptors didn’t quite make it to the playoffs, as they only won 27 games.

But this campaign could be chalked up to a learning experience and a season of team building. They used it to figure out where they were vulnerable and where they needed to improve.

The following season, things fell into place as they were third in the Eastern Conference and made their way back to the playoffs.

Bosh’s game also levelled up as he averaged a double-double for the first time in his career.

Bosh’s skills continued to evolve in the following years, though the Raptors only made the playoffs one more time with him.

How To Sprint For Basketball

Now that you’ve learned how sprinting was beneficial for Bosh, you’re probably curious as to how you can add it to your workout regimen.

Or at least that’s what I’m hoping.

Anywhoo, I’m sure the majority of you know how to run. But the majority of you probably don’t do it often or do it with the correct form.

So, when you’re first starting out, I recommend you run or sprint 100 meters (or the length from an elementary school’s soccer goal to the other) at 50 percent of your max capacity for 3-5 sets to learn the form and to train your body.

Once your body is stronger and used to sprinting, then you can increase the intensity.

This will prevent injuries and reduce soreness.

In addition to the sprints, you should also work out your upper body.

I’m sure Bosh did these strength and conditioning movements to get stronger as well because sprinting is mainly a lower-body exercise.

So, I would suggest you also do upper-body exercises, such as push-ups and pull-ups, to get a complete workout. You can also do resistance band exercises.

Oh, and also remember to stretch.

More Benefits of Sprinting

Aside from sprints strengthening your hips, it’s also a really good exercise for improving your cardio and mental toughness.

In the book The Mamba Mentality: How I Play (Amazon Affiliate Link), Kobe Bryant said that sprinting was a good way for him to improve his ability to go on “bursts.”

“My cardio workouts centered around recovery—that is, the time it takes to recover in between sprints. The reason I placed an acute focus on that element is because basketball dictates short bursts where you run as fast as you can, then have a moment to recover, then burst again.”

In addition to that, it’s also a great way to push yourself to overcome adversity.

As you sprint, you’re going all out for the lap. After one or two, you’ll probably feel okay.

But once you hit the latter laps, it’s going to start to hit you. You’re going to feel horrible and you’re going to want to quit.

Thus, you’re going to have to channel your inner beast to get through the final laps and finish the workout. You’re going to have to dig deep.

This is where and how you will build a strong mentality.

Final Thoughts

Chris Bosh is one of the best power forwards and centers to play the game.

But he wouldn’t have been able to be an 11-time NBA All-Star, 2-time NBA champ, and Hall of Famer had he not developed strength and power.

So, if you want to be a well-conditioned basketball player, start sprinting.