James Harden Mobility Workout

How to Improve Mobility for Basketball (and Move like James Harden)

Want to become a more mobile player? Imitate “The Beard” and do the James Harden Mobility Workout. This will help you move better on and off of the court.

It was 2011 and James Harden and the Oklahoma City Thunder were trying to get to their first NBA Finals. Harden was only in his second year.

During this time, he wasn’t stepping back for threes every shot.

Actually, he barely took any long-distance shots. His game consisted of mostly mid-range shots and driving down the lane.

Prior to this playoffs, I didn’t know much about his game. I was a huge Kevin Durant fan and focused more on him.

Harden was a bench player at this time. But throughout the entire 2011 playoffs, Harden would pull off all of these nice layups in traffic. He was such a shifty player.

Matter of fact, his Euro-step was as good as Manu Ginobili’s.

This was when I took notice and became a fan of his.

So why am I talking about my adoration for Harden’s pre-Rockets’ game?

Because I want to talk about how he developed his body to move that way.

Harden moves in a lot of directions when he has the ball in his hands. Even now, he moves all over the place before shooting the ball.

He’ll spin, cross laterally, and then jumps up for a shot.

How to do James Harden’s Mobility Workout

To move the way that he does, he needs a lot of mobility. His body has to be flexible and mobile.

And to be able to have this range of motion, Harden does a mobility workout that consists of multiple dynamic stretches.

These movements force his body to move in directions that standard weight lifting does not allow.

So here’s what he does:

(Watch the video above for the workout)

Key Notes:

  • For the mobility workout, you only have to do the dynamic stretches (at 1:00 mark) and the recovery (at ~11:00 mark). You can do the strength part as well, but it’s not necessary for developing mobility.
  • Do each exercise slowly at first. Develop good form before adding intensity.
  • Do the exercises in order.
  • For the dynamic stretches, do it from one end of the court (or field) to about halfway. Do two sets of each exercise.
  • For the recovery, you should do one set of the specified reps for each movement.

Benefits of Mobility Exercises for Overall Health

This type of workout isn’t just good for basketball, it’s also good for your overall health.

Let’s keep it real, as regular Joes, we sit more than standing and being active. This can become problematic because sitting for long periods of time tightens your body and ruins your posture.

This can cause neck pain, back pain, muscle aches, and a myriad of other ailments.

Muscle tightness also increases the chances of injury when playing basketball.

By doing Harden’s mobility workout, we are able to stretch out our entire body. We are also fixing any posture issues we may have.

And while healing our body, we are working on movements that can improve our performance on the court. That’s a win-win situation right there!

Final Thoughts

The James Harden mobility workout is great for loosening up your body.

This translates not only to having more agility on the court, but also a healthier body.

So, if you want to move better in basketball (and in life in general), do this workout regularly.