If you’re bored with your current cardio routine, try doing this: run suicides. It’s one of the best cardio workouts for basketball players and is done by many pros. Read on to learn how to do it and how to alter it to make it more of a basketball drill.
I was in middle school when I first learned what suicides were.
My gym teacher (or basketball coach, I don’t quite remember) made us do them as a warm-up in this one class.
At first, I didn’t know what they were. But my teacher explained the steps and I understood.
The point of the drill, from my understanding back then, is basically, you have to attempt to kill yourself.
“Whoa, what?!” you’re probably saying in your head.
Why, yes. You read that correctly. You’re supposed to run until you’re sooo tired that you can’t get up. The point of this drill is to improve your cardio.
(Oh, I get why you were shocked now. Anywhoo…)
What are Suicides?
Suicides is a running drill. It’s usually a high-intensity running drill, but can also be used as a light cardio workout (i.e. jogging), similar to jump roping.
It’s great for conditioning cardio, especially in small spaces. The reason why is that you have run to a certain point, run back to the starting point, and then run to the next point (that’s further away) and then back (and so forth and so forth).
And you just keep doing this until you’re completely drained (or for a certain amount of time). You have to pull deep, mentally, to reach your desired goal or to complete the drill.
Also, suicides are a good drill for working on stopping and going, and quickly changing directions.
This was probably one of my favourite drills back then. I still do it every now and then in my backyard or at the park.
The Benefits of Running Suicides
Aside from it being fun, it’s also a good exercise to trick yourself into running long distances.
Since you’re running in a straight line, just going back and forth, you don’t actually know the distance of your run. This makes you feel like you’re not running that far and so you don’t dread the distance.
But if you were to go running regularly, like around the neighbourhood, for instance, the distance would psyche you out.
You’d see how far you have to run and lose motivation. You’d probably give up before even starting.
With suicides, you just see the other side of the gym or the yard. So your brain thinks it just has to move your body for a short distance.
This is how easily our brains can be persuaded!
Additionally, this drill is also great for speed workouts. And with a little tweaking, can also be a good basketball footwork workout.
How to Run Suicides
So, here’s how to run suicides:
When running these, keep in mind that you have to touch each checkpoint with your hand.
You can’t just step on the line. You have to crouch down and touch the point before heading back.
This will make the drill a bit more challenging, but it can improve your coordination, balance, and footwork.
Additionally, you don’t have to sprint. You can, but you don’t have to. You can use this drill to just run or jog in a small space.
If you want to turn suicides into a basketball-specific drill, you can substitute one (or more) of the laps with defensive lateral slides and/or grapevines. You can also run to each checkpoint as if you were closing out and pretend that you’re contesting a shot. You can also do the Kobe Defensive Suicide Drill as an alternative.
There are a bunch of customizations you can do with this drill. You just have to get creative with it to make this your ultimate basketball drill.
I will add, however, that the best cardio workout for basketball is still to play basketball (you can read why here).
But suicides are a great substitute (especially when you basketball-ify it).
Suicides are a fresh, fun way to work on your cardio.
You can do it in a small space and can customize it however you want to meet your goals. It’s an easy drill that will benefit many basketball players.
So, start doing suicides to improve your basketball cardio and stamina.
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 Guides. They are convenient training systems that will help you work on your fundamentals and conditioning.