med ball 200

The Best Medicine Ball Workout for Basketball (Med Ball 200)

The Med Ball 200 workout is a series of medicine ball exercises that the UNC Tar Heels do to condition themselves for the NCAA basketball season.

Have you ever heard of Michael Jordan, Vince Carter, or James Worthy? These are some notable NBA players who played for the UNC Tar Heels.

And all three of them did this workout while they were part of the university’s program. Well, they probably did anyway.

Regardless of whether the previous statement is fact or fiction, the Tar Heels’ Med Ball 200 workout is excellent for conditioning your body to play the old man game.

The reason why is that it doesn’t require you to do any explosive movements. All the movements are slow and controlled, much like old man game moves.

And you have to do a lot of reps and sets with a light-to-moderate weight, which will develop muscle stamina and cardio.

This will help you remain on the court for a longer period of time.

And it’s easy on the joints and will strengthen the core, something that actual old guys need to do to condition for basketball.

The Workout

med ball 200
(Image via Men’s Health)

So here’s the Med Ball 200 workout, via Men’s Health:

Gear Required For The Workout: (The following links are Amazon affiliate links. What this means is that if you use them to buy something, I will get a small commission, at no extra cost to you.)

You have to do 20 reps of each exercise and do 1-2 sets.

Additionally, you will need to select a weight that is not too heavy and not too light. Pick one that’s just right, like Goldilocks and her bowl of soup.

You should pick a weight that will allow you to do the number of sets you want.

  1. Big Circles
  2. Woodchopper
  3. Standing Russian Twist
  4. Squat-to-Press
  5. Medicine Ball Sit-Up
  6. Rocky Solo
  7. Toe Touch
  8. 45-Degree Twist
  9. Suitcase Crunch
  10. Diagonal Crunch

Also, I like to switch one of the ab exercises for push-ups and med-ball rows just to make it more of a full-body workout.

But this is just a personal preference. You can do whatever you like. I ain’t your mom so you don’t have to listen to me.

Benefits of Med Ball 200

But anyway, the Tar Heels workout is the ultimate old man game workout because you have to keep lifting at a steady pace while constantly engaging your core.

This will translate to basketball by allowing you to always be moving.

On offence, you will be able to constantly move without the ball.

You will be able to cut and find openings for a shot or to get into your position to post up or find open lanes for chances to finish at the rim.

On the defensive end, you will be able to keep active and pest-like and lock down your opponent. Basically, you’ll develop a boatload of stamina for basketball.

And most importantly, it will teach you to control your pace. If you rush through the workout, you will not only do a sloppy job but will also tire yourself out before finishing it. So you have to be able to listen to your body and its movements.

You have to pay attention to the tempo and do the movements properly.

And if you’re an actual old guy, the chances of you hurting yourself are much higher if you blast through the workout.

This goes the same when you are in a game.

If you sprint the entire game and do everything explosively, you’re going to get tired… real fast. You’re probably going to play really sloppily too.

So, you just have to pace yourself. Sprint when it’s needed. But play moderately the rest of the time. Be efficient.

Additionally, having a tight, strong core will prevent injuries.

The reason why is that it’ll stabilize your body when you attack the basket or fight for rebounds. You will be able to resist bumps and hits, and remain still (ish).

Just look at LeBron James.

He’s able to play the way he does (even at an older age) because he’s durable. And he’s durable because he has a tight core and strong stabilizer muscles.

Explosive Play vs. Efficient Play

In 2018-19, Russell Westbrook (who was 30-years-old) averaged a triple-double, but he wasn’t very efficient.

He plays a fast, explosive game, but takes a lot of bad shots. During this season, he averaged 42.8 percent from the field. And during the playoffs, he only averaged 36 percent.

This is really bad when you compare his numbers to Steve Nash’s when he was 30 (Nash averaged 50.2 percent in the regular season and 52 percent in the playoffs).

And they took roughly the same amount of shots during the playoffs as well (Westbrook took 22 shots per game and Nash took around 17).

But why is this comparison necessary?

Well, if you look at the two players’ games, they are quite different.

One style is super explosive while the other one is balanced. The balance-paced player had a better shooting percentage than the other.

However, this could be an IQ thing too. Probably is. But you know what, it doesn’t really fit my argument, so let’s ignore it for this one case.

Final Thoughts

Having the stamina to play for long periods of time is important.

Thus, do the Med-Ball 200 workout (and work on your basketball fundamentals, which you can learn about here) to build that old man stamina so that you can be more efficient throughout the game and throughout your basketball journey.


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.

Click here to learn more about it.