push-ups for basketball

How Useful Are Push-Ups for Basketball? (Answer: Very Useful)

If you’re curious about the effectiveness of push-ups for basketball, look no further. The answer is very useful and I tell you why in the following article.

This NBA season (2020-21), I’ve been watching a lot of Steph Curry. I forgot how magical he is on the hardwood since he pretty much missed all of the previous season.

But after watching him in the preseason and in the first few games, I was reminded of his mastery. Like, he can score from anywhere under any situation. He truly is a unicorn.

One of the things I noticed from him after watching him so much this season is that Curry frequently uses the push-off to get open. I didn’t realize this before.

For instance, he’ll often dribble the ball up the court, dish it to a teammate (usually Draymond Green), then run down either sideline, pauses, pushes off of his defender and v cuts to an expansive area, and then get open for a shot.

He does this all of the time. So, it got me thinking –are push-ups useful for basketball?

Are Push-Ups Useful For Basketball?

In the past, I would have said no because the pushing motion isn’t necessary for basketball. But after watching Curry and then watching some old-school Reggie Miller, the pushing motion (and the ability to do it over and over again) is really handy.

Basketball requires a lot of motion to free up players and to disrupt the defence. But it’s hard to move around the court if you’re weaker and slower than your defender.

That’s where pushing off or pushing your opponent into screens is necessary.

And before you go off and say that that type of contact is illegal in basketball, I’m just going to say that you’re wrong.

Additionally, when I say push off or push into, I don’t mean shoving with all of your might and force.

When you moderately push your defender, you can create more separation for a shot or make a play.

You can also get a little boost as you cut to an open area. And when you (gently) push them into a screen, you can create an even bigger gap to do whatever you want.

So, how can you condition for push-offs? Well, the best way, as I mentioned earlier, is with push-ups.

How To Do Push-Ups

If you’re unsure how to do push-ups, watch the following video to learn the correct form (and alternative exercises to learn the form):

Push-ups will strengthen your chest, arms, upper back, and shoulders. It will also build stamina in your upper body if you do enough repetitions regularly.

In my opinion, it’s the easiest and most efficient way to improve your ability to push.

It’s also a functional exercise for basketball because you have to tighten your core (which improves overall stability and balance) while doing it. As an added bonus, this will help you be more stabilized when you come off of screens or cuts for shots.

Another activity you should do is to practice pushing off of players in basketball settings.

You can do this by watching how Curry does it, and then experimenting with the movement in games.

You could also create a drill, but being average Joes and Janes, you probably ain’t got time to do all that.

I also wanted to add that you don’t have to do push-ups.

You can do other pushing exercises, such as the bench press or the resistance band press if you prefer. Those are all good exercises to improve the push-off. But the push-up is the simplest to do.

Final Thoughts

You don’t need to buy any equipment for it and it doesn’t require a lot of space to do. It’s also a safe exercise to do because you only use your bodyweight.

And if it gets too easy, you can either up the reps or buy a resistance band to make it more challenging.

The push-up is a great exercise for basketball. It strengthens your upper body (and core), which improves your ability to move off-ball.