March Madness! 4 basketball-inspired exercises in time for the Final Four
By Brittany Anas
It’s the most wonderful time of the year (at least for college basketball fans). The final four NCAA Championship games will play out Saturday in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas — and the tourney. Who knew it’d come down to the Florida Gators vs. the Connecticut Huskies and the Wisconsin Badgers vs. the Kentucky Wildcats? The answer to that seemingly rhetorical question, of course, is “not many.” In fact, out of the 11 million or so entries in ESPN’s Tournament Challenge, only 612 entries picked the correct Final Four. (That’s about 1 in 18,100 people).
If you love sportscaster Dick Vitale screaming “it’s awesome, baby,” at you through your television, and, if you take your vacation time in late March, early April every year — not because of Spring Break — you’ll love these workouts.
Here are four b-ball-inspired exercises to keep you in the spirit of March Madness and emulate being in “basketball shape.”
- Full-court breakaways. If you played college or high school basketball, the words “line ’em up” probably induces memories of those dreaded, end-of-practice sprints. If you’re like us, running is a lot more fun when there are projectiles involved. For a good cardio workout, sprint the length of the court — but while dribbling a basketball. Each time down, alternate between layups and jumpshots.
- Jump rope. This old school workout builds muscles in the calves to help you gain air time. For a more advanced workout, alternate jump roping sessions with box jumps — which requires you to jump straight up onto a box, landing in good posture. Jump roping is not just a good aerobic exercise — it also helps to improve your coordination. (Our jump rope pick: This Adidas Jump Rope set that comes with weights so you can up the resistance. The set also comes with a carry case). Earn up to 4 percent Cash Back on your Sports Authority purchases with ShopAtHome.com.
- Upper body plyometrics. College basketball coaches use medicine balls to improve strength and conditioning among players. One of the easiest drills? Medicine ball wall throws, intended to increase passing power and accuracy. Facing a wall, throw the medicine ball at a pre-determined target and catch the ball when it bounces back. Find a wide selection of medicine balls at Sports Authority.
- Play pick-up. Get a great cardio workout all while having fun by joining a pick-up basketball game at your gym or nearby park. Miss your basketball-playing days? Check with your local recreation center to see if they have leagues you can join and round up a team.
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