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How CrossFit Helps NBA and Basketball Players

basketball hoops

CrossFit has been well known as one of the best all round strength and conditioning regimes in the world. Its combination of weights and cardio movements, performed at high intensity, makes it beneficial for athletes from virtually all sports.

In recent times we have seen an influx in basketball coaches and trainers using CrossFit to improve athletes’ ability. A typical basketball player wants to be explosive, fast, quick, agile and supple. They also want to be strong and have muscle endurance to reduce their likelihood of becoming injured. CrossFit training does all these things and more.

However, for a basketballer, there are specific things that a coach would want to focus on to ensure any athletes of theirs is getting the most out of their program for their specific sport. Which, in this case, is basketball.

Here is a look at some specific CrossFit exercises which benefit basketball players the most:

Box Jumps

Box jumps are simple. You jump from the floor on two feet, onto a box. The height can be varied to make it harder or easier for each person. The exercise itself is great for plyometric strength in the legs. In particular the calves. The more an athlete box jumps, the more they may increase their vertical leap and condition their calves for sports where there is constant springing and jumping. Just like basketball!

Double Unders

Double unders is where an athlete uses a skipping rope and lets the rope pass through their legs twice for each jump. It requires coordination, as well as fitness and explosive endurance. For basketballers, it is perfect as it requires athletes to use their hands with an object, while moving their bottom half. This is just like basketball where athletes need to dribble the ball and run, jump and shoot. This complex skill will only improve athletes become better with the ball in hand.


A pistol is essentially a one legged squat. It promotes strength and endurance in each leg as well as increased range of motion. Basically, it allows athletes to have more strength and balance in compromised leg positions, which is where many basketballers may find themselves in from time to time. Especially when there is an important match, like shown on and there is a lot riding on a game.


A burpee is where a person jumps to the ground, touches their chest on the ground, jumps back to their feet and springs into the air. While it doesn’t happen too often in basketball, this is a great exercise for when players fall to the ground and need to get up fast.

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The Rx Review is an independent fitness website, reporting on the Sport of Fitness, functional fitness news, The CrossFit Games, health and diet related information, and also provides reviews on sports performance products.