How Does Muscular Strength Help a Basketball Player?

Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images

Basketball is a game of movement. Except during timeouts and stoppages in play for rule violations, the game is in constant motion. Effective basketball players work extremely hard to develop the type of muscle strength needed to build up the endurance and stamina needed to successfully compete at a high level. A weak body means that you will likely be a weak basketball player. Muscular strength is important because it will improve your performance on the basketball court.

Hustle and Flow

Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

When you think about the muscles needed to become a successful basketball player, you may not think of your heart and lungs. Exercising directs blood flow toward muscles that are being used and that blood travels back to the heart more quickly than it does while you are at rest, enlarging the left ventricle and putting less stress on your body. Blood is also being pumped to and from your lungs at an elevated rate via your pulmonary blood vessels, increasing lung capacity and, thus, increasing your overall stamina and endurance.

Jump To It

Lizalica/iStock/Getty Images

Developing your leg muscles through exercises such as squats, lunges, jumps, calf raises and sprints can greatly increase your speed, agility and your ability to jump. Each of these attributes are vitally important to becoming a successful basketball player. Strong leg muscles often translate into explosiveness and will allow you to stop and change directions quickly. This quickness can set you apart from slower opponents by allowing you to play more effective defense and get to the basket more easily on offense

Sinking It

John Rodriguez/iStock/Getty Images

Success in basketball depends greatly on your ability to put the ball in the basket. Leg strength, upper body strength and even fingertip strength all dictate how well you shoot the basketball. Developing muscle strength in your shoulders, wrists and fingertips will allow you to shoot the ball from further away with greater accuracy and less effort. Increased shooting range makes it harder for the defense to guard you and easier for you to score points.

Staying Fit and Functional

Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Basketball is a very physically demanding sport. Preventing injuries may be the most important reason to build muscle. Muscle strength is important in basketball because while gaining strength, speed and endurance, you are also strengthening tendons and ligaments which will reduce the chances of injuries, such as sprains and tears. According to Alan Stein, strength and conditioning coach at Dematha Catholic High School in Maryland, a productive in-season program can take as little as 20 minutes twice a week.