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Leading basketball players develop equal strength in their hands and fingers.
Strong fingers and hands are crucial to a basketball player's performance. The majority of the movements -- dribbling, passing, intercepting, blocking, shooting -- is performed with your fingers and hands. Weak fingers will negatively impact your ball handling and shooting. To strengthen your fingers and improve grip strength, you can perform a variety of exercises, ranging from lifting weights to dribbling drills. In addition, conditioning your digits can help to prevent common injuries -- jammed or sprained fingers -- which can land you on the bench.
Raise a Weight Plate1.
Perform a finger raise with a weight plate, which strengthens your fingers as well as the muscles in your forearms powering your grip. Begin by picking up a 10-lb. Olympic weight plate in each hand.
Hold the plates by your sides with palms facing your body and your thumbs pressing against the plate's flat side. Extend your fingers to lower the plates.3.
Lift the plate by curling and closing your fingers. Perform 10 to 15 reps. Increase the load to 25 lbs. and then 45 lbs. as grip grows stronger.
Dribble with One Finger1.
Execute a dribbling exercise with two balls in which you strengthen each finger. Begin by crouching low to the ground and dribbling a ball 10 times with each hand.2.
Dribble the balls 10 times with only your thumbs. Try dribbling as hard as you can with one finger on one ball. Dribble next with only your forefingers 10 times. Continue this pattern for your middle fingers, ring fingers and pinkies.3.
Repeat the exercise but speed up the dribbling. Stay low to the ground, keeping your dribble at ankle height.
Squeeze for Strength1.
Perform squeezing exercises with your fingers to improve grip strength. Begin by holding a basketball above your shoulder with your right hand.
Draw your fingers together slowly, squeezing the ball until it pops out of your hand. Perform 15 reps and then repeat the exercise with your left hand.3.
Squeeze an old tennis ball with your right hand, pressing your fingers into the ball with as much force as possible. Perform 15 reps for each hand.
Volley for the Fingertips1.
Volley the basketball between your fingertips to develop strength and control of the ball at the ends of your fingers. Begin by positioning your hands in front of you at chest height and holding them 3 to 4 inches apart.2.
Pass the ball back and forth between your hands for five to 10 minutes, using the tips of your fingers but not your thumbs. Raise the volley to face height and continue for another three minutes.3.
Place your hands behind your head and volley the ball for three minutes. Finish the exercise by bending your knees and volleying the ball as low to the ground as possible for three minutes.
Stretch with a Band1.
Stretch the antagonist muscles of your fingers, wrists and forearms after doing grip-strengthening exercises to maintain muscular balance. Begin by forming your hand into a crescent or C shape.2.
Loop a rubber band around your fingertips and thumbs of your right hand. Wrap the band around your fingers twice to remove any slack if necessary. Spread your fingers and thumb slowly as if they're flower petals blooming.3.
Reverse the motion to return to starting position. Perform 10 reps. Repeat the stretch for your left hand.
- Two Olympic weight plates
- Grip strengthener or old tennis ball
- Rubber band
- Two basketballs
- Medicine ball
- Old tennis ball
- Focus on developing the strength of your non-dominant hand and fingers, which will afford you more options during game play.
- Avoid exercising through finger-related injuries or pain. If you're experiencing pain in your hands or fingers, consult with your doctor.