Improving ankle and hip mobility for better basketball performance

I work with a couple players who are so tight that I don’t know how they even play basketball. Several guys are unable to get into a full squat position. You never play in a full squat in basketball, but the inability shows different issues: tight hips and/or tight ankles. These are problems that affect performance.

After searching through some online videos, here are some that have some exercises that I have incorporated with different players to work on their movement restrictions and eventually improve performance.

Ankle mobility: A player with a badly sprained ankle 2-3 weeks ago started with this exercise and has seen improvements in his mobility.

Ankles and feet: The girls love to use the tennis ball or lacrosse ball on the bottom of their feet and feel a noticeable improvement in flexibility and decreased tightness through their entire lower bodies.  The ankle tests in this video are also good for range of motion, especially on a return from injury.

Ankles: Skip ahead to about the 4:20. We use the band around the ankle and to the same type of exercises as above: the squat and moving around in a full squat position and the calf stretch moving the knee forward with the heel on the ground. We do it facing the band and facing away from the band.

Hips: In the video below, he’s not lying when he says you feel drunk when you stand up. Since I started to do these exercises with the guys, I notice an improvement in my mobility, more strength at the bottom of my squat, and less knee pain.

Psoas: We started using a lacrosse ball with the first stretch in the video below. In addition to external/internal rotation, we do a superman on the ball side: raise the arm and leg. We do three spots: We start even with the belly button, drop an inch or so, and then drop another inch.

These are some of the exercises that I have incorporated into an extended dynamic warm-up. Now that the season has started, our volume in our weight workouts is less, and I have replaced the time with more mobility work. Anyone who has read anything that I have written over the years knows that I am not a big stretching guy, but these are some exercises that have helped with ankle and hip tightness that has created back pain, knee pain, shin pain, and limited performance.

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