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How to Build Stamina for Basketball

By Kevin Rail

Other than in high school, a regular game of basketball lasts no less than 40 minutes. In this 40-minute time frame, there is a lot of running, jogging, sprinting, jumping and picking yourself up off the floor. Not to mention that you are also constantly jockeying for position around the hoop and in the paint. Not only is it a good idea to build up stamina for this grueling game, but it is all but mandatory.

Increase your aerobic capacity. At the heart of all physical activity is aerobic capacity. To increase it, perform long duration, repetitive movements such as jogging, cycling, kickboxing, stair stepping, rowing or training on an elliptical machine.

Do sprint training. This is sport-specific and it will increase your anaerobic capacity. Do a 5- to 10-minute warm-up, which can be a light jog. Then do a series of sprints separated by rest periods. Whatever the length of the sprint is, double the rest period. For example, if you do 30-second sprints, take 60-second rests.

Do interval training. Interval training translates into the game of basketball at times when there is fast running mixed in with jogging. Perform interval training the same way. After a 5- to 10-minute warm-up, increase your speed to a fast pace for a given time, then bring your speed back to jogging again. An example of a time interval would be run hard for 1 minute and jog for 2.

Do some body weight exercises. This will help to increase your muscle endurance, which also helps build stamina. Some examples of exercises include pull-ups, push-ups, crunches, leg raises, squats and lunges. Do these exercises with high rep ranges. Aim for a minimum of 15 reps.

Commit to suicides. Suicides are very intense runs on the court. Start at the base line, run to the foul line, touch the floor and run back. Then run to the half-court line, touch the floor and run back. Then go to the other foul line, touch the floor and come back. Finally, run coast-to-coast, touch the other base line and come back.

Do some plyometric training. This type of training is characterized by fast, repetitive, explosive movements. Perform exercises such as box jumps, leaping lunges, jumping jacks, stair hops and jumping rope. Jumping rope will not only increase your stamina, but it will also work your calves, shoulders and core. As an added benefit, this type of work can also increase your leaping ability.

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