bar malik new york knicks workout

The New York Knicks' Strength Workout

Training like a basketball player can benefit every athlete.

“From a physiological standpoint, basketball is a game of chaos,” says Mubarak “Bar” Malik, director of performance for the New York Knicks. “It’s a fine balance of uncontrollables versus controllables: How an athlete responds to games and practices are uncontrollables and strength training program design is a controllable,” he explains. The exercises in this routine, created by Malik, are great for basketball players because they are "multi-directional in nature, promote core engagement, and incorporate single leg stability, all while efficiently developing strength and power in a safe manner, minimizing the risks of injury during strength training in-season,” says Malik.

And he chose kettlebells over other tools for a reason: “I love their innate design to train the human body in its natural form. They can increase flexibility, strength, power, cardiovascular ability, and work capacity.” Notice that these are all perks that pretty much any athlete can benefit from, whether you play pickup basketball, run marathons, or are looking to supplement your yoga practice.

Work this routine in once or twice a week. Start with this warm-up designed by Malik. If your goal is to build strength, use heavier resistance; for conditioning, go lighter. Perform the moves one after the next as a descending ladder: 10-9-8-7-6-5-3-4-2-1 (do 10 reps of each movement, then 9 of each, then 8 of each, etc.) Rest 1:00 minute between each set. Before starting, set a timer for 30 to 45 minutes and complete as many rounds as possible.