Video: The Basketball Diary

Watch Tier 3+ trainer Matt Delaney turn a simple shoot-around into an actual workout.

The ball sports you played as a kid have most likely been cut from your workout regimen, replaced by more structured, in-the-gym training sessions and group fitness classes. Even if you pop into an occasional pickup game or participate in a rec league, basketball can’t supply a more substantial workout—right?

Not necessarily. With some ingenuity, a court and a couple of balls can be the basis for a legit cardio and strength session, as demonstrated by Armonk-based Tier 3+ trainer Matt Delaney in the video above. 

Delaney found himself bored of his regular routine when inspiration struck. “I was shooting around one day and didn’t feel like doing a traditional gym floor workout, so I began playing around with some movements,” he says. “I started with some simple dribbling planks and then progressed from there.”

In general, Delaney says, the basketball can be incorporated much like a medicine ball. “Is a workout like this going to be the same as max-effort deadlifts or a Spin class? No. But if you’re looking to get your heart rate up, burn calories and challenge your body in ways it’s not used to, it will do the trick.”

Here’s how he breaks down the body benefits of various movements:

Dribbling: “The dribbling movements are actually a great way to challenge your central nervous system because you’re asking it to coordinate multiple movements and body segments simultaneously,” he says.

Multi-planar Lunges: “These are great for teaching the body to move in all directions; passing the ball through the legs while lunging helps to reinforce the hip hinge.”

Push-Ups: “Adding a basketball to these push-ups is great for challenging shoulder girdle and core stability and coordination.”

Watch Matt Delaney in action

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Art Directed + Styled: Ashley Heckman; Cinematographer: Todd Martin; Editing: Carlos Flores