Stregth Training

Pro Tips: How a strong lower body helps your ball handling

By Jay Ramos

Ball Handling seems to be everything players want to do. Amateur trainers use gimmicky youtube drills, players want to emulate street ball moves, and everyone wants to cross someone up on instagram.

Well, it’s not just the move itself that makes it happen. It’s how fast you can make it happen. The change of direction is based on setting up your defender first, than exploding into a move to place the force they put into defending you the other way.

We will have plenty of fundamental ball handling material to give you grip and strength as well as technique for your moves, but let’s build your body to perform them explosively.

You need good hamstrings to push past a defender on your moves. You need good gluteal muscles to stay low, and generate the force you need (Plus it hides the ball).

Do this series of squats to get started:

1) Air Squats: Keep your chest up and your feet pointed straight. Go as low as you can and back up in a moderate motion. Don’t rush it. When you’re ready, grab a few dumbbells and hold it to the side as you do the repetition.

2) Timed Squats: Go down for your air squat, hold for three seconds when you are low, and come up.

3) Held Squats: Get low in your defensive stance and hold the position for 30 seconds. Progress to 60 when you can.

Squat Miami Basketball

Challenge yourself to do a squat circuit like this:

1) Air Squats – One set of 15
– 20 second rest
2) Timed Squats – One set of 10
– 20 second rest
3) Held Squat
– 30 seconds

Repeat twice. Increase repetition on first set to 25, second set to 15, and last set to one minute in two weeks.

Do these daily and build stability and strength in your lower body. It’ll help that crossover be that much quicker, and as a bonus prevent injury on the court.

Jay Ramos is a professional basketball trainer with Next Level Basketball. He is currently constructing a basketball athleticism program called ‘Speed, Agility, and Quickness’ that will be out in 2014. Check out the preview at