How to Warm Up as a Basketball Player

To be honest with you, if I take a look at all sports, there’s no sport that requires a warm up more heavily than basketball. When I say warm up, I don’t just mean increasing body temperature, or getting blood flowing. I mean stretching, mobilization, and activation.

These three things are absolutely critical as a hooper’s speed, and more importantly, jumping ability, depends on how his muscles are firing. And, if he wants his best performance, he can’t wait until a few minutes into the game to feel springy.

That’s not optimal.

So, today, I want to share a warm up for basketball players that they can do before their games to feel springy and mobile.


I’ve said this before, most athletes are under the impression that stretching is bad. But, if a tight, tonic muscle is limiting your range of motion, you have to take action to restore that range of motion to become more explosive.

One way to do this is through stretching.

There are two commonly tight muscles in basketball players that limit their ability to get off the ground.

The first are the hip flexors.

Perform this stretch 30-60s each time to loosen the hip flexors.

Hip flexors get tight from all the sitting we do in class, at work, in the car, etc. Thing is, when the hip flexors get tight, they inhibit the glutes, which play a big role in your ability to jump.

Second are the lower abdominals

Perform this stretch 30-60s each to loosen the lower abdominals.

The lower abdominals also play an inhibitory role in our athletic ventures. In this case, they inhibit our ability to achieve triple extension (extension of the ankle, knee, and hip).

Performing these two stretches pregame will be monumental in improving how you feel on the court.


Another way to increase your range of motion is with mobilization movements. In a basketball player’s case, they’ll mainly want to mobilize the hips.

One way you can do this is with fire hydrant/hip circles.

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10 Forward

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10 Backward

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10 To The Side

You’ll perform 5 out to the side, 5 forward, and 5 backwards. These will really open up the hips and have you primed for a great performance on the court.


As I said above, there are tight, tonic muscles that inhibit other muscles from properly activating. The more these muscles are inhibited, the less they’ll be used to working properly.

It’s your job, during your warm up, to re-activate them so they’re excited and firing.

One of the main inhibited muscles on basketball players is their glutes. As the glutes play a big role in force production in the vertical jump, you’ll want to take action to turn them on.

To do that, you can perform a band kick back series.

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This movement turns on all three heads of the glutes. You can perform 2-3 sets, 10 each way to have your glutes firing properly.


When it comes to a warm up for basketball players, you really want to focus on the hip region. You want to open the hips through stretching and mobilization, then make room for the glutes to work their magic.

This warm-up should make you feel springier on the court, and make it feel effortless when you run up and down the court.

Let me know how it goes.

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