4 Quick Running Exercises for Basketball

Basketball is a physically demanding sport. Basketball players should have agility, speed, endurance, balance, and upper body strength to sprint from one court to another, change directions quickly, defend the ball from their opponents, control and shoot the ball.

Because of this, it is a must that every player must be in his peak condition when he enters the game or the court. To ensure this, most coaches require their players to perform a few drills to condition their bodies.

One of the most common drills that basketball players do are running drills. This is performed to improve speed and boost cardiovascular health. If you are looking for quick running exercises that you can perform before you play ball, here are three exercises you should look into


This is the most common basketball sprinting workout that you would come across. This drill requires you to run the distance of the entire court to ensure that your legs and cardiovascular system are ready for the game.

How to Do It:

Stand at the baseline then run as fast as you can to the free throw line that is closest to your current position. Afterward, return to the baseline. Spring to the half court line then go back to the baseline again.

After that, sprint to the free throw line that is farthest from your current position then run back to the baseline.

Once you are done, run the full length of the court as fast as you can and return to your starting point.

When performing this drill, record your running time and try to beat your best time the next time that you perform this drill again. This is the best way to improve your speed.

2.    Zig-zags

This type of running exercise is called an agility running drill and is designed to improve the player’s ability to change directions while running.

How to Do It:

Place cones a few feet apart in a single line. Sprint through the arranged cones, zigzagging in the spaces between the cones.

3.    Ladders

This drill can either be an endurance building run or a full sprint workout— entirely up to you!

How to Do It:

Start the drill by running from one baseline to its opposite baseline once. Rest for 10 seconds. After that, perform the same exercise but this time, do it twice then rest for 10 seconds again. For the next set, you need to run from baseline to baseline for three times and rest.

Continue doing this drill until you have run five baseline-to-baseline trips. After that, repeat the sets, but this time, you need to decrease the sets back to one.

To make the most out of this exercise, it is recommended that you try dribbling a basketball while running from one baseline to the other.

4.    Slides

Another agility drill to try is the slides. This is also considered to be a drill to enhance the defensive skills of the player.

How to Do It:

Set up a few cones in each side of the lane. The player must stand in the middle of the line.

When the coach says go, the player should perform defensive slides from side to side, picking up cups as he does so. During the entire drill, the player must be in a defensive stance.

The exercises mentioned may just be running drills, but please keep in mind that performing these comes with a risk of injury. To minimize such risk, it is best that you choose the right basketball shoe with proper fit, right material, durable soles, and many more.

Moreover, you should also carry out a 10- to 15- minute dynamic warm-ups such as jumping rope, jogging, and jumping jacks. These warm-up exercises can stimulate your neuromuscular system and get your muscles ready for the physical activities that you have to do.

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