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Human Kinetics

Basketball Anatomy

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Basketball Anatomy will show you how to improve performance by increasing muscular strength and optimizing the efficiency of every movement. Basketball Anatomy features 88 of the most effective basketball exercises, each with step-by-step descriptions and full-color anatomical illustrations to show the muscles in action.

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Book Description

See what it takes to maximize on-court power, strength, agility, and quickness. Basketball Anatomy will show you how to improve performance by increasing muscular strength and optimizing the efficiency of every movement.

Basketball Anatomy features 88 of the most effective basketball exercises, each with step-by-step descriptions and full-color anatomical illustrations to show the muscles in action.

Basketball Anatomy goes beyond the exercises by placing you on the court and into the throes of competition. Illustrations of the muscles involved in pivoting, rebounding, and shooting show you the exercises are fundamentally linked to basketball performance.

You’ll also step off the court and into the athletic training room to explore the anatomy of the most common injuries to the ankle, knee, and shoulder as well as exercises for minimizing and recovering from such setbacks.

Basketball Anatomy is a must-have for all who appreciate the artistry and athleticism of the game—whether player, coach, trainer, or spectator.

Basketball players, coaches, strength and conditioning professionals, and athletic trainers.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. The Basketball Player in Motion

Chapter 2. Legs: Where the Game Starts

Chapter 3. Lower Back and Core: The Center of Stability

Chapter 4. Upper-Body Strength and Power: Pulling Exercises

Chapter 5. Upper-Body Strength and Power: Pushing Exercises

Chapter 6. Explosive Weight Training for Playing Above the Rim

Chapter 7. Plyometrics for a Quicker First Step and Game Reaction

Chapter 8. Rehabilitation for Optimal Return to Play

Chapter 9. Injury Prevention for Avoiding the Bench

Chapter 10. Putting It All Together


Brian J. Cole, MD, MBA, is a professor in the department of orthopedics with a conjoint appointment in the department of anatomy and cell biology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. In 2011 he was appointed as chairman of surgery at Rush Oak Park Hospital. He is the section head of the Cartilage Research and Restoration Center at Rush University Medical Center, a multidisciplinary program specializing in the treatment of arthritis in young active patients. He is also the head of the orthopedic master's program and trains residents and fellows in sports medicine and research. He lectures nationally and internationally. Through his basic science and clinical research he has developed several innovative techniques for the treatment of shoulder, elbow, and knee conditions.

Dr. Cole has been chosen as one of the Best Doctors in America each year since 2004 and as a Top Doctor in the Chicago metro area each year since 2003. In 2006 he was featured as Chicago's Top Doctor and pictured on the cover of Chicago Magazine. In 2009 Dr. Cole was selected as the NBA Team Physician of the Year. In 2013, Orthopedics This Week noted that Dr. Cole was chosen by his peers as one of the top 19 sports medicine specialists in the United States.

He is the physician for the Chicago Bulls NBA basketball team and co-physician for the Chicago White Sox Major League Baseball team and the baseball team at DePaul University in Chicago. Dr. Cole hosts SportsMedicineWeekly, a radio show on Chicago's ESPN 1000 WMVP-AM. He lives in Chicago.

Robert Panariello, MS, PT, ATC, CSCS, is a founding partner and chief clinical officer with Professional Physical Therapy, which has 40 facilities in the New York and New Jersey metro areas, and the Professional Athletic Performance Center in Garden City, New York. He has bachelor’s degrees in physical therapy and physical education and athletic training from Ithaca College in New York, and a master’s degree in exercise physiology from Queens College in New York.

Panariello has more than 30 years of experience in sport physical therapy, athletic training, and performance training of athletes. He was the head strength and conditioning coach at St. John’s University in New York (1986-1995), the World League of American Football’s NY/NJ Knights (1991), and the WUSA NY Power Women’s Professional Soccer League (2001-2002). He is a consultant to many NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, college and university teams, coaches, and players.

Panariello received the 2015 APTA Sports Physical Therapy Section Lynn Wallace Clinical Educator Award and the prestigious National Strength and Conditioning Association President’s Award in 1998. In 2003 he was elected to the USA Strength and Conditioning Coaches Hall of Fame. He lives in New York.


If you are a coach, you must develop proficiency in writing training programs for your athletes. Training programs should be individualized to account for factors such as medical history, sex, biological and training age (experience), the sport, and the position played. The goal of the weight training program is to appropriately organize the application of high stress (weight intensity) in the exercises performed for adaptation of the body to take place. These training exercises are repeatedly performed over time. A properly applied design not only will produce the desired results, but will also prevent excessive fatigue that can result in injury.

Many training exercises are available for basketball players. The specific exercises should be based on needs and goals.

Primary exercises are those that often are performed in the standing position; they require balance, coordination, timing, and the contribution of various muscle groups of multiple joints to work in harmony. These primary exercises also allow for heavier weights when appropriate for gains in strength and power.

Assistance exercises require an action that emphasizes a single joint or the execution of an isolated exercise. Examples are leg extension, leg curl, biceps curl, and triceps extension. Although assistance exercises do have their role in training, this book focuses on the primary exercises because these are of greater value for optimal transfer to basketball. Primary multijoint exercises should be the foundation of the training program; assistance (joint isolation) exercises, if deemed necessary, should be considered the fine tuning.