Dynamic Exercises Youth Basketball Players - PT Chicago at Prep Performance Center in Chicago

5 Dynamic Exercises Youth Basketball Players Should Do Before Practice

Studies have shown that a proper warm-up, prior to sports participation, can reduce lower body injuries. A warm-up should include stretching, strengthening, balance exercises, and sport-specific agility drills. This list provides examples of dynamic exercises to be integrated in a warm-up. According to Medical News Today website, the people tend to do dynamic stretches to warm up their muscles and prepare for exercise.

These 5 exercises are related to the movement patterns, specific to basketball skills performed during a game or practice. Keep the reps/sets low, this is only a warm up! Each movement should be as good as the first, if they are not, take a break. 

Glute bridge (dynamic exercises)

How to: 

– Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet against the floor. Feet are placed hips width apart, toes pointed forward. Keep abs contracted, glutes squeezed. 

– Push through heels to lift your hips off the floor until your body is in a straight line from your chest to your knees.

– Pause at the top for 2 second hold, then lower slowly for 2 seconds. 


8-10 reps x 2 sets. Slow and controlled to fully activate the muscles.

Targeted Muscles:

Glut max, glut med, hamstrings, abdominals

Basketball Integration:

This is great dynamic exercises to activate all the major muscles in your legs before practice. A simple, but effective way to increase core training and glute activation. 

Jump squat with hold 

How to:

– Squat – stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes in line with your knees, chest up tall, looking straight ahead. Squat down by putting your weight in your heels, keeping your knees in line with your ankles. 

– Jump – squeeze your glutes, keep your abs engaged, and push with your legs to jump straight up 

– Land – land softly, first touching the ground with your heels then balls of the feet, ending in the same position as the initial squat. Hold this position for 5 seconds before repeating the movement again. 

*Note: make sure your knees do not fall in during the squat, they should be in line with your ankles.


8-10 reps x 2 sets. Maximum power during each jump. 

Targeted Muscles: 

Glut max, glut med, quadriceps, hamstrings, abdominals

Basketball Integration:

Incorporates leg power and core stabilization. 

Similar to rebounding a ball, with the addition of a hold to add endurance in a defensive stance. 

Line jumps

How to: 

– Make sure the surface you are using is level and clear of obstacles. Put tape on the ground or use a line already drawn on the court. 

– Keep a slight bend in your knees, land on the balls of your feet, feet pointed straight forward.

– Try to be as quick as possible


30 seconds x 4 sets. Switch off sets between forward/backwards and right/left. 

Targeted Muscles:

Gastrocnemius, soleus

Basketball Integration: 

Incorporates speed and endurance training.

Quick movements similar to game style transitions. 

Lateral skaters 

How to:

– Begin in a partial squat with your body weight in your heel. Keep your knees in line with your ankles, core tight, and back flat. 

– Take a small step to the right. Bring your left leg behind you and touch it softly on the ground. At the same time, bring your left arm in front to reach towards the floor. Focus on the control and balance with each jump. 

– Hold for 2 seconds after each jump, then repeat on the other side.

– As you get comfortable with the stability, take bigger jumps to challenge yourself.


8-10 reps x 2 sets. If you cannot control your landing, decrease the distance of each jump. 

Targeted Muscles:

Hamstrings, quads, abdominals, gastrocnemius 

Basketball Integration:

Challenges your balance while working the legs and core. Quick direction changes, similar to a game in basketball. With a focus on knee mechanics to promote stability and decrease the risk of injury.

Burpee with push up (dynamic exercises)

How to: 

– Start with your feet shoulder width apart, toes pointed forward.

– Squat with your knees in line with your ankles, not going over your toes, weight in your heels and chest up. 

– Place hands on the floor in a plank position, keeping hips in line with your back, hands in line with your shoulders, spine neutral, abdominals engaged.

– Do one push up, keep elbows tight to the body. Push up can be modified with knees on the floor.

– Quickly return to the squat position, perform a squat jump with hands above your hand. 


10 reps x 1 set. Keep the amount low, focusing on the form. 

Targeted Muscles:

Full body strength exercise. Hamstrings, quads, glut max, abdominals, pectoralis major, triceps, deltoids.

Basketball Integration:

Integrating full body dynamic exercises while increasing heart rate in preparation for practice. Upper body focuses on the triceps, an important muscle for shooting. 

Take Home Message: 

These exercises are targeted to activate the muscles specific for basketball skills training. Remember to keep the reps/sets low, since this is only a warm up. 

Integrate these dynamic exercises into the warm up you are already doing. Slow & controlled!

Contact us today!

Are you ready to run at your peak level of performance? Contact our Chicago, IL physical therapy center today! Through our video running analysis, we can assess all the running mechanics listed above at once and figure out how your running efficiency can be increased to improve performance and reduce your risk of injury. Give PREP Performance Center a call at 773-609-1847 for more information on our movement analysis program!

Read More Article: 6 Best Exercises to Eliminate your Knee Pain

Book an Appointment Today