Basketball for strength, aerobic fitness and flexibility

Basketball is fast, fun and social, so could it be just the sport for you?

"Players who play for fun, they should enjoy the sport and have fun with their friends"

Benefits of basketball:

  • Cardiovascular fitness: A basketball game involves a lot of running up and down the length of the court, so prepare to be puffed.
  • Leg strength and power: There's a lot of bending, crouching and jumping, so the muscles in your legs will benefit.
  • Social interaction: The game requires a lot of communication between team members.

Is basketball for you?

The aim of the game is to score as many points as possible by shooting the ball through the hoop.

There are men's and women's community tournaments in many towns and cities around Australia.

Games usually run in the evenings, on weekdays and weekends.

Ask your local sports centre about teams looking for players, check out the games calendar for social games or if you are after competitions we host 3x3 and 5x5

You need to be able to — or willing to learn how to — catch and throw a fast-moving ball. Expect some friendly aggression on the court as well.

Feel the burn*

  • 2,145kJ (64kg female)
  • 2,682kJ (80kg male)

*Guide only. Actual kJ/hr will depend on many factors including age, muscle mass and effort.

Equipment needed for basketball:

If you just want to shoot hoops, many sports centres rent out half and full courts by the hour.

Countless local parks have basketball hoops where you can hone your skills.

You'll probably get by with a good pair of trainers

Common basketball injuries:

  • Ankle sprains — crowding on the court makes it easy to land badly and stretch the ligaments supporting your ankle.
  • Jammed fingers — catch the ball incorrectly and you could injure the ligaments and bones in your fingers.
  • Knee sprains and twists.
  • Depending on your opposition, basketball can involve a bit of body contact which may cause falls.
  • Ensure you have appropriate footwear for the surface you are playing on and to support changing direction at speed.

This is general information only. For detailed personal advice, you should see a qualified medical practitioner who knows your medical history.

This story, which was originally written by Maryke Steffens and published by ABC Health and Wellbeing