In a few days, the 2018 NBA free agency will begin and once again, this year’s most coveted free agent will be Lebron James. Personally, I hope he stays in Cleveland and if he decides he must go then go to the Los Angeles Lakers.
But, until that happens we can continue talking about why this dude at his age (33) is still the best player in the NBA.
He played in every game this past season (regular season and playoffs). He led the league in minutes played this season. The guy is in incredible peak condition. He broke his hand after game one of the NBA finals and still played his tail off.
I wanted to see if there was anything out there on what James is doing with his workouts. It didn’t take long to find some video of him doing exercises and it was on his own Instagram page. You gotta love today’s social media.
The focus of the drills I saw were his core. A lot of these drills were taken on game day as part of a pre-game training ritual.
Here were a few of the drills he did:
- On NBA’s Instagram account, you can see Lebron James doing some stability ball work. He will do a ball jackknife into a pushup to get the core going. He then adds putting his knees on the ball and sitting upright. As he balances himself out (which is all core), he catches light medicine balls at different angles.
- On his Instagram account, you see him on that ball a lot doing different things. In one video, he will vibrate a bodyblade apparatus to his right side, then take it to the middle with both hands, and then to his left hand to his left side. He makes it look easy, but trust me it isn’t.
- Another video will show him in that same position on the ball and then catch two bottles of water thrown to him at different angles. He has to catch a bottle in each hand.
- He got back into that position on the ball again holding two kettlebells with the bell side upside down. He was holding it about shoulder height. Then his coach put two kettlebells on top of the ones Lebron was holding. He had to hold them there without dropping them for a certain time length. This is extremely difficult. Click here to watch it.
- Finally another video in that same position will have his trainer hit his arms (not too hard), but hard enough so he keeps his balance. Then the trainer will throw him a basketball from different angles where he catches it and flicks it right back to the trainer.
- There is another video I saw on the NBA account where he runs down the court full speed and a coach/trainer will throw up a lob pass for him to dunk. He immediately lands and takes off down the other end full speed for another dunk. He will do that 2-3 times on the right side, then immediately go to his left for 2-3 times up and back. You do that full speed, you’ll be pretty spent. If you can’t dunk then go in for the power layup.
- He did lift some weights. He did a standing push press. He also did some wide grip pullups as well. He did plyo pushups where he did a pushup down until his chest touched a medicine ball and when he exploded up he pushed off the ground and had both hands touch the medicine ball.
Don’t take it for granted that every professional player has a sport performance coach and is put on a perfect exercise program. Trust me they aren’t. Lebron is on the cutting edge of all this research and I think it shows. He has looked fresh all season and it is obviously due to the type of work he has put in with routines like these.
Stay tuned to the free agency to see where he ends up. But, if everyone put in this type of work, they still probably wouldn’t be as good as James, but they could certainly maximize their athletic potential and leave it all out on the playing field.