NBA stars show off their season-opener swole with these workout posts

Oct 23, 2019

All throughout the offseason, every single NBA player has no doubt been hard at work hitting the gym. (Well, that, and trading, maneuvering, and free agency-ing themselves into “I can’t believe that this is what the NBA is going to look like now!” headlines.) Hey, it’s a grueling year ahead — and these big guys need to be able to take it to the finish in the best shape possible.

If you need to crib some fitness notes for your next workout, these players have got your back.

Javale McGee

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Before today’s Game 1, Javale McGee put on a #lakeshow of his own with this workout video. He starts with cable rows, and then never really lets up from there. Notice how some exercises work different angles, or target just one side of the body — a must to correct imbalances and build better strength.

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That single-arm landmine press is particularly helpful to basketball players who want to avoid injury. "It minimizes the load on the spine, especially for taller athletes," says Chappy Callanta, CSCS, head strength and conditioning coach for Alab Pilipinas. "So if you're already doing squats or some other form of spinal loading, you can do landmines.” It's also one of the few strength exercises that lets you work on your forward throw, instead of the usual up-and-down movements of free weights.

What we see him doing:

High cable row in lunge position
Single-arm snatch
Medicine ball throws
Single-arm dumbbell inclined presses
Dumbbell inclined presses
Single-arm landmine presses
Single-arm plank lateral cable pull
Hanging knees to chest

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Karl-Anthony Towns

KAT goes to town in his “New Beginnings” promo vid, showing off his pre-season conditioning that’s intercut with snippets of his explosive workouts. Check out the high-flying medicine ball slams in the first few seconds of the clip. He’ll need that kind of power to keep bringing the offensive heat, both on and off the perimeter.

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What we see him doing:

Medicine ball slams
Oblique twists
Single-arm standing cable biceps curls
Weighted flyes
Bench presses
Sled pulls
Battle rope slam variations
Sled push

Steven Adams

The Thunder posted this photo series a few weeks ago, showing off big man Steven Adams working out in his hometown in New Zealand. He’s showing off what looks like the “World’s Greatest Stretch” in the first pic — which got its name because it’s one of the best dynamic warm-ups you can do to work on your mobility and prep your body for a workout. "In one routine, you get to hit most of the muscle groups and joints that will be active, specifically in basketball," says Callanta.

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What we see him doing:

World’s greatest stretch
Barbell back squat
Kneeling single-arm high cable rows
Weighted flyes
Kettlebell overhead press or kettlebell thrusters

Serge Ibaka

Ibaka shows off control and precision in his deadlifts. Together with the squat and bench press, the deadlift should always be your go-to strength move in the gym. "It's one of the most bang-for-your-buck exercises," explains Callanta. It's a must for high-flying leapers, which is why you'll see it in most NBA players' routines. "Most people think that you jump from a squat position. But you actually jump from a deadlift position."

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What we see him doing:


Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks show off their workout routine in this photo series. Check out their equipment: De’Andre Hunter works the trap bar, which you can use instead of a barbell for deadlifts to perfect your form and maybe save yourself from knee scrapes. Chandler Parsons, meanwhile, puts in some time on the VersaClimber — a machine that brings the experience of climbing without needing to strap on a belaying rope and slap some chalk on your hands.

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What we see them doing:

De’Andre Hunter (and possibly DeAndre' Bembry) with the trap bar deadlift
John Collins with the bench dumbbell row
Chandler Parsons with VersaClimber vertical training
Vince Carter with cable rows

And as a bonus, here’s Giannis Antetokounmpo clowning around in the gym. That’s always a good workout finisher.

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