Netball has more than 20 million participants across the world, and world netball is working closely to see it become an Olympic sport in 2032 for when the Olympics returns to Australia. We know that netball is predominantly a female sport, however over the years, there has been increased participation from both males and females within the sport.
Netball has evolved continuously over the years from the traditional slow and steady school-based sport to one that is faster, tougher, and more tactical than ever.
To be the best you must make sure you’re training like the best, and netball players now need to be both strong, fast, and fit to be able to compete. From quick reactions on and off the ball, changes in speed, and strength to hold your ground, we’ve got the best exercises to add into your routine to make sure you can improve your skills on court.
Why Do Exercises to Help You Improve Your Skills?
To be the best well-rounded player, it is important for individuals to work not only on the technical aspects of their chosen position but also on their physical strength, speed, and agility. The best netball players have great balance, strength, endurance, agility, and power – these are all built off the court.
By ensuring you have a well-rounded training program to supplement your sport, specific training can help you hone in on being the best player possible. A lot of skills in netball require you to be able to react quickly or hold strong in space, and a mixture of pyrometric, strength, and cardio training can ensure that you will see an improvement on the court.
We’ve pulled together a selection of exercises that will hit the whole body to help you build strength and speed, so next time you take to the court you’ll be unstoppable.
Squats are one of the most important exercises for anyone but especially for netball players. Squats are king when it comes to building leg strength, let alone the additional muscles in your core and upper body which are needed for stabilization.
Netball requires a lot of running, jumping, and change of direction so it’s important to make sure your legs are strong, and there’s no better way of doing that than with squats. It’s also possible to adapt the number of reps, weight, and time under tension to make sure you’re working both strength and endurance.
- Start by stepping under the barbell so it sits across your upper back, hold on with an overhand grip about two-hands width from your shoulder, tuck your elbows under and hug the bar into your traps while engaging your upper back.
- Stand slowly and take the weight off the bar, take a step backwards out of the rack, and set your feet just outside of hip width.
- Start the movement by keeping your head up, back straight, and driving your bum back and down. Maintain tension throughout the movement.
- Continue to lower down until your hips are in line with your knees at 90 degrees. Hold at the bottom of the movement for 1-2 secs before driving through your feet into the floor to push yourself back up. Keep your core braced throughout, at the top hold for 1-2 secs and repeat.
When it comes to building overall power and strength, there is no movement like the deadlift. This movement is another important exercise for anyone who’s looking to build strength, speed, power, and muscular endurance. Deadlifts help to improve movement patterns, posture, and have many overall health benefits too.
There are many different variations which can be used to vary your training as well as single leg variations to help improve balance and stability. As with the squat, you can also adapt the number of reps, weight, and time under tension to make sure you’re working both strength and endurance too.
- Position your feet hip-width apart and grip the floor with your feet. Maintain a relatively vertical shin angle. Bring your shoulders over the bar, and hinge at the hip, driving your bum down towards the floor.
- Contract your lats, pulling them back and down, using the bar to pull your body in tight and lift your chest to set you back.
- Take a deep breath in, engage your core, and drive through the floor with your legs, keeping the bar tight to your body.
- Lock your hips out at the top, engaging your quads, glutes, and lats.
- Maintaining tension in your core, hinge from your hip, and, maintaining a tight bar to the body, return to the starting position in a controlled, lowering movement.