Netball is a sport played at high intensities with many accelerations, decelerations, changes of direction, jumping and landings performed by players throughout the game. No matter what position you play on the court you need to be able to jump, catch the ball and often land on one leg before passing it off again – but do you have a solid strength base to be able to perform this over and over again in a game?
If we look at the most common injuries in Netball, it is evident that a very high percentage occur to the knee and ankle as a result of a poor landing – whether that be because of contact or not. Completing a structured strength training program can help to reduce the risk of the injuries from occurring.
In addition to the normal skills training, physical preparation for netball should contain elements of:
• Balance and proprioception
• Total body strength but most notably the lower body and core
To help decrease your risk of injury but also improve your performance on the court we have come up with a list of our top 5 exercises for netball. We have also made it so the exercises can all be performed at the court with minimal equipment.
Top 5 exercises for Netball:
1. Single leg Landing
• Start with two feet together, stand up tall on your tip toes, arms reaching for the sky.
• Quick drop and stick on one leg
• Nail the landing, “attack the ground”
• Keep the knee in line with the foot – don’t let the knee drop inwards
• 3 sets of 6 landings each leg
• Step off a box or step then stick the landing on one leg
2. Single leg squat
• Best performed balancing off the edge of step or ledge, looking for ¼ squat depth.
• Keep knee tracking in line with your foot, do not let your knee drop inwards
• Control movement down until opposite leg touches the ground
• 3 sets of 15 reps each leg
3. Single leg RDL/Arabesque
• Starting one on leg
• Extend one leg backwards, and both arms forward or out to the side to help balance
• Bending from the hips, keeping your back straight and hips level
• At the top position we want a straight line from head to heel.
• Then control the return back to the start position – try and stay balanced for all 6 reps
• 3 sets of 6 reps each leg
4. Glute Bridge
• Lying on your back, feet shoulder width apart, heels close to your finger tips
• Drive through your heels, lifting your hips towards the sky
• At the top position, after a straight line from knees to shoulders – squeeze your bottom at the top position and hold for 2 seconds
• 3 sets of 15 reps
5. Side plank
• Lying on your side with legs out straight, forearm/elbow placed directly under your shoulder
• Lift your body up off the ground, pressing through the forearm and feet
• Maintain a straight line from head to heel, try and keep your hips high
• 3 x 30 secs each side
By performing this batch of top 5 exercises for netball twice per week it will play a role in decreasing your risk on injury and increasing on court performance. Improving your ability to land and balance on leg, as well as increasing your strength in the contest.
Completing a structured strength training program is essential to your development as a netballer, especially if you are looking to take your game to the next level.