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 during the preseason 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 home 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
Progression: 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 ¾ 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. Single Calf Raise
- Standing on one leg next to the wall
- Keep knees straight and raise onto toes slowly
- Pause at the top and slowly lower to ground
- 3 sets of 15 reps
- Repeat both sides
5. Lateral Hops
- Standing with 2 cones spaced approximately 60-90cm apart
- Standing on 1 leg and hop from left to right
- Aim to land softly with knee slightly bent, an hips and shoulders level
- Hop for 20 seconds, then repeat on other leg
By performing these top 5 exercises for netball three times per week, it will play a vital role in decreasing your risk on injury and increasing on court performance. 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.
Thrive by PhysioCentral