Muscles Used in Shooting a Basketball

Written by lauren miller
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Muscles Used in Shooting a Basketball
NBA Superstar Kobe Bryant shows perfect shooting form. (Image by, courtesy of Jeramey Jannene)

Basketball requires the usage of all of the major muscle groups. Since the game is won by the most shots made, it is important to develop the muscles used in that activity. They include: biceps, triceps, deltoids, calf, latissimus dorsi and hand-wrist flexors.

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The biceps are made up of just two muscles on the upper arm. They control the motion of the elbow and forearm.


The triceps are made up of three tendons, a big muscle on the back of the upper arm. They are used when a player extends and follows through with a shot.


The deltoids are a group of muscle fibres that make up the roundness of the shoulders. They help provide upper body strength especially during drives to the basket.


Calf muscles are on the lower leg. They are important for extending a player's body while shooting.

Latissimus Dorsi

The latissimus dorsi is a large, flat muscle below and behind the arm. It provides extension of the body when shooting.

Hand-wrist Flexors

Hand-wrist flexors are a group of muscles that give motion to the hand and wrists necessary for holding, gripping and providing the all-important wrist flick for backspin on the basketball.

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