Is Playing Basketball Alone A Good Workout?


The benefits of playing basketball are many. In my opinion, it is the best way to lose weight if you’re desperately trying to shed some pounds. It is not hard to get a game going on you can play for as little or as long as you want. But what about playing alone?

Is playing basketball alone a good workout? Yes if you can push yourself to continuously jog while you’re shooting hoops by yourself this can be a fun and effective cardio workout. The idea of the workout should be to get a good sweat going which will allow you to burn calories while improving your basketball skills.

There are a few things to ensure you can get a good workout while playing basketball by yourself. We will take a look at some of the options and the games you can play to motivate yourself and overcome boredom.

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Is Playing Basketball Alone A Good Workout?

So, you want to shed some extra pounds you put on, and you think playing basketball is a good idea. Playing full court or by yourself is a great way to start getting active. Even if you are not cut out for full curt or there just isn’t any game being played on your court, no sweat. Shooting hoops is a great cardio exercise that will help you get your heart rate up and burning those calories. If you’re like me you hate the treadmill or riding the bike at the gym, It’s like watching paint dry. Picking up a basketball and shooting around will definitely keep you motivated.

Although you may or may not get the same benefits as a full-court game in which you can lose anywhere from 200 to 800 calories an hour you can still get the job done playing by yourself.

But to get a really good workout from shooting baskets you really need to push yourself, it’s really easy to take one shot walk to rebound the ball, shoot again,  walk again rebound the ball and then shoot again only to walk again to retrieve the ball. You really are not pushing yourself. So I have some ideas to get you motivated and make sure your always keeping that heart rate up.

Realistically if you want to get a good workout you should continuously be jogging, you shoot the ball jog after the ball, make or miss. Jog to the next spot, shoot again repeat you may find after a few times of shooting and jogging you’re going to feel tired and feel as if this is too difficult. You may even feel like giving up.


A great option is to use a phone or watch with a timer on it and set the timer to two minutes of shooting and one minute of rest. You could do 10 intervals of two minutes which would equal out to be 20 minutes and 10 minutes of rest time. if you want to decrease or increase the time that’s up to you. This will keep you motivated in the process, you could even shoot your shots from the different spots on the court every two minutes changing up the location on the court where your shooting from.

You may find it very challenging at first, but the timer is a good motivator to keep you going until you hear it go off and then be rewarded for some rest time.

I think all basketball players would get a lot out of using a timer to monitor their effort. If I had to do it all over again I would use a timer. The many hours that I would shoot countless shots at a quarter speed was a time-waster. Quality over quantity all the way when it comes to improving your game.

Basketball By Yourself Games

Another way to motivate you and push yourself is to play games within your workout by beating your best score. Let’s say your shooting from the free-throw line, and you count how many made baskets you made in the 2-minute time frame. You can make a mental note let’ assume 10 made baskets, in the next two minutes you should attempt to break your record, by trying to make 11.

This will help push yourself to run harder concentrate more on the shot and accomplishing a small goal. These little games can be a difference-maker in keeping you on the court longer than you expected which is a good thing if you are trying to lose weight or improve your skill.

 If you’re looking for more games like this to challenge yourself and keep you motivated click right here!

Again, by playing basketball by yourself, if you’re not pushing yourself it’s unlikely you’ll get a good workout to burn those calories and put yourself in that fat burning zone. You really need to work hard, if you have a basketball workout you want to do even better, use it commit yourself to one week of using it and I bet you will be hooked.

Playing basketball in the comfort of your own home

More and more people are getting outdoors and going for a jog or a walk in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. A lot of us, myself included are putting on extra pounds and we feel a little demotivated right now. I know I feel this way, this is why I have decided to purchase a basketball hoop for myself, and I think you should too.

It’s a great idea, now you have a cardio machine in the comfort of your own home, well not inside but you know what I mean. You can literally go outside every day and get a fun cardio workout going. Even if you don’t want to run around the whole time, shooting hoops is a great way to have fun with the kids, improve your skills during the offseason, and for your mental health.

Don’t feel you’re too old to play basketball it is the perfect time to get active, I’m 37 and still feel young at heart. I find it very difficult to become indoors all the time and because of being indoors, I have not kept up with working out while putting on some extra pounds in the process. Investing in your own health is not a waste of money.

Practicing alone and improving your skills?

To be effective on the basketball court it is not enough to just play games. In my article why you suck at basketball? This was not to be harsh but to present the reality of most basketball players’ situations. I talk about how basketball players will play pick-up basketball every day 5 days a week and not get better, but why? They wonder why they are not improving, especially their shooting ability and it really is simple. They are not practicing enough on their own and putting up enough shots to work on the skill of shooting.

Something that I don’t mention in the article as I realize I probably should have is, you want quality shots but you also want game situation shots at high intensity. In other words, you practice the way you play. This single piece of advice will have you improving leaps and bounds over the competition. I constantly see athletes wasting their time shooting shots at half speed in which they may see one of those open shots one time in a game if that. Think about it for a second. Other than a 5 feet away from the three-point line how often are you open for a shot.

Not very often, unless your playing against competition that is much weaker than yourself, you may be open much often. Every time you step on the court don’t waste time shooting shots that are not quality. What’s a quality shot you ask? Anything that is game speed, that challenges you to become better or needed to improve your game. Shots that are free throws, footwork, and rhythm shooting with a partner can be a slower speed.

Don’t let basketball alone be a waste of time

Whether your goal is trying to lose weight or improve a skill don’t let it be a waste of time and effort, unless you are ok with that. When I was 16 years old I would go with my mom to work at her midnight shift as a custodial worker at a prestigious school that had a massive workout facility. I absolutely loved it, I would help her vacuum and take out the garbage and then I got to play basketball, I just shoot hoops as no one else was there. I could remember counting the number of shots I took. I had 6 hours after I cleaned to shoot baskets. So I aimed for a 1000 shots every time I went with my mom to her work, make or miss didnt matter. With 6 hours to spare it was possible, I would take breaks in between and I would fall asleep for a quick nap. This was a graveyard shift by the way. 11 pm to 7 am to be exact.

I looked forward to every weekend for a few months to play and I really enjoyed shooting around. I remember thinking how good I would be for the upcoming season against the other players on the team, that was my motivation. Unfortunately, it never panned out that way. I bet you could guess why? Although I jogged for the basketball I really didn’t take many shots that were game speed, I didn’t improve anything but my set shot. While I didn’t get open all that much standing around during a game and I would question why I was not getting any better. It took me another year to realize why?

I wasted most of my playing days practicing in a way that had little effect on my game when it came down to play for real. It wasn’t until my senior year that I started to shoot lights out practicing a lot of reps all in-game situation shots. I took it to another level playing 8 hours of basketball every day. Shooting before I played pickup and after. I would work on shots I missed in a game while working on simple moves like one dribble pullup, jab step then shoot, and the cross over dribble into a shot.

Whether your improving skill or want to lose a few pounds you get what you put into the activity. If you don’t ramp up the intensity chances are it will be ineffective.  Hope that helps.

Playing Basketball Alone is Fun

Even if you are just wanting to have and could care less about improving or the benefits it has on your body then do it. I have lost track of the number of hours I have played on a court all by myself, but I didn’t do it because I was forced to, it just drew me to it, I loved basketball growing up. It’s peaceful to play own your own, not a care in the world, I didnt have to worry about not being good enough to play with the bigger kids.

I loved going to the basketball courts and just shooting, outside mostly, just you vs the basket. If you told me you didn’t like shooting hops by yourself or alone, I would think that you just not very good at shooting. Nothing is fun when you’re not very good. All kidding aside, shooting baskets alone is the challenge, it becomes fun when you become very good at it and you start keeping track or maybe you like to practice trick shots if that’s your thing. it’s always fun shooting and making impossible shots that no one will ever see or believe that you made.

Will playing basketball alone get you into shape?

Going for a run may be a better option depending on what type of shape you want to be in. If you are getting into shape for basketball games then go for a run. But if just want to get in shape as you want to lose weight and look good, basketball can be a great option. You could really intensify your workouts by jogging back and forth with the ball dribbling it from baseline to baseline, again I would set a timer. If you really want to get fit a better option will be to play in a basketball.

If that is not an option you could also add some circuit training, for every miss you do 10 push-ups, run laps or do situps. Or you could jog for 20 minutes first hop on the court and continue to keep your heart rate up while shooting some baskets. It is definitely not easy to get into shape just by playing by yourself, it can be done but will be challenging.



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