Why do NBA Players Have Skinny Legs?


The NBA is a very fast-paced game and more and more players are losing weight to keep up with the game and trying to get an advantage. The skinnier you are while maintaining your strength the more power you will be able to produce on the court. But there are misconceptions as to why NBA players have skinny legs?

Why Do NBA Players Have Skinny Legs? NBA players have skinny legs because the average NBA player is 6 foot 7 inches tall with really long limbs. Genetics play a major role in how big or strong a muscle can be while also factoring in the way basketball players train and the amount of running in a basketball game these athletes body types are made for the game.

Although NBA athletes suffer from the skinny leg syndrome they are far from weak when it comes to being able to run and jump. Athletes that are taller in nature will have a heck of a time trying to squat all the way down and up to build leg strength which can be challenging but have enough reactive strength in the lower legs to propel them high above the rim. The trade-offs I guess?

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Why Do NBA Players Have Skinny Legs?

You might think the reason for NBA players with skinny legs is that they run during a game and all that cardio is the reason why they are so skinny. That is actually further from the truth. Most of what an athlete looks like such as height, body shape and structure has to with genetics. 9.9 times out of ten and the NBA player’s mom or dad will have either parent way above average in height.

No different is the makeup of the Athlete and their lower legs. Tall athletes, in general, have less meat on their body because just like us average people they need to eat a whole lot more than we do and this can be challenging at times especially when it comes to being a professional athlete.

NBA players have long limbs and skinnier legs, it really makes sense. But what also makes sense is the appearance that may give off the illusion that NBA players have skinnier legs but it could be that their upper bodies are a lot bigger making it look like they have skipped leg day for most of their life. They could in fact have big legs if measured but the upper body offsets it making it look smaller. 

African American’s With Small Calves

African American’s make up 75 percent of players in the National Basketball League while most have long lower legs due to their height with a long Achilles tendon with high muscular calves that are not very big. But with this type of build, these athletes have an advantage because of their reactive strength. The long lower legs, transfer energy well, giving them an athletic advantage. You will see athletes who can jump out of the gym but can’t squat half their body weight. Think of the Achilles tendon as a rubber band load it and let go, this is similar to how the lower leg expels energy.

Just look around on the playground or in the NBA it is no wonder there is 75 percent of African Americans in the NBA. Regardless of race or color, the NBA league in my opinion is more athletic and exciting than it has ever been.

Growing up I played basketball because it was free and although big tree trunks for legs. I still played basketball and I was much better at soccer but couldn’t afford it. Based on my build and my height you could never tell I played basketball, I should of played soccer based on my build but I played basketball based on my love for the game.

Can a person body type dictate what sport they would play, I think it plays a role. Tall people play basketball and volleyball. Stockey and strong play football. Toothless people play hockey…??? While all kidding aside it is not the definitive answer.

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