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SandBell® Pivot Matrix for Basketball

October 15th, 2012

Hyper Training Lab #42

Click to watch the basketball warm-up exercises video!


Set-Up: To do the pivot matrix for basketball warm-up, you need an 8 lb. or 10 lb. SandBell, depending on your strength level. This pivot series is a great way to prep for a basketball practice or game, as it mimics the movements you  encounter during your basketball session. The pivot series promotes flexibility and mobility through all three planes of movement in the shoulder girdle, thoracic spine, and hip/glute complex. The SandBell will assist you in working through a large range-of-motion, so use caution if you have any limitations in your back or shoulders.

Repetitions/Rounds: Perform each movement direction five times to the left and right for two to four rounds.

Exercises Shown in the Video

Pivot Matrix: Up-and-Down

Sagittal Plane:  Stand with your feet hip-width apart; maintain a tall posture with a slight bend in your knees, holding a SandBell with both hands. Step forward with your right foot into a deep lunge position while simultaneously raising the SandBell forward and up in an arc overhead. The left leg should bend and dip toward the ground, but not touch the ground. Drive backwards off the right foot while simultaneously lowering the SandBell and passing it through your start point (but not stopping). Then, step the right leg back to a shallow lunge and hinge forward at the hips, SandBell finishes at thigh level as if protecting the ball (SandBell) from a defender. Perform five forward/backward steps with the right leg, then repeat with the left leg. You should feel this movement stretching the hip flexors, quads, and abdominals, while improving mobility in the hips, shoulders and thoracic spine.

Pivot Matrix: Side-to-Side

Frontal Plane: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, tall posture with a slight bend in your knees, holding your SandBell with both hands. Step your right leg in front of and across your left leg. Squat and flex forward from the waist as the SandBell finishes on your left hip. Step your right leg to the right into a shallow lunge as the SandBell swings forward and up in an arc overhead. Perform five back and forth steps with the right leg, then repeat with the left leg. You should feel stretching in the outer hip and glute of the right leg when it crosses the left leg, then the abdominals and right groin when you reach the SandBell overhead and step to the right into your shallow lunge; left hip, glutes, and groin when the left leg does the stepping.

Pivot Matrix: Rotational

Transverse Plane: Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, in a shallow squat, slightly flexing forward at the waist, holding a SandBell at your right hip with both hands. Step and pivot around your left foot as you swing the SandBell forward and up overhead. You will finish the pivot in the same foot and body position, facing 180 degrees from your starting position, and the SandBell on your left hip. Step and pivot backwards with your right foot, swinging the SandBell forward and overhead, and finishing in your original starting position, i.e., feet slightly wider than hips, in a shallow squat, slightly flexing forward at the waist, holding the SandBell at your right hip with both hands. Perform the pivot back and forth with the right leg five times, then repeat with the left leg. This pivoting movement is more about control, mobility and spatial awareness, as opposed to the flexibility emphasis in Step A & B above.

Targeted Muscle Groups

  • Shoulder girdle
  • Hip complex
  • Back
  • Grip, wrist and forearm
  • Abdominals

Ideal Exercises For Those Training To

  • Play basketball
  • Warm up/mobilize shoulders, hips and thoracic spine

Recommended Equipment:

We recommend one lightweight SandBell (a 10 lb. SandBell is used in the video). These exercises are to help warm up your muscles before a workout, so heavier weights are not necessary.

For each of the shoulder mobility exercises, you can use the Hyperwear SteelBell®. The SteelBell is different from the SandBell in that it’s filled with steel shot, which is much heavier and more dense than sand. The steel shot inside the SteelBell moves and accelerates faster and with more force than the sand in the SandBell. The faster acceleration of the SteelBell uses more energy to control the SteelBell during exercises, making each exercise more challenging. We recommend using the SandBell and SteelBell for this circuit because these tools are safe, durable and work your grip, wrist and forearm strength with every movement.

To make these exercises more challenging, wear the 5 lb. Hyper Vest® SXY or FIT weight vest, or the 10 lb. Hyper Vest PRO weight vest. Loading the body with extra weight uses more energy to do the exercises, and makes the workout more strength and cardiovascular taxing on the body.

The difference between the Hyper Vest SXY and FIT and the Hyper Vest PRO is that the SXY and FIT vests have a lower max-weight capacity. The Hyper Vest SXY and FIT are also made from a performance spandex fabric that’s better for less rugged exercises. For example, if you want to wear your weight vest while doing burpees (where the front of the vest will be brushing across the floor), a lot of floor exercises on concrete (or other rough surface), or want more than 18 pounds of weight in your SXY vest (23 pounds in the FIT vest) then the Hyper Vest PRO is perfect for you. The Hyper Vest FIT and SXY are available in several colors. The Hyper Vest SXY is the first weighted vest that’s specifically designed to fit a woman’s body. Each weight vest has its own advantages, read up on both vests on the Hyperwear website to find out which vest is perfect for your body and your training!


These exercises and weights are recommendations and should not be done if you have any pain or injury in your grip, arm, shoulder, core or back. Hyper Training Lab exercises are designed to get you healthy, toned and fit. We don’t encourage over-training or strenuous exercising that lead to injury.

Featured in the Video:

Sam Dowd, Personal Trainer at Mecca Gym and Spa and Anthony Winn, Performance Specialist at Driven Performance. A special thank you to Driven Performance for opening up their facility for this Hyper Training Lab video to be filmed.

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