When you consider what skills it takes to be a great NBA player, what comes to mind? Hand-eye coordination, for sure. Great leaping ability is certainly a need. And speed is a must-have. But what some people don’t consider is strength. NBA players all have ridiculous upper — and lower –body strength that they work on in the weight room.
One player stands above the rest of them as the league’s strongest, however. Let’s take a closer look at who the strongest man in the NBA is — a man who can bench press 365 pounds.
Who is the NBA’s strongest player?
The NBA’s strongest player is Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers. Even as he’s played for multiple teams with some controversy, Howard is still known for having one of the league’s best bodies. Howard probably has one of the most sculpted physiques the NBA has ever seen.
He changed his body significantly prior to this season. After being traded from the Washington Wizards to the Lakers, the 6-foot-10-inch tall and 265 pounds center went on a strict fasting diet and lost 25 pounds. He did it to show the Lakers he was serious about being in shape. It also helped him get his back healthy.
The development of Dwight Howard
From the earliest days of his career, Howard was known for his strength. He used to bench press as much as 365 pounds. He also had an out-of-this-world 39-inch vertical leap. Howard’s old workout consisted of an intense regimen, including:
- Bench press. Performing the “pyramid” routine with a combination of using the bar and dumbbells, he’d do sets with repetitions of 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2.
- Leg press. Howard used the leg press machine over other forms of workouts intended to help his legs because of his back issues.
- The “perfect” push-up. Howard was a push-up fanatic, working them into his other favorite activities like playing video games.
- Improving his vertical leap. Howard performed box jumps, sprint, and jump rope exercises to help develop his lower body.
Who are some other strong players in the NBA?
Howard isn’t the only NBA player with freakish strength. Sportskeeda compiled a list of some of the league’s strongest players. Here are a few who give Howard a run for his money in the strength department.
This center is known for both his strength and his durability. Based on his size, it comes from something of an unlikely source: yoga. Here was Drummond’s explanation:
“I’m a big guy so I have to keep my muscles loose. So I do a lot of stretching before the game. I’ll do about 10-15 minutes of yoga just to loosen up my body, get warm and get ready to play.”
Strength comes from more sources than just being able to bench press.
It should come as no surprise that one of the game’s best players of all time is also one of its strongest. Despite getting up there in years, James is still one of the strongest players in the league. Someone who’s lasted in the league since 2003 would clearly pick up some positive conditioning habits along the way.
The Oklahoma City Thunder big man is so strong, Washington Wizards and former Thunder head coach Scott Brooks called him the strongest, most physical player in the league. Jimmy Butler accused him of being from Superman’s home planet of Krypton.
He’s been injury-prone the last three seasons, but when he’s in the game, DeMarcus Cousins is known for more than just his great rebounding and outside shooting ability. Cousins is one of the NBA’s strongest players as well.