A long time before Zion Williamson became a freshman phenomenon at his university, Duke University, he also got the status of being a social media celebrity and prep school sensation which was due to his amazing and viral slamdunks in the basketball courts.
He replaced Vincent Lamar Carter who was also an alumnus of Duke University after two decades. He started the trend of giving some breathtaking slamdunks with his unnatural jumping ability which left everyone jawbreakingly agape.
If you have landed up on this page because you are also a fan of the basketball game or probably just this jumping celeb, Zion Williamson, you have got it right. He is the power forward and the small forward of his basketball team. And today we are here to discuss how he gets to the position he is in now. Thus, his workout routine and his diet plan keep him healthy and strong.
Except for being huge and scaring his opponent, he is also known for being ultra fit and strong. You can see it appear in his pics that he shares on his social media and television, of course, when he is dunking. His muscles look pretty bulky!
There are a lot of fans and following who look up to Zion Williamson for fitness inspiration despite them not being from the basketball background. Thus, before we dive into what Zion Williamson does for his workout routine and eats in a day, let us take a look at his stats.
Zion Williamson Statistics
- Height: 6 feet 6 inches
- Weight: 129 kgs or 285 pounds
- Chest: 32 inches
- Hip: 37 inches
- Born: 6 July 2000
- Age: 20 years
- Place of Birth: Salisbury, North Carolina, United States
Current team: New Orleans Pelicans (#1 / Power forward)
NBA draft: 2019 (Round: 1 / Pick: 1)
Zion Williamson Workout Routine
Zion Williamson has definitely left a lot of people starstruck that he could do so much with his 285 pounds frame. However, the most interesting reaction always does comes from his teammates and his basketball associates. David Nurse, a train gives such a hilarious description of Zion Williamson’s physique by saying, “He’s sort of built like a LeBron James-type. But whether he can be highly effective in the NBA with that body type will come down to his commitment to himself. He needs to understand nutrition and every little aspect of taking care of himself. He has a body type that could very easily balloon up.”
Zion Williamson himself revealed that he bulked up more than half of his body weight in a span of two years when he was in high school and faced an absurd growth spur! Still fair enough, he has become one of the leading American basketball players and the hottest ticket of sports with a unique combination of strength and muscle power along with the agility and flexibility of a ballerina.
He is super dynamic and explosive which is quite apparent from the interviews he gives on the television and his fight to reach the NCAA championship tournament or March Madness.
The development in the physique of Zion Williamson has been one of the biggest news and his fans have been left amazed by this incredible change that he has shown in his physique.
In fact, he has given my interviews where he has explained about his transformation and gaining so much weight in just two years. He worked especially hard for it and it is pretty visible, we must say. He has shown a great increase of 45 kgs since the start of year 11 and by the end of his final year t Spartanburg High school in North Carolina.
And honestly, that is not all about it. The basketball player himself is astonished at his fast speed and explosive power which is highlighted on his television shows, by his fans on social media, and during his daily practice of flying dunks and shot blocks which were actually intensified during his period of transformation.
“Over the course of about two years I picked up a hundred pounds,” Williamson said. He said he did not feel much difference because he was getting stronger at the same time. In his words, “I mean, I wouldn’t look at myself and go, ‘Wow, I’m 250 (pounds)!’ I wouldn’t know I was 250 until I stepped on the scale, and then I’m like, ‘Oh. I’m 250? I don’t feel 250.’ I don’t feel slow.
Although he gained weight it all came with a new form of athleticism as he grew up stronger and more agile. He was able to do new things and grew up as a person too. He explains his experience by saying,
“Like, with all that weight just came more athleticism and finding myself able to do new things. People always say you have to grow into your body, but for me, it wasn’t even growing into my body—the more weight came, it didn’t phase me. It made me faster, stronger. It helped me become a more versatile player.”
He also added that when he entered his junior high year, he was just 79kg and 1.9m — and according to him, this is something “small”.
In just a span of two years, he did himself with him that no one else could do for a very long time in the history of American sport. He transformed himself into a hulk. It was revealed by the experts that the kind of physique that Zion Williamson has, NBA has never seen before. He has entered back the field being the second heaviest man in the league.
He has the same height as the awesome player, Paul Pierce who is the Celtics’ small forward but weighs at least 24kg more than he does. Comparing him to James LeBron, he is just an inch shorter but 22 kgs heavier than the Ohio superstar when he was admitted by the Cavaliers in 2013. The Australian superstar, Joe Ingles is one inch taller than Zion Williamson but 32 kgs lighter than him.
Being such a hulk at the court comes with a lot of sacrifices and a high price but he has kept it a mystery for all of the world. Zion Williamson is an official member of the NBA and usually trains with the team, one can not exactly say that what kind of routine do they follow every day but some exercises are common to all the players despite them following a particular routine. Let’s take a look at some of Zion Williamson’s workouts that he does.
For each athlete, it is extremely important to have stamina and for Zion Williamson to it goes the same way. Thus, every athlete needs to begin their day with some cardio exercises like running, swimming, or biking. They run on the treadmill or just on the ground.
Followed by agility training, athletes are all about agility and stamina. So get an agility ladder or anything that can enhance your reflex and overall agility.
Strength is not the only thing that these athletes require. They also need some agility and stamina. Thus, they need to practice and improve their agility and enhance their reflex actions.
Basketball is a sport that requires a lot of jumping postures so every player does some great jumping exercises. If you have to shoot well, jumping must be on the top of your list so they practice their jump moves every day. Skipping a rope can also be practiced and it becomes a good cardio exercise too.
No matter what kind of exercise are these NBA players doing, they always begin and end their workout with some kind of stretching and warm-up or cool-down movements.
Weight Training of Zion Williamson
There is no surprise when it comes to the fact that there can not be a fixed routine for these players and especially for Zion Williamson, his workout details have not been discussed by him on the public platform yet. However, his structure does hint at the fact that he does a lot of weight training too.
He goes to the gym at least 5 to 6 times a week to train his muscles and get some strength. His focus is not just on increasing eight but also on muscle mass which is more important when playing a strenuous sport like basketball.
Zion Williamson’s 5 Exercises to Increase Vertical Jump
For the athletes to reach their best performance, they need to prepare the muscles they are working out for if they want to vert any kinds of injuries. This would need a routine of stretching before and after beginning any workout that will help you keep your muscles loose, flexible, and less prone to injuries.
You can come across muscle knots on some of your trigger points during working out which can restrict your movement and lead to injuries like sprain or strain. Thus, the muscles will continue to grow weak and short.
Another method that you can use for stretching is using a foam roller which helps to relax the muscles in the body. It can help loosen up the knotty muscles and make them ready for your workout.
You can use the foam roller as Zion Williamson does after his workout to alleviate the knots on the affected areas. Press the roller and move it on your thigh rea in an elongated movement. You can also massage your calves, quads, and other parts of the leg muscles in the same way.
While stretching or even using a foam roller,r you need to make sure that your position and posture is correct. You need to take care of it for a great elongation. With relaxed muscles, you will be able to jump higher and improve your performance.
Here are a few smart exercises that Zion Williamson does with a foam roller:
- Calves: Place the roller below your calf and pause your other foot on the ground (or cross it overhead the top of your limb for more force). Go down and up from your ankle to your knee.
- IT Band: Recline on your side with the roller near your pelvis and hold your other foot on the ground. Roll the roller near your outer thigh. Supplement more weight by piling your legs on top of one another.
- Quads: Rest on your abdomen with the roller located below the front of your thigh. Work in an up and down position from the base of your hip to the height of your knee.
These exercises are extremely important if you have tight hip flexors because of the way we bend or sit and because of the modern sedentary lifestyle. It can lead to a lot of injuries. This might also not allow some people to extend their hips in a full range of motion and inhibit them from improving their vertical jumps. However, it can be cured.
Zion Williamson does these hip-strengthening exercises that provide flexibility and strength to his glute muscles. He stretches them out for 30 seconds, 2 reps on each side, for a total of 60 seconds stretch. Afterward, try to take a jump as big as plausible. For more solid finishes, try to bounce higher each term.
This helps Zion Williamson to balance his pre-stretch jump and make it more efficient because a post stretch jump is always more efficient. Stretching helps a lot to improve the range of motion. A flexible gluteal muscle would help to increase the performance and explosiveness even in the core area. This will all add up to higher jumps.
Plyometric is the kind of exercise that increases the explosive energy, power, and strength which is required by the NBA players for speed. It includes exercises like Olympic lifts and long jumps that need quick movements.
Zion Williamson makes sure to add some plyometric exercise sin his routine like various jumping exercises and bounding in which the muscles have to give their best and exert maximum effort in a short period of time. The depth jump is one of the most popular plyometric exercises, It requires good leg and core strength to jump off the ground and a powerful landing.
The goal of these exercises is to move from vertical jumps to the land rather rapidly while keeping the body posture in a good form and using great techniques. Many videos show how to jump online. It helps greatly to improve the performance of jumps.
In research issued in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, research scientist Goran Markovich says, “The overall results of this study suggest that the [plyometric] significantly improves vertical jump height.”
That change is marked while jumping with the arms over in a five percent to 10 percent gain (or 2-3 inches) depending on the vertical jump drill initiated.
“Plyometric training could well be recommended for healthy individuals aiming to improve not only their vertical jumping ability but also other athletic performance.”
– Goran Markovich, Research Scientist
At the starting of plyometrics, your body has a drift to build more slow-twitch muscle fibers in acknowledgment of the different training stimuli. Nevertheless, plyometrics steadily expands the amount of fast-twitch muscle fibers in a particular muscle group.
Zion Williamson advises his fans to be patient because the effect of these exercises might take some time and nothing would be instantaneous. After you have decided that you will be decreasing the volume of your vertical leap and reduce the reps to a few after some weeks, the improvements in your jump would be pretty noticeable because more fibers would have been transformed into fast-twitch.
These explosive exercises with other plyometric exercises are a part of Zion Williamson exercise routine because it helps him boost his jumping performance. However, Zion Williamson warns against the intense pressure that it can have on the joints especially the knees so this kind of exercise is not recommended for everyone. And even if the exporters in fitness are doing it, they must perform a good warmup before.
All these plyometrics need a lot of explosive movements so it is compulsory for all the workers to accompany it with other strength-based exercises. Even athletes need to work their level up when it comes to plyometric exercises because it is tough.
Here is a list of several exercises you can attempt related to your skill and expertise which Zion Williamson suggests:
- Beginner: Lateral hops, bunny hops (with or without a kettlebell), power skips, jump roping, jumping jacks
- Intermediate: Standing broad jumps, squat jacks, and jumps, low on-box jump, speed ladder (lateral and linear)
- Advanced: Prone to box jump, knee tuck jump, depth drop, box drop crossover step, plyometric push-ups, plank walkouts, power cleans
Squats are pretty crucial when it comes to building lower-body strength that focuses on the base of explosive jumping. Squats are done to base your focus on different parts of the legs and body like quads and hamstrings. It is a compound exercise and when performed in a great way, it can help build mobility, balance, and burn many calories.
Zion Williamson suggests focusing a lot on the form. If your form is not proper squats can lead to a lot of injuries to your back and your knees. So make sure that your knees are feet are planted to the ground and keep your back strong and straight to perform your squats.
Even if you’re not a professional, you’ll be shocked how enough you can produce from several reps of squatting in decent form. The three squat modifications that support the jumping athletes like Zion Williamson — think basketball players, volleyball players, and track and field players — greatest are the back squats, box squats, and front squats.
A) Back Squats
B) Box Squats
C) Front Squats
Box squats are a fabulous activity that motivates players to pop upwards once they arrive on the box. This grants them the stamina they need when arranging to propel themselves when jumping.
4. Bulgarian Split Squat
Due to the great potential for damage by amateur and skilled weight trainers equally, when doing regular back squat exercises with a dumbbell, many exercise experts have started to support the Bulgarian split squat or identified it as a Rear foot elevated split squat, as an optional strength-building drill to increase jumping power.
Mike Boyle, a strength and conditioning expert, states, “The back gets injured the most when squatting, so we train our legs for size and strength by bypassing the back.”
The Bulgarian split which is also performed by athletes like Zion Williamson is a subclass squatting activity that includes more challenging joint mobility. The body position that is formed during the Bulgarian squat shifts your weight to the forward position and increases the range of motion and the difficulty quotient to make a balance.
Bulgarian squats help to shift your weight to the forward position onto the front leg. The quads are the primary source of strength while glutes and thighs help to build more strength and provide assistance. The hamstrings and calf muscles provide stability to the body. All these muscles work together to give support during explosive movements too.
A 2014 article in the International Journal of Exercise Science resolved that the Bulgarian split squat presented related to exercise and result like the back squat while placing the members at the far scarcer prospect of damage.
The bottom line? Well, you can increase your lower body strength and hence improve your vertical jump in return with these movements. It also helps to lower the risk of injury and hence this Bulgarian squat is a great addition o your workout routine.
For an athlete, it is important to develop the leg muscles and core muscles. Basketball needs a lot of running and quick movements and hence it can be developed by doing some sprints. A short burst of sprints can be built up strength and improve performance significantly. Zion Williamson makes sure to include some sprints in his workout routine to stimulate multiple muscle groups together.
Sprint is not only beneficial for developing fast-twitch rates but also a great cardiovascular exercise that helps to burn calories. It will optimize your explosive strength during the jump. Zion Williamson includes exercise like ladder sprinting which is basically running in intervals of increasing distance, anywhere between 50 to 100 yards, and then moving backward in the same directions.
Just like Zion Williamson, one can think of adding a hill sprint. The increase in elevation and terrain will provide a new change and a shock for muscles and would help them develop more without giving any signs of muscles being plateaued.
Downward sprinting on the hill is equally important so make sure you have added it to your routine. It might seem simpler than running upwards the hills but with proper form and mechanics, one can avoid common mistakes and have control over their strides and breaking.
“Downhill running includes eccentric muscle contractions, during which muscle fibers lengthen under tension, which can help increase muscle power and make you faster since eccentric contractions are our strongest type of contraction.”
– Jason Karp, Physiologist
The improved strength, agility, and dexterity obtained from these sprinting exercises over time will also be helpful in your mission to improve your vertical jump.
Want To Jump Higher Like an NBA Superstar?
When it comes to fabulous jumpers, an elite like Zion Williamson and Vince Carter is yielded with God-given talent to rise above the other athletes. However, maximum athletes are not a great jumper from birth and have rather developed their skills by exercising and training hard with proper techniques and lots of repetitions to excel in one movement.
It is just like great writers or actors who must horn their skills to give out their best, the athletes need to work on certain motions that would help them refine their abilities. Thus all the above-mentioned exercises would be beneficial to jump higher, obtain verticality, and finally dunk the ball inside the hoop in one go. This will help them sharpen their athletic capacity.
If you intend to develop a vertical jump, take the help of the five above exercises we mentioned earlier, and over time, you’ll certainly emanate to the moment.
Aim for the upper body, abdominal and core, and lower body workout, and it is the most important tip that doesn’t adhere to just one action. Athletes need to be active and have an explosive quality about their moves, so make certain when you doing weighted workouts you get more weight and fewer reps.
You can even go to Zion Williamson’s social media account and look for some of the recent moves he has been doing.
In his newest Instagram live, Miami Heat hero, Dwyane Wade obviously in reverence of Zion Williamson, beckons him a monster. When the former player was required to give some comments about Zion, he responded “Monster. Literally like watching him play in the NBA is like going back and watching highlights of him in seventh grade and college. He’s a monster”.
And it is quite true too. His athletic abilities are not natural. Zion Williamson has made himself who he is today and reached a summit where he totally deserves a monster tag on himself.
However, there is just one person who is pretty heavy than Zion Williamson himself. Serbian Boban Marjanovic, the 2.21m Philadelphia player, is determined to weigh more than Williamson during the 2019-2020 NBA season tips off — and the 7-foot, the three-inch behemoth will only be 2.3kg heavier.
It’s why his Duke companions have finally given up performing hard defense on Williamson during practice. It’s a certain security focus. “You don’t want to take a charge. I thought I took a charge once on him in practice. I’ll never do that again,” teammate Cam Reddish told me lately. When inquired how that appeared, he replied: “It just hurt. I was slow getting up.”
It’s why the name Zion Williamson was being chanted by almost every NBA star throughout the NBA All-Star weekend. “He’s unreal,” Warriors professional, Stephen Curry stated of Williamson.
“We were talking about him the other day in our team room. He has a lot of hype around him and he’s unbelievably talented, but you can’t teach, like, his passion and the way that … he plays. He plays hard every possession and I think that’s an underrated skill that kids can kind of emulate,” he continues his reverence for Zion Williamson.
James commented further, “With his athleticism, with what we all see, to jump well beyond the 10-foot rim is incredible. I think what’s also incredible is his size his speed, his agility, his quickness. And then to add on to that, I think he’s just a great kid.”
Williamson’s stature hasn’t hindered anything for him down at Duke. He is approximately 22.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game in 2018-19, executing almost 70 percent from the field.
Zion Williamson also put on eight pounds of straight-up muscle in a single week in the year 2018, proclaims New Orleans Pelicans president of basketball operations, David Griffin.
“He’s not normal,” says Griffin, who proclaimed that the now 20 years old player will make his NBA appearance on Jan. 22. Williamson also experienced a little operation for his right knee on Oct. 21, and the Pels have been remarkably careful with his rehab.
Here is what the sports company ESPN has to say,
“He’s doing s— from a physics perspective that no one else does,” Griffin says. “It’s fascinating to me. We’ve learned more during this process than we’ve taught him.”
The Pelicans engaged in a teamwide heavy weightlifting routine for just one week during the offseason. Williamson gained eight pounds of muscle during that span, a degree of weight gain that shocked staffers.
“He’s not normal,” Griffin says. “So finding stasis with Zion is the challenge, because he’s 19 years old. He’s still growing. It’s not going to be about a number. It’s going to be about metrics of flexibility and strength and control and all of the different things that we can measure that really are outside of weight.”
Leading the Pelicans in their care of Williamson is Aaron Nelson, whom they hired in May as their vice president of player care and performance.
“Aaron Nelson has been with all of the best that have ever done this,” Griffin says. “He’s added years to everybody else’s career. They’ll figure it out.”
New Orleans Pelicans star rookie Zion Williamson did not waste even a single minute of his suspension time from NBA and used it to build some awesome physique instead.
In a pic posted to Twitter by the Pelicans, the 6-foot-7, 285-lb Zion Williamson seemed more muscular and more strong than when he last came for a match at an NBA court. Williamson talked to journalists on Thursday, nevertheless, and wouldn’t share his workout routines while games were postponed.
“I can’t tell you all my secrets, man,” Williamson said, according to USA Today’s Mark Medina. “Some things I got to keep to myself.”
However, Zion Williamson did say he acted out with his stepfather and used the court every day for his exercises, notwithstanding the difficulties surrounding COVID-19. However, he feels blessed to be doing it and it has helped him considerably by making him a star of attraction. In his own words,
“At first, it was very tough because you still don’t know what’s fully going on with that situation [regarding COVID-19]. I and my stepdad just found different ways to stay in condition like on-court, off-court, wherever we could find it. I do feel like I’m in good shape right now. Whenever I was on the court, it was just me and my stepdad. I got to get on the court every day.”
Zion Williamson Diet Plan
Although Zion Williamson has not shared the details of his diet plans, it is pretty apparent that it has been changed considerably. He has lost 30 to 40 pounds and it is all done through constant workouts and checking his diet. He definitely has controlled his calorie intake too.
He is one of the heaviest NBA players in the history of the sport. Although much of his weight is muscles, he gives a lot of importance to his diet. He focuses on having whole foods like oatmeal, and lean protein. He does not have many carbs but focuses on having protein and fats. His food is balanced and also rich in vitamins and minerals that are essential to support the body.
His diet was pretty much the same before his transformation and the only thing that might have changed with it is his calorie intake.