How To Palm A Basketball?

how to palm a basketball

While watching a professional basketball match, you’ll notice players grasping a basketball with only one hand. Mostly in an attempt to outplay someone, stage a pass, or slam a deadly dunk on the rival’s net. This ability is known as ‘palming a basketball’. NBA participants frequently use this strategy to gain further command over the ball.

But is palming a basketball as easy as it seems? Palming a basketball demands power, training, coordination, and commitment. You will have to struggle with certain limitations, however, with training and preparation, you will be eligible to palm a basketball like a professional.

What Influences Your Palming Ability?

To perfect your palming ability, you need to be aware of the factors that influence it.  

The Size Of Your Hand

This is a very critical aspect of palming ability. The standard lowest possible hand size at which a ball can be safely palmed is a hand length of 7.5 “and a hand span of 8 1/4”. The smaller the hand, the lesser the pressure. The ball will slip because it cannot stay intact in smaller hands.

  • Make use of a scale or measuring tape and start from the bottom of your palm to the peak of your middle finger for determining the length of your hand.
  • For measuring the hand span, make use of the same measuring instrument. Extend your palm and fingers and determine the distance across the thumb and the little finger.

It might be possible for individuals with smaller hands to palm a basketball, but the power and skill would need to be comparatively much stronger.The Type of Ball

The Type Of Ball

Contrasting types of basketballs possess differing grip rates. Normally, a fresh, tidy, rubber basketball has the largest grip rate, and a real leather basketball (as the ones used in NBA) is efficient and smoother. While you are learning to palm a basketball, beginning with a tiny rubber ball is a smart option.

Although you may find it ideal, to begin with, a professional sized leather ball, your practice must begin with the beginner tier.

The Technique And Amount Of Strength You Are Using

Besides worrying about your hand size, you need to dig into palming the ball at every chance you get.

You need to know a few things about palming a basketball:

  • Trace your fingertips along the ridges of the ball. Position your thumb on the straight ridge running across the ball’s center. Put the rest of your fingers on the ridge just over the ridge in the middle. You can palm the ball from wherever, but aligning your fingers with the ridges proves to be very useful for a beginner.
  • Make use of your thumb, index, middle, and ring finger to grasp the ball. While palming a ball, your fingertips are capable of performing better as compared to your palm. Direct your hands into the ball to grasp the ball.
  • Try to squeeze the ball. To develop resilience in your fingers, invest more time in pressing your fingertips towards the ball.
  • Train for giving a fake pass. Shove the ball forward as though you threw it, but allow your fingertips to hold the ball in your hands.

If you are able to palm the ball to some degree, rehearse more to improve your palming muscles and retain your performance. You will also need to focus on your grip resilience — that further improves your palming ability. So, what exactly needs to be done to strengthen your palming skills?

10 Drills That Will Improve Your Palming Skills

If you wish to palm the basketball like a natural, you must pump your hands to boost your power and grip. Below mentioned are the 10 drills that will definitely improve your situation:

Drill Purpose: Improving the Strength of Your Hand

1. Finger Exercise

You need to perform this exercise on a level surface such as a desk. Put your hand on the surface; make sure your palm is touching it and extend your fingers as much as possible. Grab the other hand and slip it beneath your fingers. Direct your fingers upwards and then let them return towards your wrist.

Keep doing it for around 30 to 60 seconds and repeat it 10 times. Repeat the same procedure by switching hands. No need to pressure your joints. If you are unable to fully straighten your hand, take as much time as you need. Keep in mind that you cannot raise your wrist or palm while carrying out this exercise.

2. Palm Exercise

It comes among the most powerful methods to strengthen your hand as well as fingers. Put your hand on a flat surface and maintain space between your fingers.

Fully extend your little finger and push your thumb into the palm of your other hand. Then move your palm from the surface while keeping your fingers locked into the surface. Afterward, curl your fingers as you press your palm into the table. Do this exercise for both hands, giving each of them 20 seconds.

3. Thumb Exercise

Give maximum distance between your thumb and hand. Afterward, spread your thumb in the other direction; allow it to reach the bottom of your little finger. Retain this position for 30 to 60 seconds, then follow up with the other hand.

4. Claw Exercise

As the name suggests, the aim of this is to make your hand seem like a claw. Straighten out your hand and extend your fingers to reach the bottom of your finger joints. Retain your fingers in this position for 30 to 60 seconds. Do this for both hands.

5. Palm Slapping Exercise

If you would like to raise the influence of your hand and grasp, you need to do palm slaps. It includes clutching your basketball by one hand and smashing it against the palm of the other. Keep pressing the ball as strongly as you can. At one time, do around 20 slaps for each hand.

Drill Purpose: Improving The Influence Of Your Grip

6. Plate Pinches

Plate pinches assist in enhancing the pinch strength which is an absolute necessity for achieving achieve maximum gripping influence. To do these, position two tiny weight plates with the sleek sides at the front. During one session, keep them on for around 15 seconds beside your body. When you are able to do this daily without any discomfort, raise the weight size.

When you are using greater weights, use only one for each hand. Incline the weight plates against your legs. Pull them upwards and keep them there for the same time span.

The plate pinching exercise can also be widened by:

  • Walk while lifting the plates – the balance shift will benefit the fingers better this way.
  • Make use of the thumb and little finger rather than all of them.

7. Finger Push-ups

Just like the name portrays, these are also push-ups, but you can only use your fingers while doing these. Keep your arms and hands in a push-up posture, while keeping your fingers in place of the whole hand. Starting with altered push-ups might be simpler, making use of the knees rather than the toes as your foundation.

If you still find it difficult, try performing pushups along a wall. Stand while facing the wall, then bend via your hands/fingers along the wall. Steadily lean your elbows before your head nearly hits the wall, then go back to the initial lineup.

8. Pull-Ups

Using an overhand grip, hold onto a pull-up bar with your hands. The shoulder-width of your hands should remain different. Afterward, raise your body over the bar, as you lift your muscles. You can tie two towels onto the pull-up bar. Afterward, you can grasp the sheets and follow through with your daily pull-ups.

9. Plate Curls

Pick up a weight plate, with the palm side upwards, while keeping your fingertips at the base and thumb at the peak. After this, move on to perform the bicep curls. If you feel like prolonging the workout, carry the plate flat out through your body in the exact same way as mentioned before. Lean and lift the plate to the shoulder level, either to your front or the side.

10. Squeezing The Aluminum Can

Attempt this at the very end. Make the best use of an empty can. Load it up with stones, bolts, and nuts. Now, grasp the can right in front of you. Attempt the same thing with the other hand as well.


Learning to palm a basketball is not impossible. You just need to train hard, believe in yourself, and know when you are ready. Do not doubt your capabilities. When you feel that you are ready, get yourself a leather ball and make use of your training.

A leather ball’s smooth surface will seem weird because, by that time, you would be familiar with the rubber’s grip. But that is not such a big deal. With the right amount of effort, training, and everything we have told you; you will be able to palm a basketball in no time.

Spread the love