Pat Connaughton, Mikal Bridges, John Collins

NBA Pros Reveal Their Warm Up and Recovery Hacks

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When it comes to fitness and sports, a lot of emphasis is placed on the workout or the physical task at hand. That’s when the sweat pours, that’s when the calories are burned, that’s when the points are scored. However, the warm-up and recovery are equally critical.

Whether you’re an avid gym-goer, a routine runner or a professional athlete, your body needs to be properly taken care of before and after a sweat sesh in order to stay in top shape. But what are the best tactics?

To give you a little inspiration, we checked in with some of our favorite NBA athletes to discover the stretches, recovery tools and playlists they’ve come to rely on to pump up and cool down for workouts and games alike.

Pat Connaughton #24 of the Milwaukee Buck


The Warm-Up

Game Day Jumpstart: My favorite warm-up before games is to work with the jump rope. Beyond that, I work to get a lot of shots up before games as well.

Stretching It Out: Some of my specific exercises and stretches typically involve mini bands. I do a lot of band stretching as well as dynamic stretching.

Pump Up Music: My go-to pump music comes from artists like Travis Scott, Young Jeezy and Jay-Z.

The Recovery

Stretch and Soothe: In terms of recovery, I typically stretch and do a contrast bath of hot and cold tubs.

Off Day Routine: On off days, I like to do hot yoga and biking.

Go-To Recovery Tools: A couple of my favorite recovery tools include NormaTec and Hyperice Hypervolt.

Food, Drink and Supplement Go-Tos?

Java Buzz: I don’t really take any supplements. Sometimes before games, I will have Starbucks Coffee.

Mikal Bridges- Phoenix Suns


The Warm-Up

Pre-Game Prep: My go-to warm-up before a game takes place on the court. I start off with ball-handling and then get right to shooting. I always start inside the arc first and then move my way out to the 3-point line. A lot of movement shots and stationary shots as well. My team counts on me to hit shots when I’m in the game, so this is where I like to focus in terms of my preparation.

Tune Into Drake: I do listen to some music before games, but I prefer to listen to calm music. I think the main artist that I like to listen to before games is Drake. Drake has the calmness and smoothness in his music that allows me to relax and focus on my game.

The Recovery

Cold Tub Recoup: I pretty much use my off days to focus on recovery. Usually, on my off days, I head to my team’s practice facility. I typically start with the cold tub and then move over to the hot tub. This helps to get my legs feeling rejuvenated. From there, I usually head to the training room and get a real good stretch before heading to the practice court to get some shots up. On off days on the road, I typically like to get a massage.

Food, Drink and Supplement Go-Tos?

Protein First: The biggest thing that I usually eat to recover is just a lot of protein. I am big on eating a lot of grilled chicken and drinking smoothies with protein in them. I also like to have a big breakfast on days where I am focusing on recovery, typically on my days off.

John Collins - Atlanta Hawks

The Warm-Up

Pre-Game Powerlift: My go-to warmup is some sort of powerlift. Powerlifting is focused on developing strength, especially lower body, so it can make it easier to run across the court with power. Before a game, I use some very light weights in order to get the blood flowing to the legs and start to activate key muscle groups without too much intensity.

Band Exercises: Specific exercises include leg band work. Using resistance bands can help with flexibility and can translate to explosiveness. By simply adding a band to workouts it adds another layer of conditioning.

Rolling It Out: I always use a foam roller to get the blood pumping and warm up my legs and back.

The Recovery

Recovery Tools: I love to use the NormaTec boots. The compression post-game or intense workout really helps with blood flow and recovery. I also love cryotherapy.

Active Off-Day: I try and do an active recovery focusing on flexibility with stretching. I also do some bodyweight movements like push-ups and sit-ups.

Food, Drink and Supplement Go-Tos?

Winning Combination: My go-to is green detox smoothies and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Monte Morris - Denver Nuggets

The Warm-Up

Pre-Game Heat: Before a game, I like to use heating pads to get my muscles loose so I have a more efficient warm-up. I also liked to get wrapped on occasion whether or not I’m injured. Sometimes it’s just an extra step for injury prevention or to take care of my body.

Stick to Stretching: I’m still working on getting better at stretching because I wasn’t always a big fan of it, but over the years I’ve learned how important it is. It helps with staying loose on the court and it is essential in making sure your muscles don’t tighten up. My favorite exercises or stretches are ones that target my hamstrings.

Good Vibrations: My favorite warm-up tool (and this applies for post-game too) is what we call “The Gun”. It’s one of those vibrating machines that you use to massage out any part of your body which is definitely helpful to have at all times.

Pump Up Playlist: It changes depending on who we are playing but some artists that are consistent on my pump up/pregame playlist are Future, Lil Baby, Gunna and 21 Savage.

The Recovery

Muscle Recoup: Any guy who plays for more than 20 minutes has to stay back and stretch or get treatment after the game. An intense workout for me is anything 45 minutes or longer (high speed, high intensity) so it’s pretty important to have some sort of routine afterward for muscle recovery, too. For me, it varies from time to time but I do things like hot/cold baths, NormaTec, stretching with a trainer, etc.

Off-Day and Off-Season: On my off days, I always like to go in and get treatment to help me stay as fresh as possible. I actually like yoga and I am trying to find more time for it because there isn’t much time in my current schedule during the season. In the off-season though, we have team yoga sessions available to us so I plan to take advantage of those. It’s important to continue taking care of your body, even on off days.

Food, Drink and Supplement Go-Tos?

Home-Game Skittles: I don’t take any supplements, I just try to eat right and keep my body healthy. In terms of food … actually an interesting fact about me is that I eat some Skittles before each home game (I guess you could call it a little tradition of mine). There’s a woman who sells candy at the arena and she always has some to give to the players which I think is really sweet of her.

Product Recommendations

Jump Rope


Hyperice Hypervolt


Resistance Bands

Foam Roller

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