His boyish good looks make him appear to be 13, but Ricky Rubio is 25 years old, which on the young Timberwolves roster makes him a weathered veteran. With Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn all in their early 20s or younger, Rubio will need all of his experience and knowledge to help guide the Baby Wolves to what they expect will be a big leap forward during the 2016-2017 NBA season.
"I've been preparing myself mentally for this kind of pressure," Rubio said. "I have a lot of experience in tough situations, and I think I can help the team by stepping up and being more vocal."
After dealing with a hamstring injury during training camp last season, and having had to come back from an ACL injury before that, Rubio finally got to go through an off-season fully healthy. He no longer was compelled to focus his workouts on rehab or strengthening his lower body after his ACL injury, and he could instead pay attention to previously neglected areas, like his upper body.
"Three years ago I was focusing all on my lower body just because I got hurt and I didn't want to get hurt again," Rubio said. "But now it's mostly upper body. Just hitting the weight room like 4 or 5 times a week for a good four months or so, I put on a good 10-15 pounds of muscle."
When Rubio tired of the gym, he and his trainer engaged in outside-the-box training, like going kayaking or hopping on a bike and going for a long ride. Rubio hopes that a stronger upper body, together with his fully healed leg, will have him feeling stronger than he ever has.
Try Ricky Rubio's Workout
Keeping your shoulders down and back, perform a Pull-Up, pausing and holding your form at the top position for five seconds. Make sure you fully extend your elbows after each rep.
Sets/Reps: 2 x 3
Hold a resistance band with both hands. Step back into a Lunge while driving your front knee up. Rotate your arm overhead opposite your forward knee. Repeat.
Sets/Reps: 2 x 5 each leg
Rear Foot Elevated Split-Squat
Set your rear foot, right or left, on a knee-high box, bench or bar. Maintaining a flat back and tight core, lower your body until your thigh is parallel to the ground. Keep your front knee behind your toes, then raise up and return to your starting position.
If you like that weighted vest Ricky is wearing, you'll love these weighted shirts from Titin
Sets/Reps: 2 x 7 each leg
The Basketball Blowout Issue 2016 features training tips and advice from Karl-Anthony Towns, Paul George, Jimmy Butler, J.R. Smith and many more. CLICK HERE to see the full lineup.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock