After an extremely promising season, the Los Angeles Lakers head into this summer with a lot of pressure on their young core to continue improving. One player who took a major step forward was Brandon Ingram and he will look to build on that this offseason.
One place both he and the rest of the Lakers’ young core will spend a lot of time in is the weight room, and head trainer Gunnar Peterson has a plan in place for each of the Lakers players. Ingram made obvious stride in the strength department last season, but more improvement is needed.
Peterson recently spoke with Lakers reporter Mike Trudell and discussed his focal points for Ingram, via Lakers.com:
We’ll keep working on overall strength. On ankle stability. Any guy with long levers, that ankle is holding up a big structure. Then knee stability, core strength and keep getting the body weight up a little bit. If he performs well and avoids injuries, at the end of the day, we don’t care if he weights 200 or 220 pounds.
Peterson also praised Ingram for his work ethic and noted that, even though he may not look like it, the 20-year old is stronger than he appears:
But Brandon is way stronger than he looks. You don’t have to be built like Karl Malone to be strong. There are thinner guys who are really strong. Kevin Durant, who I used to work with, has real strength to his body. And Brandon is no stranger to the weight room. He does everything we ask of him and more. He’s a worker. If you look at pictures of him from his rookie year to the end of this year, you’ll see a noticeable difference. Some of that is a young man growing up, and some is his work in the weight room and attention to diet. He’s doing what it takes.
The difference in Ingram from his rookie to his second year was obvious. The added strength allowed him to become a much better finisher around the rim as well as a better defender capable of guarding larger players.
Peterson has done a great job working with each player individually in order to better them physically and the team as a whole has bought in. For Ingram, more development here, as well as with his on-court game, will make him nearly unstoppable.
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