Just because basketball isn’t considered a contact sport doesn’t mean it isn’t physical. Everybody runs into a really physical defender that leans on them and bumps them the whole game. It takes practice to learn how to excel on the court with defenders all over you. There is also a good chance that the same defender won’t let you get a shot off without some bumping and pushing, too. But how can you practice these in-game situations during training?

Have you ever heard of blocking pads? If not, then keep reading because these innovative pieces of equipment will strengthen your dribbling and ability to finish a layup in traffic. It’s tough, however, finding the right blocking pad online while sifting through the imposters. Luckily, we’ve done it for you! Read on for the best basketball blocking pads that’ll help toughen your game.

Quick Summary

  • The Ball Hog Bump Contact Training Pad is tough enough to push you around and improve your ball-handling and finishing strong, but small enough to fit on your training partner’s forearm and in your gym bag.
  • The Spalding Blocking Pad is sponsored by the NBA, so you know it’s a quality item. This pad is bigger than just a forearm pad, providing a larger surface area to simulate the pushing and shoving of a defender.
  • GoSports Padded Blocking Guards take it to the next level, mimicking a defender’s hands and arms rather than one full-body or forearm pad. They are fairly long, too, to help train you to shoot over them or get a pass off around their reach.

Who Should Get This

Blocking pads are ideal for the hooper looking to build strength within a real-game setting. Sure, you can lift weights and work on your ball-handling and layup skills. But combining that with real in-game situations will improve specific plays that happen in every basketball game you play.

These training tools are always very beneficial to younger players looking to build their strength while playing basketball simultaneously. I had a coach who never believed in doing drills that didn’t incorporate in-game situations because he thought it was counterproductive. Blocking pads are the epitome of in-game as they can simulate so much of what happens while you are playing.

Best Basketball Blocking Pad: What To Consider

In this article, I cover three different blocking pads with their own unique style. They all essentially serve the same purpose through different means. Whatever style you end up choosing, knowing which features are important makes the selection process easier.

Size

There are several different sizes and shapes of blocking pads on the market. If you want to recreate contact from a defender’s body, then the larger pads are your go-to. If you want to build strength and confidence in your arms while dribbling or finishing a layup, I would opt for the smaller blocking guards. Maybe your best move is to add two different pads into your regimen for more effective training sessions.

Durability

Many blocking pads are the same used for kicking and punching in combat sports like mixed martial arts or karate, which means they’ll easily withstand basketball’s low-impact action. This information is very valuable when making your final decision: will they hold up for the long haul, or will you run into issues after a few uses?

Comfort

In this case, I am not talking about comfort for the person getting knocked around with the pads, but for the person wearing them. Completing basketball moves is hard enough. Now imagine adding a pad to every move you make while shoving a player around. Take that into account before you make your final selection.

Best Basketball Blocking Pads: Our Choices

1. Ball Hog Bump Contact Training Pad

If you want a blocking pad that is not only durable but also easy to bring anywhere, then this is probably the option for you. The Ball Hog Pad fits well on the user’s forearm for less bulk while still delivering a strong blow to your training partner. Layup drills will never be the same; your coach can test your physical and mental toughness with the extremely effective—and mobile—Ball Hog Pad.

What We Like:

  • Tough, yet light, padded exterior
  • Multi-sport useability
  • Mobile enough to wear and still move freely

What We Dislike:

  • May be too small for some looking to deliver a bigger impact to their players

2. Spalding Blocking Pad

I always recommend Spalding branded basketball equipment. The NBA wouldn’t stand behind a company that doesn’t produce great products. The Spalding Blocking Pad is no different in quality and durability than their basketballs—and that is a bold statement. This pad is bigger than Ball Hog’s, allowing the user to cover more of their body while delivering a bigger shove. This pad’s size works great for improved dribbling as well as drills around the basket.

What We Like:

  • The simple design is protected by heavy-duty tarpaulin materials
  • Handles on the pad are wide enough to withstand hours of drills
  • Can’t go wrong with the Spalding name

What We Dislike:

  • May not be used for every drill due to its large size

3. GoSports Padded Blocking Guards

These innovative blocking guards from GoSports are this article’s wild card. While they aren’t one bulky pad, they still pack a punch and build strength and confidence while handling the ball. GoSports Blocking Guards aren’t just blocking pads; they do so much more as well. They can hit at a player’s forearms while dribbling or passing and can also block shots and deflect passes.

What We Like:

  • Innovative and lightweight; aren’t just designated as a blocking pad
  • Easier on the user, providing a wider range of movement than traditional pads
  • High-density foam for sturdy padding throughout

What We Dislike:

  • Won’t make as big an impact on a player’s body as the traditional blocking pad

Useful Tips & Resources

Shot and pass contesters are another applicable tool to help maximize the effectiveness of your training. Not only can you show this useful simulated arm and hands during a players’ shots, but they also promote good ball-handling and pass fakes while trying to force turnovers.

Spalding Shot Contestors will do the trick and annoy the players on your team who need to work on their passing. They will thank you, though, when their turnover stats improve!

Final Thoughts

There are many useless resources on the market these days that won’t help your game much. As a former college basketball player who used blocking pads every day in practice, I can attest to their effectiveness. Work out with these for a few weeks, and your finishing around the rim will improve, as well as your dribbling and passing. You won’t regret it!

Have you ever tried working out with blocking pads? What did you think about your experience? Let us know below in the comments!