How to Hold a Basketball with One Hand?

Holding a basketball depends entirely on the move you are planning to make.

If you have intentions to dribble, pass, or shoot the basketball then your fingers can work well. But as far as dunk is concerned, players usually use one hand for this move. This technique of using one hand in basketball is called palming.

The sole reason is that they can stretch over competitors as the ball will reach farther with one arm than with both.

We will see in this article how to use one hand for playing basketball.

palm basketball

Can You Hold the Basketball with One Hand?

Carrying a ball in basketball is a violation of rules so to avoid foul playing players usually use one hand to carry the ball. This type of carrying is known as palming or colloquially where players the ball is kept with one hand and keeps on traveling from one to the other hand. This is the legal practice to hold the ball for more than five seconds as well as to have better control of the ball.

The players thus easily handle the ball for dribbling. But the hand should not go under the ball as this again comes under the violation of basketball rules.


Why Can’t I Palm a Basketball?

Palming a basketball is not as easy as it may seem to a few people. There are some factors that affect one’s capability to palm or grip the ball.

These include the size of the player’s hand. Players who have larger hands get to palm the ball more easily than the other way round.

The other factor is also the make-up of the basketball itself.

But there are a few other techniques that you can follow like positioning, strength, and practice to overcome smaller hands.


How Big Must Your Hands Be to Palm a Basketball?

how to hold basketball

Palming a ball with one hand requires a good grip that is possible only if the player has a large hand.

A hand is considered large in basketball if it has a length of almost 7.5″ with a hand span of 8 1/4.

Players can easily measure their own hand size with a measuring tape or ruler starting from the tip of the middle finger to the base of their hand. This will give the length of a hand that provides a solid grip.


How Do You Pick up a Basketball with One Hand?

To hold a basketball with one hand, make sure to dry it and ball with a towel as sweat and grease make them slippery.

Take a look at the seams and spread your fingers on them evenly and grip it tightly.

Try moving your hand back and forth to see if the grip is stable or not. This is how you can simply hold a basketball with one hand.


Exercises to Help Palm a Basketball

A couple of exercises exist that can help players to palm a ball with one hand. But above all, they need to have coordination, strength, practice, and determination. You can exercise your hands using rubber balls, resistance bands, and hand grippers to strengthen your hands.

These need to be performed twice or thrice a day for better and rapid results.

First, warm up by twisting your hand.

Then, start by squeezing the rubber ball from the palm.

Then, go for hand grippers and finally rubber bands.

You can also use resistance bands for wrist strengthening.



Can anyone that doesn’t have small hands palm a basket (hold it with one hand) with enough finger strength training?

Palming requires practice and surely anyone with good practice and strength can do so.



Players with long hands easily grip basketball with one hand for stronger gripping. But those with short hands also have a few exercises that they can do for gripping the ball. The player just needs to spread his fingers throughout the upper side of the ball with dry hands.

Carrying a ball longer is a violation so by palming it with one hand, a violation of basketball rules can also be avoided.