Become a better basketball player this off-season by maximizing your time in the weight room. Get more out of your off-season basketball workouts with the following five tips:
1. Focus Your Effort
Before you start training, analyze your game to identify weaknesses. You can maximize your training by focusing on turning those weaknesses into strengths.
Swallow your pride and learn to analyze your game like a scout
Remember that anything less than maximum effort in the weight room is wasted time
2. Don’t Work Out Like a Bodybuilder
You’re not a bodybuilder. Don’t train like one. Learn the difference between bodybuilding and basketball training, and avoid the temptation to sculpt your beach muscles.
Trains individual muscle groups
Focuses on gaining muscle size and strength
Workouts are slow with long rest times
Workouts do not improve mobility and flexibility
Focuses on movement
Workouts improve mobility and flexibility
Trains to increase power, not strength
Directly improves on-court performance
Focuses on mastery of exercise technique and skills
Use exercises that keep your feet in contact with the ground or an unstable surface
Perform exercises that involve multiple joints and muscle groups, and use isolation exercises only to supplement your training
Perform a dynamic warm-up and cool-down, and incorporate mobility and flexibility techniques, like foam rolling
Focus on perfect form over heavy weights
Perform injury prevention exercises, such as Lateral Ankle Band Shuffle or Shoulder Y,T,W,L
3. Train Movements Not Muscles
Train movement patterns required for the game of basketball, like jumping and changing direction. Science tells us that isolation muscle training does not necessarily transfer to sport performance, because our brains learn movements, not muscle contractions. Babies don’t train each muscle before learning to walk. They master the movement!
Focuses on isolation exercises like Curls, Tricep Extensions, Leg Curls, Leg Extensions and Calf Raises
These exercises are not athletic since sports skills rarely, if ever, require only one muscle group
Individual muscle training can lead to bulky muscles and decreased mobility
The exercises look and feel athletic
Prevents injuries by improving coordination and strengthening supporting muscles
Improves balance and body control
Improves essential athletic movements, like the squat, lunge, hip hinge, shuffle, hip bound, jump and runs.
Perform exercises that involve moving through a full range of motion
Add single-leg and single-arm exercises to your program
Master technique for enhanced coordination
Perform injury prevention exercises for the ankle, knee and shoulder.
4. Master the Basics
Little or no experience in the weight room? There's no sense attempting advanced exercises when you lack the strength and coordination to correctly perform the basics. Know your limits and start at the beginning.
Master bodyweight exercises before adding weight or resistance
Focus on Squats, Lunges, Planks, Push-Ups and Pull-Ups
If you cannot control a movement, decrease the weight or resistance
If you feel pain, stop immediately
Start by mastering lower-body exercises you can perform at home
An unorganized workout wastes your time and delivers subpar results. Before you get to the gym, organize your exercises and plan your time to make sure you’re able to meet your goals.
Write down your workout
Start with compound exercises like Squats, Deadlifts and Bench Presses
Perform isolation exercises after compound exercises if desired
Perform injury prevention and core exercises toward the end of your workout
Track your sets, reps and weights
Note anything unusual like sickness or dehydration