Get More Out of Your Basketball Strength Training

June 14, 2012

Must See Basketball Videos

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.

How To

  • Swallow your pride and learn to analyze your game like a scout
  • Eliminate distractions
  • 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.

Bodybuilder Training

  • 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

Basketball Training

  • 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

How To

  • 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!

Muscle Training

  • 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

Movement Training

  • 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.

How To

  • 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.

How To

  • 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

5. Plan

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.

How To

  • 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
  • Plan proper pre- and post-workout nutrition

Courtney Campbell
- Courtney Campbell is the owner of Train to Ball and the head strength and conditioning coach for boys basketball at Gainesville High School (Gainesville, Fla.)...
Courtney Campbell
- Courtney Campbell is the owner of Train to Ball and the head strength and conditioning coach for boys basketball at Gainesville High School (Gainesville, Fla.)...
Must See
Evan Longoria's Hitting Drills
Views: 9,798,759
Skylar Diggins Attacks the Off-Season On and Off the Court
Views: 6,698,457
Dwyane Wade Leads by Example
Views: 6,631,865

Featured Videos

A Day in the Life of NBA D-League Star Seth Curry Views: 69,070
Kevin Love's Cone Hop Basketball Shooting Drill Views: 9,456
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Views: 133,452
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,308,880
What Ryan Hall Eats for Breakfast
Views: 795,300
STACK Fitness Weekly: How To Do a Muscle-Up
Views: 778,676
Greg Nixon's Hill Training Program
Views: 705,782
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,561,942

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Not Making Bench Press Gains? Try These Strategies

"How much do you bench?" This is the most popular question asked to people who look like they lift weights. That's because the bench press is the most...

3 Keys to a Solid Squat Setup

3 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

Add Surprise Sets for a Great Workout Finisher

Build Muscle With the 2-Second Pause Workout Program

How to Recover From a Soccer Game or Workout

2 Brutal 10-Minute Workouts That Deliver Serious Results

Speed Drill of the Day: Weighted Arm Swings

Use Wave Loading to Take Your Strength to the Next Level

Tobin Heath's Powerful Leg Workout

Jump Higher After a Month With These 3 Exercises

The Un-Liftable Inch Dumbbell: Can You Handle Its Challenge?

Train Like a Pro: Baseball Strength Workout Program

Use Sled Pushes to Increase Speed, Strength and Power

How You Can Olympic Lift With an Injury

Build Athletic Strength with the Playground Sandbag Workout

Paul Rabil's Powerful Rotational Strength Workout

Abby Wambach's Soccer Power Workout

Increase Athletic Strength with Rotational Bodyweight Training

Abby Wambach's Strength and Speed Workout

Train Like a Pro: Julio Jones 3-Day Sandbag Strength Program

Build Bulletproof Chest Strength With This Unconventional Method

8-Exercise Advanced Chest and Back Workout

Speed Drill of the Day: Reverse Lunges

Train Like a Pro: MLS Soccer Strength Program

5 Quick Workout Fixes for Faster Muscle Growth

Train Like a Pro: Henrik Zetterberg's Hockey Strength Workout

Bicep Curl Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

4 Tips for Reducing Deadlift Back Pain

The 4 Best and Worst Cable Machine Exercises

Build Strong Legs with the Leg Press Lockdown Workout

How to Use the Pallof Press for an Iron Core

3 Tips to Blast Through Training Plateaus

3 Keys to Better Softball Workouts

3 Reasons Why You Should Do Full-Body Workouts

Todd Durkin's Complete Football Strength Training Program

Train Like a Pro: Dustin Pedroia's Baseball Power Workout

Get Faster to Pitch Harder

Get Faster With This Weightlifting Technique

Build a Strong Upper Body With These Landmine Exercises

Train Like a Pro: Los Angeles Lakers Strength Training Program

Kevin Love's In-Season Workout

The Top 10 Mistakes Athletes Make in the Weight Room

Train Like a Pro: James Harden's Basketball Maintenance Workout

Is It Too Soon for Olympic Lifts?