Top 10 Basketball Strength Exercises From Oak Hill Academy | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Top 10 Basketball Strength Exercises From Oak Hill Academy

October 10, 2012 | Micah Kurtz

Must See Basketball Videos

This piece was coauthored by Bryan Meagher.

Basketball has evolved tremendously over the past 25 years. Today's game requires players who are not just skilled, but faster, stronger and more explosive than their competition.

Weight training is the trick for stepping up your game, dominating on the court and helping your team win. If you are serious about basketball, you need to be equally serious about basketball weight training. So what exactly needs to be worked in the weight room? Here are the top 10 strength exercises from the 2011-12 High School Basketball National Champions, Oak Hill Academy.

1. Front Squats

Why: All athletes are built from the ground up, so strong legs are crucial, especially for basketball players. The tried and true Front Squat is one of the best basketball weight training exercises to develop this power.

Tips:

  • Keep chest up and back flat
  • Elbows stay high throughout movement so bar remains on shoulders
  • As you descend, push hips back as if sitting down
  • Keep weight on heels
  • Lower until thighs are parallel to the ground to engage all major muscle groups in your legs

2. Clean High Pull

Why: Explosive triple extension movements are great basketball exercises, because they help athletes transfer their progress from the weight room to the court. This particular exercise involves the hip, knee and ankle, three major joints, which, when moved from flexed to extended position, create the explosiveness needed to jump for rebounds.

Tips:

  • Power comes from the hips, so hips should rock back first
  • This places shoulders in front of bar and allows for full hip extension and drive
  • Chest and back stay up and flat

3. Chin-Up

Why: Basketball requires more pulling strength than pushing strength. The Chin-Up strengthens the muscles in upper back and biceps, which are needed for pulling down a rebound or playing tough with the ball in the post.

Tips:

  • Use a full range of motion to really work biceps
  • If you can't perform many Chin-Ups, continue to work up; perform them with assistance, from either a band or a spotter

4. Power Lunge

Why: Basketball athletes need to explode up and jump as high as possible. The Power Lunge trains for that powerful second jump, so you can get off the ground quickly and grab rebounds off missed shots.

Tips:

  • Feet should be walking distance apart in the lunge position
  • Knee should be behind toes, chest up and shoulders back
  • When landing, concentrate on landing back in lunge position, then exploding back up and off the ground as quickly as possible, while maintaining good posture and form

5. Towel Rack Rows

Why: This is another strengthener for the "pulling muscles." Wrap two towels around bar to add another dynamic, and develop grip strength along with back and arm muscles.

Tips:

  • As you pull chest to bar, keep body in perfectly straight line
  • Keep legs straight throughout
  • If you're not strong enough, bend knees to make movement easier; as you get stronger, move legs out so they're straight

6. Dumbbell Jump Squat

Why: Basketball players need to be explosive and make high vertical jumps; and this trains for both, building up lower body power and strength. Because this exercise is meant to be done fast, you don’t need heavy dumbbells. Use weight equal to between 15 and 30 percent of your squat max.

Tips:

  • Use the same form as for the Front Squat, except hold dumbbells at sides
  • Upon descent, push hips back like you were sitting down
  • Keep weight on heels, chest up, back flat
  • Concentrate on exploding up and jumping as high as possible, then landing softly in the squat position so you can immediately drive up off ground as fast as possible

7. Push Jerk

Why:  This Olympic style lift requires coordination and synchronization of the upper and lower body, a key for dominating on the court.

Tips:

  • Once the bar has cleared your face, push your head through your arms and look slightly down; this forces the bar to finish directly over your head
  • Sink hips and catch bar with knees slightly bent
  • Concentrate on driving up with legs before pressing up with arms

8. Close-Grip Bench Press

Why:  This is one of the best exercises to develop upper-body strength; and because it engages the triceps, it's a better option than the regular Bench Press.

Tips:

  • Position hands no more than shoulder-width apart
  • Elbows stay close to body throughout movement
  • Keep feet on ground and butt on bench at all times

9. Dumbbell Step-Ups

Why:  A multi-joint lower body exercise, it helps to eliminate any strength imbalance between your right and left legs. Plus, since it trains one leg at a time, it improves your balance, extremely important for a basketball player.

Tips:

  • Keep chest up while stepping up
  • Moving off front foot, drive knee up and hold it in position for one second

10. Barbell Curl and Press

Why: The basic Barbell Curl only strengthens the biceps. Adding a press also trains the shoulders. These are "mirror muscles," the ones people tend to notice. A player who feels good about his or her appearance will have more confidence and be more apt to play well. We want our players to feel good about their physiques.

Tips:

  • Do not use legs or back to complete this movement
  • Maintain strict form and good posture

 

Micah Kurtz
- Micah Kurtz is a nationally certified strength and conditioning specialist. He has worked as a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach for the University of...
Micah Kurtz
- Micah Kurtz is a nationally certified strength and conditioning specialist. He has worked as a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach for the University of...
Must See
NFL Wide Receiver Randall Cobb Outworks Everyone
Views: 24,628,881
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 7,834,380
Brandon Jennings: "Always Improve"
Views: 2,590,465

Featured Videos

James Harden on Becoming a Franchise Player Views: 72,546
Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Views: 28,813
Blake Griffin Interview and Cover Shoot Views: 574,257
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

Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,880,088
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,359,483
Colby Lewis's Four-Seam Fastball Technique
Views: 5,011,383
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 7,834,380
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,880,088

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

7 Farmer's Walk Variations for Improved Core Strength

Have you ever met a farmer? Did you shake his hand? If so, did you notice a few things, like massive forearms that would make Popeye jealous? Or a death...

Build Max Power With These Pulling Exercises

Todd Durkin

How Strength Training Changed Rory McIlroy's Game

4 Simple Golf Core Exercises to Increase Your Driving Distance

The Top 10 Mistakes Athletes Make in the Weight Room

Save Your Shoulders With These Barbell Landmine Exercises

Train Like a Pro: Peyton Manning's Core Workout

The 3-Minute Total Arm Pump

Build Bulletproof Chest Strength With This Unconventional Method

Grab a Broom for This Fast-Paced, Full-Body Workout

12-Week Resistance Band and Chain Workout

5 Ways to Get a Higher Vertical Jump

When Not to Try Unstable Hockey Training

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

3 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

3 Keys to In-Season Baseball Training

Posterior Chain Fixes to Improve Your Game

Prevent Volleyball Shoulder Injuries With These Exercises

Mike Boyle: 4 Small Muscles That Can Lead to Big Gains

The Best Lower-Body Landmine Exercises

Get a Full-Body Workout With Just 2 Exercises

What Happens When You Do The Same Exercise Every Day?

6 Gym Machines That Are Actually Worth Your Time

Todd Durkin's Complete Football Strength Training Program

Increase Your Explosiveness with the Power Curl

3 Simple Strategies for a Better Workout

12 Strength Moves from NFL WR Harry Douglas's Full-Body Workout

Abby Wambach's Soccer Power Workout

Build Awesome Arms With This 15-Minute Workout

Train Like a Pro: Damian Lillard's Basketball Core Workout

4 Exercises From NFL Players to Build True Game Speed

Jump Higher After a Month With These 3 Exercises

Deadlift Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

Train Like a Pro: Los Angeles Lakers Strength Training Program

Improve Your Squat Depth With 5 Easy Warm-Up Exercises

Build Wrestling Strength With the Gable Lock Isometric Hold

3 Keys to Better Softball Workouts

Evan Longoria's Off-Season Strength and Resistance Workout

Can You Survive This Insane 100-Rep Push-Up Challenge?

Putting Together an Off-Season Workout for Point Guards

5 Quick Workout Fixes for Faster Muscle Growth

3 Tricks for a Stronger Front Squat

3 Tips to Blast Through Training Plateaus

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Exercise

How to Improve Shoulder Strength and Flexibility

Use Eccentric Lifts to Increase Size and Strength