The 20-Minute Basketball Strength Workout

Complexes can help basketball players get stronger and better conditioned in a short amount of time.

Most basketball players spend plenty of time on the court during the summer. With schedules that include travel tournaments, pick-up games and other skills training, it can be hard to get to the weight room.

But strength training is essential if you want to be a better basketball player. Even if your time is limited during the summer, you can get stronger in just 20 minutes using complexes.

RELATED: STACK's 2014 Summer Training Guide: Basketball

What Are Complexes?

Complexes are a series of exercises done for a predetermined number of reps without putting the barbell or dumbbells down until completion.

Popularized by the great strength coaches Dan John and Istvan Javorek, complexes help you get stronger with a range of movements and become better conditioned in a short amount of time.

RELATED: Use Complex Training to Increase Your Strength and Power

Complexes for Basketball Players

Below are two complexes that can be used by basketball players who have limited time in the weight room. Any player with access to a barbell or dumbbells can complete one or both of them. Do them three or four days each week, using a weight that allows all reps to be completed with good form. Print out this article and place it in front you while completing the complex, so that you don't have to memorize the order of exercises.

RELATED: Basketball Off-Season Workout: Strength and Size

Barbell Complex

Barbell Upright Row x6 reps

  • Stand with the barbell at thigh level with an overhand grip (palms facing body).
  • Pull the bar up toward your chin, leading with your elbows.
  • Keep the bar as close to your body as possible.
  • Lower the bar back to the starting position.

Romanian Deadlift x6 reps

  • Hold the bar at thigh level with a slight bend in your knees.
  • Bend forward at the hips and slide the bar down the front of your legs, keeping your back flat.
  • Drive your hips backward and lower the bar as far as possible without changing the flex in your knees or your spine position.
  • Move the bar up in the same fashion back to starting position.

Bent-Over Row x8-12 reps

  • Bend at the hips, holding the bar with a shoulder-width grip.
  • Pull the bar toward your chest, keeping your back flat and abs tight.
  • Lower with control until your arms are straight.
  • Repeat.

Squat to Overhead Press x6 reps

  • Assume athletic position with the bar on your back and your feet slightly wider than hip-width.
  • Keeping your chest up, core tight and knees behind toes, lower into a Squat until the tops of your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  • Drive up out of squat position and push the barbell explosively overhead.
  • Lower the bar onto your back and into starting position.

Good Mornings x6 reps

  • Assume athletic position with the bar on your back and your feet at hip-width.
  • Keeping your back flat and tight, bend your hips and lower your torso until your chest is parallel with the floor.
  • Raise your torso and squeeze your glutes when moving back to starting position.

Dumbbell Complex

Bent-Over Row x8-12 reps

  • With your arms extended, lower your torso until your chest is parallel to the ground.
  • Holding the dumbbells with a neutral grip (palms facing each other), drive your elbows back and move the dumbbells toward your chest.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together for two seconds.
  • Lower the dumbbells until your arms are extended and back into starting position.

Reverse Lunges x6 reps per leg

  • Hold the dumbbells at your sides with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Step backward into a lunge position.
  • Lower your hips until your back knee is 1-2 inches off the floor.
  • Don't let your front knee move past your toes.
  • Push up off your front heel, back into starting position.
  • Do all reps on one leg, then repeat on opposite side.

Squat to Press x6 reps

  • Assume athletic position with the dumbbells on your shoulders and your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
  • Keeping your chest up, core tight and knees behind toes, lower into a Squat until the tops of your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  • Drive up out of the squat position and push the dumbbells explosively overhead.
  • Lower the dumbbells with control back into starting position.

Romanian Deadlift x6 reps

  • Hold the dumbbells at thigh level with a slight bend in your knees.
  • Bend forward at the hips and slide the dumbbells down the front of your legs, keeping your back flat.
  • Drive your hips back and lower the dumbbells as far as possible without changing the flex in your knees or your spine position.
  • Move up in same fashion back to starting position.

Bent-Over Rows x8-12 reps (repeat)

Remember to complete all reps and exercises before setting the weight down. I suggest starting off light and working your way up once you have mastered the exercises in the complexes. When using complexes, aim to complete 3-4 rounds and rest 2-3 minutes between rounds.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: BASKETBALL TRAINING | CHEST | BASKETBALL WORKOUTS | DUMBBELLS | BARBELL