Off-Season Workout Program for Basketball Centers

Basketball centers: Improve your game this off-season with this workout designed by STACK Expert John Cissik.

To dominate in the paint, basketball centers must be big, strong and have a high vertical jump. They must also have the endurance to run from hoop to hoop so they can play under the basket on both offense and defense. (Watch Dwight Howard work out.)

To make you a better center, your off-season workout program must develop the critical attributes of strength, speed, agility, and conditioning. You can achieve all of them in a five-day per week program. And if you focus on getting better each workout (adding weight or doing extra reps), you will be a force on the court next season.

NBA Center Dwight Howard

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To dominate in the paint, basketball centers must be big, strong and have a high vertical jump. They must also have the endurance to run from hoop to hoop so they can play under the basket on both offense and defense. (Watch Dwight Howard work out.)

To make you a better center, your off-season workout program must develop the critical attributes of strength, speed, agility, and conditioning. You can achieve all of them in a five-day per week program. And if you focus on getting better each workout (adding weight or doing extra reps), you will be a force on the court next season.

Dwight Howard Push-Up

NBA Center Dwight Howard

Monday

Monday is the heaviest day of the week for basketball centers, focused on total body strength. The plyometrics are meant to reinforce correct landing mechanics and to teach you how to use the strength you are developing.

  • Back Squats - 3x6-10 @ 75-85%
  • Romanian Deadlifts - 3x6-10
  • Bench Press - 3x6-10 @ 75-85%
  • Pull-Ups - 3xMax
  • Seated Military Press - 3x6-10
  • Squat Jumps - 1x5 (stick landing)
  • Counter-Movement Jumps - 1x5 (reach high)
  • Standing Long Jump - 1x5

Tuesday

Tuesday and Thursday are devoted to enhancing your speed, agility and conditioning. The drills teach proper technique, increase foot speed, develop your ability to run up and down the court quickly and enhance your endurance.

  • Speed/Agility Technique Drills - 10-15 minutes
  • Ladder Drills - 1x3-5
  • 20-yard Sprints - 1x3-5
  • Conditioning (number in parenthesis represents the amount of rest in seconds before the next sprint): 1x20 yards (10), 1x40 yards (20), 1x60 yards (30), 1x80 yards (45), 1x100 yards (60), 1x100 yards (60), 1x80 yards (45), 1x60 yards (30), 1x40 yards (20), 1x20 yards

Wednesday

Wednesday is a power day in the weight room. The volume is low and the focus is on moving the bar quickly with good technique.

  • Hang Clean - 3x3-6 @ 60-70%
  • Hang Pull - 3x3-6 @ 60-70%
  • Speed Back Squats - 3x20 seconds @ 30% (only quality reps)
  • Glute-Ham Raises - 3x12-15
  • Jump and Knee Clasp - 1x5
  • Hurdle Hops - 3x5 yards
  • Overhead Med Ball Toss - 1x5

Thursday

  • Speed/Agility Technique Drills - 10-15 minutes
  • Ladder Drills - 1x3-5
  • Stick Drills - 1x3-5
  • 20-Yard Sprints - 1x3-5

Friday

Basketball centers need to be bigger, but they also need to know how to use their size. This workout incorporates supersets (two exercises performed back-to-back without rest) to develop the whole body. This will be a tiring workout!

  • Back Squats - 3x12-15 @ 60-70%
  • Superset: Split Squats and Reverse Hyperextensions - 3x12-15 each
  • Superset: Lunges and Back Raises - 3x12-15 each
  • Superset: Dumbbell Bench Press and Pull-Ups - 3x12-15 each
  • Superset: Dumbbell Incline Press and Single-Arm Dumbbell Rows - 3x12-15 each
  • 3-in-1 Shoulders - 3x12-15 each
  • Superset: Bicep Curls and Tricep Extensions - 3x12-15 each

Below are two optional conditioning workouts. Do them only if you have problems with fatigue or if you are overweight. These workouts will help you increase your endurance and burn calories while minimizing stress to your joints.

Do one conditioning workout on Wednesday or Friday.

Optional Conditioning Workout 1

Perform each exercise for 30 seconds. Take as little rest as possible between sets. Repeat the circuit three times.

  • Kettlebell Two-Handed Swings
  • Heavy Rope Slams
  • Kettlebell Single-Arm Swings (right)
  • Heavy Rope Single-Arm Slams (right)
  • Kettlebell Single-Arm Swings (left)
  • Heavy Rope Single-Arm Slams (left)
  • Kettlebell Single-Arm Clean (right)
  • Heavy Rope Woodchopper
  • Kettlebell Single-Arm Clean (left)
  • Heavy Rope Twists

Optional Conditioning Workout 2

Perform each exercise for 30 seconds. Take as little rest as possible between sets. Repeat the circuit three times.

  • Bear Crawls
  • Crunches
  • Inchworms
  • Sit-Ups
  • Lunges
  • Plank
  • Bodyweight Squat
  • Side Plank (right)
  • Push-Ups
  • Side Plank (left)
  • Pull-Ups
  • Flutter Kicks
  • Dips
  • Superman Hold

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Topics: BASKETBALL TRAINING | BENCH PRESS | BASKETBALL WORKOUTS | BASKETBALL CENTER | WORKOUTS | EXERCISE | BENCH | CLEAN | PRESS | ENDURANCE | LADDER DRILLS | KETTLEBELL | RAISES