Build Basketball Strength Faster with Multi-Joint Moves

STACK Expert Tony Duckwall brings you three exercises that will build your strength, power and balance for basketball.

Dumbbell Press

Between school, homework, practice and conditioning, a high school basketball player's life is pretty busy. One of the best ways to build athleticism and maximize training time is to perform multi-purpose exercises that relate directly to game play. Here are some great ones to add to your training toolbox.

Single-Leg Med Ball Wall Pass

This drill develops balance and passing strength, and strengthens the hips and knees. You also gets the benefit of learning how to absorb impact while remaining upright.

  • Set your core and stand on your right foot facing a wall, about three feet from the wall.
  • Place your left leg in front of your body with your left knee at a 90-degree angle and your foot flexed.
  • Using a 6- or 8-pound rubber med ball, perform chest passes to the wall without letting your left foot touch the ground.
  • Do 25-35 reps non-stop, then switch feet.
  • Repeat for 4 sets.
  • When balance improves and reps become easier, speed up the hand movement (with good form) to increase difficulty.

Dumbbell Squat to Overhead Press with Triple Extension

With this drill, you develop leg power for jumping by increasing ground-force production. You also develop upper-body strength for driving through opponents while rebounding. Squat-to-Press also helps you improve your coordination. The dumbbells strengthen each shoulder independently.

  • Assume a jump stance holding dumbbells at shoulder height (start with 10- to 15-pound dumbbells).
  • Keeping your weight on your heels, tighten your core and drop to a bottom squat position.
  • From the bottom position, keep your feet flat and push into the ground to stand back up.
  • At the top of the stand, transfer force to the dumbbells and press them up to a full overhead position while simultaneously rising up on the balls of your feet as in jumping. (This is triple extension, a sequential straightening of the hip, knee and ankle joints, which is the basis for all sports movements.)
  • Lower your heels back to the ground and the weights back to your shoulders.
  • Perform 3-5 sets of 8-10 reps, resting about one minute between sets.
  • When all sets become easy, move up to heavier dumbbells.

Single-Leg Lateral Line Hop

This exercise develops lateral foot quickness and strengthens the hips, knees and ankles. It's also great for conditioning and developing balance.

  • Stand next to a line on the floor (or a broom stick) on your right foot.
  • Place your left leg in front of your body with your left knee at a 90-degree angle and your foot flexed.
  • Keeping your core tight, stand on the ball of your right foot and jump over the line and back without letting your left foot touch the ground.
  • Perform as many reps as you can in 30 seconds.
  • Switch feet and repeat.
  • After doing both legs, rest 30 seconds and repeat for five sets.

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