In a previous article, I discussed how to get more out of your basketball strength training. Here, I show you how to organize and balance your basketball weight training. Follow these guidelines during your basketball workouts to improve your performance on the court and prevent injury.
1. More Planks, Fewer Crunches
Your core’s primary job is to stabilize your spine. When your spine is stabilized, it allows for more efficient movement of your legs and arms. When you jump, hop, sprint and move, power transfers up and down your body. A stable core reduces the amount of power lost in the transfer and produces faster, more powerful and more efficient movements. Planks are simply better for athletes than crunches.
- Focus on stabilization core exercises such as Planks, Side Planks and the Pallof Press
- Avoid flexion exercises like Crunches or Sit-Ups
2. Increase Mobility
Mobility is more than flexibility; it combines flexibility and physical control. Sports require controlling your body during all ranges of motion. When you go for a steal or break into a sprint, your joints move to facilitate full range of motion. Your body has to be comfortable and strong in such positions. If mobility issues persist, you will be susceptible to injury and impaired performance.
- Perform mobility drills that improve ankle, hip, shoulder and thoracic spine (mid back) mobility
- Incorporate mobility drills into your warm-up and cool down
- Perform exercises through their full range of motion. Lower the weight if necessary
- Focus on proper technique, not amount of weight
3. Focus on Hip-Dominant Exercises
Hip-dominant exercises include Deadlifts, RDLs, Clams, Glute Bridges and others that strengthen the hamstrings, glutes and hips. Knee-dominant exercises include Squats, Lunges, Step-Ups and others in which the primary mover is the knee. Knee-dominant exercises are important, but you should focus on the hips, because they are the most powerful muscle group in the body and the primary generators of force when running, jumping or changing direction. Also, strong and stable hips reduce the risk of injury to knees and ankles.
- Perform more hip-dominant exercises than knee-dominant exercises
- Incorporate adduction (legs move toward center of body) and abduction (legs move away from center of body) exercises to improve side-to-side movement and prevent injury
4. Focus on Upper-Body Pulls
Athletes love to perform pushing exercises—like Push-Ups, Bench Presses and Overhead Presses—because they improve the physique in obvious ways. However, pulling exercises—like Rows, Pull-Ups and Chin-Ups—should be an athlete’s main focus.
Excessive pushing causes bad posture and can lead to back pain and shoulder problems. Pulling exercises develop the back muscles, which are the foundation for your upper body. A strong back allows you to perform fast and powerful movements while maintaining balance and control in your upper body.
- Perform two pulling exercises for every pushing exercise
- Pinch scaps together before pulling with arms to engage the back instead of the biceps
You have now learned how to organize your basketball weight training program. Take time to analyze and adjust your current workout. If you have any questions, send me a message on Facebook.