Basketball Players: Improve Your Crossover With This Weightroom Workout

STACK Expert T. J. Allan prescribes a strength training crossover workout that will add power to your crossover.

Creating the ultimate basketball crossover workout isn't just about learning the skill. A skilled crossover is still a weak crossover if it has little power behind it. To create an effective crossover, you must apply what you do in the weight room to the basketball court.

The following strength training crossover workout, when used in conjunction with crossover dribbling drills, will create an explosive crossover that even the quickest defender cannot stay in front of.

RELATED: The Ultimate Basketball Crossover Drills

To make sense of the following exercises, you'll need to study Kevin Durant's crossover. Here's an excellent video that shows KD's crossover in slow-motion. Watch his first step, a lateral side-step with the perfect explosive angle. His foot is outside of his knee, and his knee is outside of his hip. Notice that his foot is almost parallel to his body, not too far in front or behind it. That angle creates an explosive lateral movement that allows KD to get his hip past the defender's hip.

His second step is a linear movement that allows him to blow by his defender toward the basket. Notice his back foot is slightly behind his body, allowing him to put force back and down so he can propel himself forward.

Those two movements aren't steps. They are powerful hops. The only way to truly teach your body to explode like that is with exercises in the weight room that mimic those movements and angles.

Crossover Workout

Lateral Movement Progression—1st Step

All of these drills focus on creating good angles so you can create maximum force laterally. Your foot should always be outside of your knee, and your knee should always be on the outside of your hip. Really focus on pushing off the inside of your foot.

Phase 1 - Wall Lateral Loads and Holds

  • Take two big steps away from the wall.
  • Standing perpendicular to the wall, fall into the wall so your arm closest to the wall is "holding the wall up" at shoulder height.
  • Drive your inside knee up so your upper leg is parallel to your foot.
  • Hold for 2 seconds, then perform a Single-Leg Lateral Squat with your outside knee by extending your inside leg away from the wall.
  • Explode back to the starting position by driving off the inside of your outside foot.
  • Hold for 2 seconds and repeat.
  • Sets/Reps: 3 x 8

Phase 2 - Band Resisted Shuffles

  • Start in an athletic stance with a partner standing to your side holding a thick rubber band around your waist.
  • Load your arms and push with the inside of the foot closest to your partner. Think, "Push and step."
  • Perform 1 shuffle, reset and continue until you perform 10 shuffles.
  • Switch sides and repeat.
  • Sets/Reps: 3 x 10 per side

Phase 3 - Lateral Medicine Ball Throws

  • Stand to the side of your partner in an athletic stance holding a medicine ball at your chest.
  • As the medicine ball is in the back swing, load your hip and drive off the leg farthest from your partner as you explosively throw the medicine ball to your partner.
  • Sets/Reps: 3 x 10 per side

Phase 4 - Skater Jumps

  • Start in a single-leg stance.
  • Bend your knee, load your hips and arms, and explosively jump laterally, landing on the opposite foot.
  • Absorb the force, reset and repeat in the opposite direction.
  • Sets/Reps: 3 x 12 each side

Phase 5 - Lateral Bounds

  • Start in an athletic stance.
  • Load your hips and explosively jump laterally. Land on two feet.
  • Focus on driving with the inner part of your outside foot.
  • Absorb the force as you land, reset and repeat.
  • Try to increase the distance with each jump.
  • Sets/Reps: 3 x 8 each side

RELATED: Learn the NBA's Best Crossover Technique

Linear Movement Progression—2nd Step

Phase 1 - Wall Load and Explode

  • Take two big steps away from the wall.
  • Fall into the wall at a 45-degree angle with your hands even with your shoulders.
  • Act like you're holding the wall up, keeping a tight core throughout the drill.
  • Start the the drill with your feet together, standing on the balls of your feet.
  • Raise one knee, leading with the knee, so the top half of your leg is parallel with your foot.
  • Hold for two seconds, then drop into a Single-Leg Squat, extending the foot of the active leg behind your body.
  • Once loaded, drive the knee back to the starting position. Push through the foot of the leg connected to the ground.
  • Hold for two seconds and repeat.
  • Sets/Reps: 3 x 8

Phase 2 - Sled Pulls

  • Load the sled with approximately 30 to 50 percent of your body weight.
  • Start in an acceleration stance with forward lean. Tighten your core and don't bend at the waist.
  • As you push the sled, make sure you drive back and down with your feet.
  • Sets/Distance: 3 x 15-20 yards

Phase 3 - Band-Resisted Sprints

  • Have your partner stand directly behind you holding a band around your waist.
  • Lean forward with a strong core and sprint forward, driving your legs back and down.
  • Sets/Distance: 3 x 5 yards

Phase 4 - Lunge Jumps

  • Start in the bottom of a lunge stance.
  • Using your arms, explosively jump forward, landing with the opposite foot forward.
  • Focus on driving off the balls of your feet.
  • Sets/Reps: 3 x 8

Phase 5 - Power Skips

  • Perform these as if they were normal skips with one exception: really focus on driving into the ground to create as much power as possible.
  • Don't forget to drive with your arms.
  • Sets/Reps: 3 x 8 each leg

Because these exercises aren't particularly demanding when done individually with the prescribed repetitions, we generally incorporate them into the player's individual skill sessions. We perform a set of one of the above exercises, rest 30 seconds, and then perform a crossover dribbling drill for two to three minutes and repeat. Each phase lasts three to four weeks.

RELATED: Developing Quickness and Power to Master the Crossover

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock