Putting Together an Off-Season Workout for Point Guards

Point guards can use these elements and this sample workout to build an off-season training program.

To plan a successful off-season workout for point guards, you must consider the physiological and biomechanical demands of the sport. Here are some elements of good point guard training, followed by a sample workout. Check out the video player above to see how All-Star point guard Damian Lillard stays in shape in the off-season.

Core Conditioning

You need a strong core to maintain body composition when performing a layup or dunk, to keep your posture and trunk stable when you're on defense or driving the lane, and for drawing a successful charge. Inadequate core conditioning can lead to kinetic chain breakdown and subsequent loss of technical ability and functionality. That's why you want to work your external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae and pelvic floor muscles.

Compound Strength

Compound exercises—movements that engage more than one muscle group—are essential for strength and durability. For this component, focus on compound lifts such as the Bench Press, Squat and Deadlift.


Point guards rely on their lower extremities for explosive bursts of anaerboic energy when jumping and sprinting. For that reason, they should include exercises that generate power in the glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves.

When performed correctly, plyometric (jump) training activates type II muscle fibers, improves core-trunk stability and strength, improves ankle mobility and further strengthens the lower extremities, especially when they are supplemented with regular lower-body weight-training protocols.


Point guards must perform exercises that condition and strengthen their shoulders, because repeated shooting, dribbling and maintaining a defensive stance in basketball work the shoulder muscles significantly. In addition, performing upper-limb exercises can simultaneously increase core strength.

Olympic Lifts

The Clean and Jerk, Snatch, and other variations of these lifts are frequently incorporated in off-season sports programs that rely on explosive bouts of energy. Movements such as the Power Clean have been shown to increase rate of force development and activate type II muscle fibers.


Day One

  • Power Clean - 5x5
  • Barbell Bench Press - 5x5
  • Standing Barbell Overhead Press - 5x5
  • Weighted Pull-Ups - 5x5
  • Barbell Rows - 5x5

Day Two

  • Barbell Back Squat - 5x5
  • Barbell Front Squat - 5x5
  • Box Jumps - 3x5
  • Depth Jumps - 3x5
  • Lateral Bounds - 3x5
  • Split Lunge Jumps -3x10

Day Three: Upper-Body Volume/Conditioning

  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press - 3x12-15
  • Dumbbell Bench Press - 3x8-12
  • Landmine Press - 3x12-15
  • Cable Lateral Raises - 3x12-15
  • Dumbbell Front Raises - 3x8-12
  • Weighted Plank - 5x60-90 seconds
  • Side Plank - 3x60-90 seconds

Day Four: Rest

Day Five: Lower-Body Volume/Conditioning

  • Glute Raises - 3x8-12
  • Dumbbell Step-Ups - 3x8-12
  • Dumbbell Lunges - 3x12-15
  • Hamstring Curls -3x8-12
  • Leg Press - 3x8-12


  • Normile, Dwight. International Gymnast, 55.2 (Mar 2013): 15.
  • Tarnanen, Sami P. et al. "Core Muscle Activation During Dynamic Upper Limb Exercises In Women." Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 26.12 (2012): 3217-3224. Web.

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