In year one, we delivered a training plan from the Phoenix Suns tohelp you maintain strength, speed and agility during your AAU summercircuit. Year two was dedicated to explosive speed and conditioningfrom the Utah Jazz. Now, in year three, we head to the NBA EasternConference for a plan from the Atlanta Hawks that combines previousyears’ workouts for a total-body training experience.
Hawks strength and conditioning coach Chattin Hill graciously trimmed his 16-week off-season training plan to an eight-week guide to help you. “I modified what we do with our players into eight weeks to expose younger players to what they should be doing in the weight room to help them as basketball players,” Hill says. “Not only will they get a taste of how NBA players train, they will increase their strength, speed, quickness and explosion by following this plan.”
He continues, “This workout was put together so a kid can go through it in 45 minutes, which still enables him to play pick-up games or AAU ball and enjoy the summer with his friends. It’s a workout where you will perform basic movements to help prevent injury and strengthen muscles, and most importantly, improve your overall athleticism.”
According to Hill, you cannot be athletic if your core is weak. The main way he attacks core training is by incorporating different movements on a physioball. “One thing we try to do is make sure the core and trunk get a lot of work,” he says. “Basketball players leave themselves vulnerable to injury without a strong core. It is an explosive game, and the core is involved constantly with all the jumping and change of direction.”
Below, Hill breaks down the workout’s phases, schedule and nuances. Adhere to his plan, and you can expect to be a more athletic baller by next winter.
This phase has a power movement followed by a proprioceptive or balance exercise. During the beginning of the phase, I really want to get the athlete used to lifting weights. But our objective is to help out with joint integrity and connective tissue, all while working on the protective muscles that stabilize the knees and ankles.
Here we are performing a power movement followed by something explosive and plyometric in nature. We’re training for power and making sure the muscles can fire explosively. This is important because of the amount of jumping and first-step quickness basketball entails.
It’s a three-day-a-week workout. As long as you get a day of rest between workouts, you’re fine. You can go Monday, Wednesday and Friday, or, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Just make sure you don’t back them up with two basic movements in a row, like upper-body workouts.
For some movements, I provide a couple of exercise options. For example, you can perform a Squat or Leg Press during Day One for Weeks One and Five. I do this for a few reasons. First, the Leg Press is a great exercise for a beginning athlete. You receive similar benefits as a Squat, without having to worry about the technique that’s involved with Squatting. Second, the game of basketball exposes players to injuries and constant soreness and tweaks, and performing a Leg Press is less taxing on the body. Third, some basketball players are just too tall to Squat, and performing the Leg Press is more beneficial.
As I mentioned earlier, athletes can get through this workout quickly, while still putting in the work they need to be better basketball players. One way we do this is by supersetting the exercises. All of the power movement exercises that are directly followed by proprioceptive or balance exercises should be supersetted. The same goes with power movements followed by explosive and plyometric exercises. Supersets are time-efficient. By doing sets back-to-back, you limit your total workout time while still performing the same amount of work.
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