Strength training with basketball is effective and fun! How does it work in the other direction? You've picked up basketball and you want to work on your physique in order to improve on the court? Here is a weight training programme for training fundamentals during the week, and a series of conditioning exercises you can do directly on the court!
If you want to trade your ball for a pair of weights for fifteen or thirty minutes a day, here is our weight training programme, divided according to the various muscle groups, as well as some exercises that help with basketball motions.
For each exercise, you can adapt the number of sets and reps to your level.
Just remember that basketball is based on tone and explosivity, so there's no use in building up sets of 200 repetitions as if you were training for a weightlifting competition.
Take 30 seconds between each set and 2 minutes between each exercise to catch your breath, remind yourself why you are doing this, dream of dunk after dunk, and continue your weight training session.
We'll start with the upper body, with the pecs, shoulders, and triceps. You've got it: it's all about pushing!
Alternating bench press
Our MVP: the alternating bench press, to improve the stability of your back and shoulders while shooting. With a weight in each hand, alternate pushing one arm after the other.
The legs are next. Work on your lower body to improve your movements during a match.
Our MVP: side lunges. You work on your hips and adductors in a movement that will improve your side stepping during defensive play.
Now it's time for abs. Even hidden under your jersey, your abdominal muscles are constantly in use during basketball, while running, shooting, and jumping.
Our MVP: bridges. You strengthen both your core, your lumbar muscles, and your glutes to improve your jumps and movements.
After pushing, now you can pull. Baskets? No no, still bars and hand weights. It's now time for your back and biceps to prepare for sparring on the court.
Our MVP: pull-ups work on the whole back in just one movement, to gain stability during jump shots.
We set off on a workout based on legs and abs. Working these two groups in a single session allows you to improve your core strength and release.
Our favourite exercise: jumping rope works on your release, core strength, stance, and endurance all in one. What joy! No?
Don't you have a game? After your week of physical preparation, it's time to rest or relax a bit by shooting hoops for fun.
And if you have a match or competition, you can do a few strength training exercises that you enjoy with light weights as a warm-up!
And if you don't have weights available, or if you swear by basketball only, here are 5 exercises that you can do with your ball.
Cross the court, doing a lunge with each step. And to keep your ball with you, dribble at the same time. You can even do a dribble between your legs with each lunge. That way, you work on your dribbling technique and your stance at the same time.
Get into push-up position, with your legs apart for better balance. Instead of putting your hands on the ground, push on the ball, placed beneath your sternum. Do your push-ups slowly. Aside from strengthening your pecs, triceps, and shoulders, you will work on core strength and balance.
Lie on your back, with the ball held between your legs. Raise your torso and lift your legs at the same time to catch the ball with your hands. Go back to your starting position, then start again to transfer the ball back between your legs. You can repeat the exercise until you start wondering why you still like basketball. In the meantime, the coordination between your legs and abs will improve your jumping ability.
Still with your orange ball, this time you'll work on your release. Aim at the backboard so that the ball always bounces in the same direction. Each time, take your rebound while jumping as high as you can. The goal is to work on your release and explosivity at the same time, with this short, intense motion. After all, to win the game, you need to jump even higher in the fourth quarter.
In the same position as you had when doing push-ups on the ball, this time bend your left leg underneath your stomach, then straighten the leg and raise the heel up and back, keeping your leg straight. Keep your balance with both hands on the ball and the tip of the other foot on the ground. Put your leg back down and start again on the right leg. The goal is to work on balance and core strength.
If your games and training sessions already fill your calendar slots for recreation, use our MVP exercises as a supplement. Rest will yield better results than overtraining!
How do you prepare for your basketball season? Share your experience with us!