As a basketball player or a coach that is in charge of developing basketball players, you want to make sure that you are getting the most out of your training and also that you are training sport-specific. Your goal in the weight room should be to become faster, quicker, stronger, etc., as related to basketball and the movements that you are going to be making on the floor. This is called basketball-specific training, and it makes all the difference in developing a basketball player’s athleticism.
So what goes into basketball-specific training? As I mentioned before, you want to work on the different movements you will use in a game. For example, an exercise like the front squat will work on being more explosive when jumping to rebound, finish at the basket, or block a shot. You can even get more basketball-specific by doing exercises like the resistance band medicine ball chest pass exercise (see video). These basketball exercises will translate over to the court and help you become better at specific basketball skills and movements.
Basketball Specific Training Tips
Now that we have talked about the importance of basketball-specific training, let’s talk about some tips that you can use in the weight room to maximize your time and physical gains. Here are four tips that you can use in the gym.
Lifting Form: Don’t sacrifice your form to go with a heavier weight on an exercise. You always want to make sure that you are executing an exercise with the correct form. This will help maximize your gains, but it will also help to potentially reduce injuries. Start with a lighter weight that allows you to have the correct form, and then build up from there.
Explosiveness: Your goal on the court is to be more explosive and athletic, so you need to train like that in the weight room. So when you do exercises like the hang clean, squat and press, etc., make sure that you are training your body to be explosive. Always keep good form, but challenge yourself to shoot the weight up as quickly as possible (while still under control). This will translate over to the court and make you more athletic.
Conditioning: Basketball players need to have muscles that are conditioned differently than a bodybuilder. That means that you shouldn’t be taking 2-3 minutes rest in between each set, and you should also be doing some supersets in your workout. This will keep your body working hard and will help develop good muscle endurance as well.
*Supersets are two or more exercises done in a row without a break in between.
Compound Movements: Many younger basketball players get in the weight room and want to spend all their time doing exercises like curls or calf raises, but they should be spending the majority of their time doing compound exercises. By doing compound exercises, you will work multiple muscle groups simultaneously and work on simulating movements that you will use on the court. These types of exercises are a big part of basketball-specific training.
5 Great Basketball Specific Training Exercises
- Dumbbell Bench Press Exercise
- Squat Jump Exercise
- Dumbbell Squat Jump Exercise
- Resistance Band Squat Jumps Exercise
- Linear and Lateral Lunge Exercise