Basketball Strength Training for Beginners

Basketball Strength Training for Beginners

Great basketball players dedicate time to improving their skills and athleticism. A great way to take your game to the next level is by adding strength training to your workout regimen. Basketball strength training will help you become faster, jump higher, be more explosive, etc.

Along with those things, it will also help stabilize your muscles and help to prevent injuries to your body. Whether you are a beginner or you have used strength training in the past and are looking for a refresher, these strength training tips for beginners will take you to improve your game.


Rules for Basketball Strength Training


More Hip Dominant exercises vs. Knee Dominate Exercises (Hamstring vs. quad)

  • Knee pain and many lower-body injuries are correlated with excessively strong quads and weak hamstrings. Eliminate risk by including more hip dominant exercises vs. knee dominant exercises. I suggest a 3:2 ratio.


More Pulls vs. Push exercise (Back vs. chest)

  • Most athletes overuse pushing exercises such as bench press, push-ups, chest flys, and shoulder press vs. pull exercises such as back and lat exercises, etc. This will lead to shoulder imbalances, which can lead to shoulder pain and injuries.


Start Slowly

  • Slowly progress your exercises from bodyweight to weighted exercises. Perform each motion slowly until it is mastered. Master the basics, then progress to more advanced movements.


General Notes

  • Basketball Related Training instead of Bodybuilding Training. Bodybuilding goals are to increase muscle mass for looks, while basketball-specific training aims to increase movement efficiency for the sport.
  • Train at least 2 days per week.
  • Alternate movement patterns (body parts) to prevent overtraining. Do not train the same movements on back to back days.
  • Be willing to mix it up. Staying engaged and challenged in your workouts is going to be critical. So be willing to try out different exercises or substitute a dumbbell exercise for a kettlebell exercise. The more you can keep things fresh and challenging, the more your body will be pushed.

Developing a Basketball Workout Plan

Developing a proper strength training regimen requires understanding the 3 phases of strength training: before, during, and after Training.



“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”  –Colin Powell

Preparation will allow you to focus and not waste time during the training. Use these tips to prepare for your workout.

  • Focus: What is your goal for the workout? Consider what you wish to focus on. This may include strength, mobility, or power. Never go into a workout without a focus. The same way you would select different basketball drills for an on-court workout is how you need to plan out your workout in the weight room.
  • Plan your workout: Do not walk into your training area without a written plan. This will allow you to change your workout based on how you feel that day. You want to stay focused on your ultimate goal and not how you feel at the moment. Have you ever walked into your training facility, and your motivation was not as high? Without a plan, it is easy for you to change your workout to make it easier.



“Winners are those people who make a habit of doing the things losers are uncomfortable doing.”  –Ed Foreman

  • Walk into your training area mentally prepared. Mental preparation includes:
  • Eliminate all outside distractions.
  • Know your daily focus and long term goals
  • Imagine what type of team/player you want.

Organize your workout space

  • If you can pre-organize your training area, do so. Hooking up your cords and organizing your weights will allow for efficient transitions from one exercise to another.

Quick access to water

  • Dehydration limits your performance on the court and while training. Make sure you have access to water.



Post Recovery Meal

  • Your goal is to ingest protein within 20-30 minutes of the end of your workout. This will allow your body to recover and build muscle.

Muscle Recovery

  • Use tennis balls and foam rollers to mimic a massage; this will relax you and decrease stiffness.

Sleep Well

  • Your body recovers while sleeping. To optimize recovery, get quality, and consistent sleep. A lack of sleep will limit your muscle, strength, and performance gains while lowering your immune system.

For more Strength training tips, check out Coach Campbell at and sign up for his newsletter.


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4 Responses

  1. how can i find out about more hip exercises and quad exercises and other exercises which dont contain weights? My doctor says I am not aloud to lift weights, so how can i find out more about theses exercises? thanks

  2. That is a great question. If you look through our Basketball Workouts you will see a lot of drills/workouts that you can use to help stregthen your legs. I am also in the process of writing an article on some great exercises that basketball players can do without weights to help them become more athletic, quicker, etc.

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