Sports Performance Tips for Basketball Players
We just got finished with our pre-season training with basketball teams and athletes and practice started a few days ago. I would like to share with you some of the differences and insights that might help you be the best basketball player that you can be. There are many differences in the pre-season training than the in-season obviously but there are a few proven techniques that can keep you performing at your best even when the play-offs hit.
Pre Season Weight Training for Basketball Players
Pre-season training for basketball teams is a high intensity and high volume 8-10 weeks to get the athletes prepared for the season. These exercises involve coordination, balance, power, strength, and many joints to get movements as close to simulation of basketball as it can be. Here is a list of lifts that should be in every pre-season program. These don’t represent any order of days of the week but generally there should be 1 olympic lift followed by lower push, lower pull, upper push, upper pull depending on the day of training and week for volume purposes.
Word of warning…Don’t attempt the Olympic Lifts without finding a coach that knows what they are doing. Watching YouTube isn’t good enough. It takes years of experience as an athlete and a coach as well as many educational hours to get these lifts down. There is a reason these lift are in the Olympics.
Basketball Players Lift Tool Box
Cleans 6-8×1,2,3 (barbell, kb*, and db*)
Jerk 6-8×1,2,3 (barbell, kb*, and db*)
Snatch 6-8×1,2,3 (barbell, kb*, and db*)
Squat 6-8×1-5 (all directions- lateral, split, lunge, front, overhead, sumo, goblet)
Deadlift 6-8×1-5 (barbell, kb*, and db*)
Incline Bench 6-8×1-5 (barbell, kb*, and db*)
Military 6-8×1-5 (barbell, kb*, and db*)
Pull Ups (all grips)
Wtd Push Ups 6-8×5-7
There are many others that can be included in the list above but notice the sets and reps and movement patterns. What is missing? Why do athletes get injured in the weight room? If we analyze these movements we will notice that the movement patterns are very much repetitive. These lifts take place in the sagittal or frontal plane and never in the transverse. Our athletes move in many different movement patterns when they are playing basketball. It is very important that it is trained in the weight room as well.
So what would be the difference in knowing that all the movements needed to be trained? If we are prepared we can find lifts and exercises that can help the development of the basketball player and NOT just get the athlete unbalanced and stronger which makes the athlete more susceptible to injury.
- Include all range of motions- frontal, sagittal, transverse
- Include all joint and dominant muscle groups for that week. The more joints involved with the lifts the higher priority it will be to put first on the lift for the day. See Below
- Focus on one goal of training. If you are in the strength phase of training make sure your training reflects that. Get 2-4x’s the rest as the exercise. If the lift requires 30 secs rest for 1-2 minutes before starting the next set.
- Hypertrophy- Off-Season Training (8-12 weeks) 2-4 sets x 8-12 reps
- Strength- Off-Season Training (8-12 weeks) 4-8 sets x 3-5 reps
- Power- Pre-Season Training (8-12 weeks) 6-8 sets x 1-5 reps
- Strength- In-Season Training (10-16 weeks) 3-5 sets x 1-5 reps
Example of Preseason Weight Training for Basketball Players
This workout will be anywhere between 1.5 hours to 2 hours depending on the time needed, sets and repetitions to complete with rest time. There should be minimal rest time since this is Pre-Season Workouts. There will be a 8-15 minute movement prep that include pillar movements to prepare the nervous system for training and warm up the joints for the lifts. This is the most important part of the weight room that most athletes and untrained coaches miss! We have some examples on our YouTube Channel.
- Snatch 6×2 @85-97% (Pull Olympic Lift in the Sagittal Plane)
- Front Squat 4×4 @60-75% of Back Squat (knee dominant lift in the Sagittal Plane)
- Lateral Sliders or Lateral Lunge (knee/hip dominant in Coronal or Frontal Plane)
- Wtd Pull Ups 4×5 or AMRAP (pull frontal or coronal plane)
- DB Incline Press 4×4 @60-75% of Bench Press Max (push Sagittal Plane)
- Banded Kneeling Anti rotation 3×5-7 ea. (Transverse Plane)
- Lying Leg Lifts Up Out In Down 3×5-7 ea. (Coronal, Sagittal, or even transverse)
5 Minute Finisher with Worlds Greatest Stretch
Examples of the following day would be Jerk (because a Pull was done the day before and Jerk is a Push). Deadlift for lower pull, Walking Lunge in all angles, Upright row (for upper pull), Rotational Supermans, and Single Arm DB Row. All will stay close to the same set and rep scheme. This should continue for 8-12 weeks with a testing week at the end of the cycle.
It is important to remember that volume plays a very big role in each phase. Tracking the reps can be the difference between overtraining and winning much more games. We use a well proven method from the Russian Literature.