Basketball Training Program

This post is kinda long,its an article on how to train basketball players to increase their power and exposivness, but im posting it just caused it pissed me off and is a sad example of what what is thrown around a “functional sport specific training”. The conditioning (energy system)work is not my main complaint its the strength and power training section that drives me crazy.

Brand New Full-Year Basketball Strength and Conditioning Program
Nathaniel Pufnock
Our most comprehensive and complete basketball power program ever! You can use the full year program which includes strength training, plyometrics and conditioning drills along with exercise descriptions. If you’re a basketball coach or athlete, you need this program!

Pre Season Workout

The weekly training will be 6 days a week. Two days focusing on plyometrics and conditioning. The other four days strength training focusing on muscle strength, form, core strength, and stability.

Warm up is 3-5 minutes choosing from three different types:

Slide board (if accessable)


Dynamic Flexibility (different from static strectching the movements are continuous and fluid.)

Mon., Wed., Fri., Sun.
5 sets of 20 reps with 30 seconds of rest in between each set. It is important to only take 30 seconds of rest to maintain a high heart rate. The load can be increased as the athlete continues to get stronger.

Toe touches-standing straight up with feet shoulder width apart touch each toe with the opposite hand and make sure to keep the legs straight.

Side lunges-with feet spread more than shoulder width apart and toes straight begin to lunge side to side. Has the same movement of the groin stretch

Hip extensions-lie flat on your back on a mat with both feet together and raise your hips and squeeze your glutes together at the top.

Step ups-use an elevated box or stationary bench

Squat with stability ball-put the ball up against the wall and lean back against it. Have the ball in the low portion of the back during the exercise.

Incline press-using the proper dumbbells lower the weight down to 90 degrees and press back up.

Bent over one leg rows-us a barbell or dumbells bend over at the hip keeping the back straight and bring the weight up to the navel and back to the starting position. Do 10 reps on each leg and switch.

Tricep extension-using a cable crossover hand piece have the hand in a supinated position and the arm at a 90 degree angle and extend straight down and back to the starting position.

Cable curls on balance disc-position yourself on a balance disc with feet together and use a barbell attachment for the curls. Start with arms straight and begin to curl up to the chest.

Bicycles-lie flat on your back on a mat legs bent in the air. Begin by bringing one leg in and touch the knee with the opposite elbow and then switch.

Side oblique extensions-standing straight up with a dumbbell in each hand begin the exercise by leaning down going to the kneecap. Make sure to alternate sides after each repetition.

Following workout relaxation stretching for 5 minutes. Make sure to emphasize the areas worked.

Tues., Thur.
Plyometrics and conditioning. These exercises are used to build speed, quickness, agility, and to get the body in game shape. After each repetition take 30 seconds of rest and then begin again.

Suicides-length of the basketball court. Repetitions will vary based on condition. Start out with 5 work up to 15. Start at the out of bounds line and sprint to the next line and back going further each time eventually going the length of the court.

Sprints-start out with 10 work up to 20, and sprint the length of the court.

Side to sides-go the length of the court and make sure feet do not touch each other

Sprint backwards-just like sprinting foward except going backwards

Stairs-skip every other stair and sprint to the top. Stadium stairs work the best. (To make the exercise harder go up the stairs on one leg alternating after a full set of stairs is complete.)

Hip rotations-standing with feet shoulder width apart rotate hips and feet spinning back and forth for 30 seconds and then stop. Make sure to keep upper body straight ahead.

Down ups-start by jogging in place and then drop down into pushup position and then back to the starting point and jog in place again. Do as many as possible for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds and do a total of five sets.

Following the workout do 5-10 mins. relaxation stretching

In Season Training

Warm up 3-5 minutes

Jumping jacks
Jogging in place
Stationary bike

This workout is used to maintain flexibility and strength built from the preseason. The athlete works out 4 days per week doing all of the training in circuit format.

Mon., Wed. Upper body
3 set of 20 reps no rest in between each exercise. After completing all exercises take 1 minute rest and then begin again.

Ab crunches on stability ball-lie flat on a stability ball legs bent at a 90 degree angl and crunch up about 12 inches.

Plyo pushups-start in a pushup position and perform a regular pushup but at the top spring yourself off the ground. Then return to starting position and perform the same movement throught the set.

Pushups on medicine ball-a regular pushup except balance yourself on a medicine ball.

Side tricep extension-lie on your side on a mat and position the closest arm to you straight out. Then with the other arm position it at a 90 degree angle with the front of your hand pointing towards the head. From this point push yourself up until the arm is extended straight and then back to the starting position.

Dips-position your arms on a flat bench and your feet on a stability ball. Lower yourself down to 90 degrees and then back to the starting point.

Bicep curls with resistance band-position the band under the feet and perform like a regular curl.

Wrap around-start by standing on a balance disc with feet together and with the medicine ball wrap the ball around your back around to the front. Do 10 repetitions in one direction and 10 in the other direction. (for shoulders)

Bodyweight pullups-(takes two people) One person lies on there back while the other person stradles over them knees bent and elbows on knees. The person lying down then grabs the persons wrists who is standing and pulls himself up. It is important for the person lying down to keep there body firm and straight at all times.

Bent rows-start by standing on a balance disc with knees bent. Wrap a resistance band around something firm and while keeping balance pull your elbows to your side and keep the hands low towards your navel.

Russian twists-position yourself on a stability ball with feet planted against a firm surface and hold a medicine ball straight out in front. Then begin by rotating the upper torso to one side and back to the starting point and then go to the other side.

Following workout with relaxation stretching emphasizing the areas worked.

Tues., Thur., Legs

Ab wheel-starting position on knees grip the wheel and then roll out til your upper body is straight, then pull yourself back up squeezing the abs tightly.

Jump squat with medicine ball-start with knees slightly bent and bend down to 90 degrees holding the medicine ball in between your legs. Then explode back up off the ground with arms going above head with medicine ball to aid with the vertical jump.

Jump lunges-start in a regular lunge position by having one leg back and the front leg at 90 degrees. Then jump up and switch legs in the air and lunge down alternating legs with each jump.

Through the legs-using a medicine ball go in between each leg like dribbling. Make sure to keep your head up as if you were looking a defender right in the eyes.

Side to side-use a resistance band around the ankles and begin by going to one side about 25 yards and then back. While doing this have another person tossing a medicine ball to the person performing the exercise and return it like a chest pass in basketball.

Hamstring curls-lying flat on your back put both feet on a stability ball. Then bring hips up and keep the glutes tight. Make sure to creat a level surface, and pull the feet towards gluteus and then back out to the starting position.

Calf jumps-keeping the weight on the ball of the feet and legs straight jump up in the air. Return to the starting position and do it again. (to make exercise harder hold dumbells in each hand)

Stability ball thigh squeezes-sit on a bench, or chair and put a stability ball in between the thighs and squeeze together as hard as possible.

Leg ins-seated on a bench start with legs and upper body in a V formation. Begin by extending the legs out about 10 inches and then crunch back up. It is important to only extend the legs out a short distance, because if they are extended to far the emphasis on the abs in minimized and the hip flexors are brought into the exercise more than needed.

Out of Season

Warm up 3-5 mins
Light jogging
High knees or butt kicks

This workout is used to rebuild lost strength from the wear and tear of the basketball season. Give yourself 2 weeks rest after the season ends before training begins. This training will be performed 6 days a week.

Mon., Wed., Fri. Strength Training
Each exercise is 4 sets of 12 reps with 30 seconds of rest in between each set. As recovery and strength come back increase the load but make sure to keep reps and sets consistent.

Stability ball flyes-position yourself in pushup position on two stability balls with each arm bent at 90 degrees. Then spread your arms apart and squeeze them back together.

Front squats-position the bar at the top of your chest and step with it away from the bar. Note: this will force the athlete to have perfect squat form. If form is not maintained throughout the exercise the weight will be dumped forward.

Dumbbell curls on balance disc-position yourself on the balance disc with feet together and begin with arms to the side and curl up.

Calf jumps-start on the ball of your feet with dumbbells in each hand and begin to jump up and down maintaining good form and landing back on the balls of your feet for each repetition.

Toe touches-with legs spread more than shoulder width apart, begin by touching the opposite hand to the opposite foot. Make sure to come up to a standing position before going to the other foot. Start with light dumbbells in each hand and as strength increases increase the weight.

Lat pulldowns-this is not like your regular lat pulldowns. Begin in a seated position on a stability ball and pull the bar down to the top of the chest. (never ever pull the bar down behind your head, because it is not the natural range of motion of the arms and a rotator cuff can be torn along with other possible shoulder damage.

Weighted dips-begin by positioning yourself with arms straight and legs crossed. The legs need to be crossed in order to place a dumbbell in between the crossed legs.

Leg raises-find something stable to grab onto and lie back onto a stability ball. Begin with knees bent and legs tucked into the stomach and slowly lower the knees down to the floor about 10 inches and pull them back up.

medicine ball crunches-lie face up on a mat and have a partner stand on the feet. The partner then has the person crunch up and have the medicine ball tossed to them and go back to the starting position with the medicine ball overhead. Then they crunch back up tossing the medicine ball back to the partner and the partner catches the ball and the sequence immediately starts again.

The superman-lie face down on a mat or the ground. Begin by raising the hands and legs up in the air and make sure to squeeze the glutes tight at the top of the exercise and hold for five seconds and lower yourself back to the starting positions and begin again.

Make sure to do relaxation stretches upon completion of the workout.

Tues., Thur., Sat. Conditioning

Basketball sized court sprints-begin on one end of the court and sprint the full length and job back. No rest in between and start out by doing 10 sprints and work up to 25.

Jumprope-starting with three mins consecutively and work up to fifteen mins.

Heavy bag boxing-nice change from traditional conditioning this builds strenghth and endurance. Begin punching the bag for 3 mins without stopping and work up to 10 minutes.

Spot jumps-start with both feet together and jump forward, back, left side, right side. Do 10 in that direction and then switch the format to back, forward, right side, left side and do 10 that way. Start out with 20 and work up to 50.

Hill sprints-start at the bottom of a hill and sprint to the top as quickly as possible and then walk back to the bottom and go again. Start out with 5 and work up to 10.

Upright stationary bike-go 30 seconds and the highest level possible and then go 30 seconds at a low level and then start again. Do this for 5 minutes total.

At the end of each workout make sure to do some relaxation stretching to cool the muscles down and maintain that flexibility.

Nathaniel Pufnock is an up and coming strength and conditioning coach.