I’m often asked when a player should start strength training and my universal response is… IMMEDIATELY. Before you disagree, please realize that I’m talking about strength training, not weightlifting. I’m not recommending that 6 year old kids start pumping iron. I am recommending that all players begin to develop basketball specific strength as soon as they start playing the game.
What is basketball specific strength and why is training for basketball so much different than any other sport? Basketball is, in my opinion, the most difficult sport to train for because of the many different aspects of the game. Players must be able to run multiple miles, jump high, be quick and agile, and also be strong and balanced. Post players should be trained differently than guards, and every player brings a different body to the game. Valuing everyone’s differences is important because no one is the same and shouldn’t all train the same way. However, there are a few guiding principles that can be applied to any player at any age or skill level, and this is how we approach strength training at Optimum Basketball.
Basketball requires strength in all areas of the body, but there are three main areas that MUST be focused on. These three are Core, Glutes, and Shoulders. Any players under 14 years old are encouraged to develop these areas without using weights. Burpees, crunches, and push-ups for example are perfectly acceptable for all ages and especially those under 14. Body weight exercises are the way to go for younger athletes. We also focus heavily on using resistance bands for all ages. We do basketball moves while providing resistance, thus taking athletes to the next level. Once the resistance bands are removed, and athletes are doing the same moves in a game, they become unstoppable. This is about as basketball specific as it gets. 🙂
I recommend anyone that is starting in high school needs to begin a weight training program. The biggest word of caution is to AVOID overtraining like the plague. It is so easy to do in High School because most players are still growing and developing physically. It is however a great advantage to be stronger and more explosive than other players.
Here’s a simple workout routine for High School players.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Begin with 5 minutes of Foam Rolling.
5 minute Jog on the treadmill.
2×20 Med Ball Toe Touches
2×20 Med Ball Crossovers
Full Body Workout
3×10 Push Ups
3×10 Lat Pull Downs
3×10 Dumbell Shoulder Press
3×10 Back Squats
3×10 Dumbell Thrusters
Our strength training philosophy at Optimum Basketball is simple. We focus on developing strength through improved balance, coordination, and explosiveness and ALWAYS work to prevent injuries both during training and while on the court. No matter how strong or athletic a player is, if they are injured, they won’t be on the court. The goal is to get stronger, faster, more explosive, and stay free of injuries. Every player is different and unique, so we are sure to train players according to their biomechanics and needs for the position they play.
Whether you train with us or not, we want to make sure that you are properly informed on what areas to focus on in your regimen. What’s the best routine? The one that you’ll do. Keep it simple and gradually add exercises that get you out of your comfort zone. It’s the only way to grow.
Train hard. Train smart. Stay relentless.
Play the optimum way.
Article by Brandon Cochran
Co-Founder Optimum Basketball
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