During my short-lived competitive basketball career, strength training was seen as solely an off-season focus and was classified as “optional”.
Once the regular season hit, resistance training became legitimately optional.
The only time most of the guys on the team saw the weight room was when they were cutting through it on the way to the locker room.
Even guys like myself who actually had a side interest in bodybuilding misused resistance training in-season. (I was more interested in providing the fans with a gun show… if that’s your goal, check out any of the routines in our workouts database. Your performance will suffer, but at least you’ll look ripped.)
However, if you want to be truly competitive on the court, you have to take your strength training periodization seriously.
In this serious of workouts, we’re going to cover basketball training periodization during the offseason, preseason, and in-season. Since we’re already in the midst of a competitive season, we’ll begin with an in-season routine any player can perform.
In-Season Strength Training for Basketball Players
Basketball training as a whole can be broken down into 3 training phases. Offseason, where you try to build both muscle and strength. Preseason, where you try to maximize your ability to create power. And in-season, where you try to maintain your lean muscle size, maximum strength, and power output.
In-season training is also important for injury prevention.
When you’re in the middle of your competitive season, intensity is high in nearly every other aspect of the game though. Practices are intense. Games are intense. Stress to perform at a high level can also be intense.
For obvious reasons, this makes it a not-so-ideal time to focus on having intense weight lifting sessions.
On top of that, volume becomes a huge concern. If you have 3 intense practices a week, 1 “optional” practice, and 2 full games, you’re going to be logging a lot of miles (both ground and air) on your wheels.
As a result, you have to find the sweet spot. Intense resistance training that will stimulate the muscle just enough to maintain their size (or grow if you didn’t take your others periods seriously enough) but not intense enough to risk performance benefits.
And doing so with enough volume dispersed with an appropriate frequency to maximize the benefits.
This program accomplishes all of those things.
In-Season Basketball Workout Routine
The following workout routine is a 2 days per week full body workout routine for basketball players currently in-season.
The workouts were created to focus on injury prevention and lean muscle and strength maintenance.
They emphasize core strength as well as muscle groups surrounding common areas of injury concern for basketball players: knees, ankles, lower back, and groin.
The workout as written shouldn’t take you longer than 30 minutes to perform. Keep your rest periods to a minimum. They should only last between 30-60 seconds in between each set.
The workouts should be performed the day after a game. For most athletes who play 2 games per week, you’re most likely to play on a Monday and Thursday and/or Tuesday and Friday. By performing the workouts on the day after a game, you’ll allow adequate time to recover prior to your next game.
This will also likely coincide with your most intense practices of the week as well. Making it a tough training day, but you got this.
Day 1: In-Season Full Body Basketball Workout
|Dumbbell Split Squat||2||15|
|(Assisted) Nordic Hamstring Curls||2||12-15|
|Banded Rear Delt Fly||2||15-20|
|Banded Lateral Raise||2||15-20|
|Plate Pinch||2||30 Secs|
|Dead Bug||2||12-20 Each|
Day 2: In-Season Full Body Basketball Workout
|Exercise Ball Leg Curl||2||12-15|
|One Leg Dumbbell Calf Raise||2||15-20|
|Standing Dumbbell Press||2||15|
|Dead Bug||2||12-20 Each|
|Med Ball Woodchoppers||2||15-20 Each|
2 Day Basketball In-Season Workout Overview
As mentioned, in-season these workouts are going to be shorter and with a lot less weekly volume.
Weight selection is going to be highly dependent on the athlete. It should be heavy enough to come fairly close to muscle failure on each individual exercise. Rest for 30-60 seconds, and then perform again taking the following set to complete mechanical failure.
With the higher rep ranges and the exercise variations, the weight you select shouldn’t put you at risk of injury. However, know and listen to your body when you’re performing each exercise. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
Day 2 is more of a weight oriented workout whereas day 1 is more bodyweight and resistance band focused. You can alternate these days based on how your league sets up your games. You’ll want to perform whichever workout you personally feel is tougher on a day that will give you an adequate amount of recover before your next game.
With most basketball seasons ranging from anywhere between 4-6 months, this program can be used throughout that timespan to maintain your athletic performance throughout the season. Once the season ends, you should take a week to recover both physically and mentally before starting your true strength and muscle building phase during your offseason training.
If you’ve got any questions about the workouts, feel free to leave a comment below.
Have fun and best of luck this season!