Strength and Conditioning for Basketball


basketball game

© Mariano Pozo Ruiz | Dollar Photo Club

Musculoskeletal Demands
Basketball players must be strong, quick, and agile to effectively block, shoot, or pass the ball. They must be able to accelerate and decelerate quickly and with control, often while dribbling, shooting, or rebounding the ball. They also need to be able to repeat these actions many times with little rest between efforts throughout the game. Maximal strength, power, muscle endurance, and neuromuscular control are needed to perform well and avoid injury throughout the season. Limiting factors for most athletes are first step speed, acceleration power, and power endurance. Since power is largely dependent upon strength, maximal strength, power, and muscle endurance should be the focus of your training program. Cardiovascular conditioning should address all of the energy systems; alactic anaerobic, lactic anaerobic, and aerobic. Incorporating neuromuscular training exercises into your program may also help prevent injuries such as ACL tears. You are only as strong as your weakest link!

Common Muscle Imbalances
Although every individual is different, there are common muscle imbalances seen in basketball players. Muscles that are commonly tight and need to be stretched include: hip flexors, quads, pectorals and anterior shoulder girdle, gastoc/soleus, and lats. Muscles that are commonly weak and need to be strengthened include: trunk stabilizers such as spinal erectors and abdominals, posterior shoulder girdle and scapular stabilizers, rotator cuff, glutes, hamstrings, and hip abductors. Intrinsic muscles of the feet and ankles can also be weak if the athlete uses ankle braces. Imbalances may need to be addressed not only to improve basketball performance, but to prevent injury.

Training Components
Components of a properly designed basketball program include flexibility, core stability, maximal strength, plyometrics, musculoskeletal endurance, balance and agility, and cardiovascular fitness. It is preferable to do most training in a standing position.

Common Basketball Injuries
Many common basketball injuries occur because of faulty jumping and landing mechanics. Ankle inversion sprains are the most common injury in sports. Females suffer a disproportionate number of knee sprains, particularly to the ACL. Poor posture or muscle imbalances that force an athlete to rely on compensatory movement patterns repetitively throughout the game can lead to overuse injuries, particularly to the rotator cuff. Most common injuries are sprains and strains of the ankle, knee, and rotator cuff.

Training Program Options

Option 1.The most effective option is to work one on one with a professional Strength and Conditioning Coach to ensure that you are doing the most efficient exercises correctly. You will first have an assessment to determine your current cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and muscle strengths and weaknesses prior to beginning a training program. K’s Body Shop will then utilize that information to design a customized program that determines appropriate exercises and intensities so that you can maximize your performance and minimize the chance for injury. Since there are no contracts, you can work with your trainer as often or as little as you please. Contact K’s Body Shop to schedule your appointment or get more information.

Option 2. If you have a group of basketball players in the Twin Cities area who are interested in having a professional Strength and Conditioning Coach oversee your small group strength training workouts, contact K’s Body Shop. This is a great option for training partners to contain costs while still getting some professional instruction. Prices vary depending on number of athletes and location of sessions.

Option 3. If you are comfortable with technology and relatively healthy, Online Coaching can be a cost-effective alternative to face to face training. Check out our free trial to see how the software works!

Contact the Coach if you need help deciding which option is most appropriate for you.