If you want to be the best player on your team, being skilled is simply not enough. As a matter of fact, regardless of how good your skills are, your performance on the court is solely relies on the level of basketball conditioning and athleticism. Just think about it, even if you are a great shooter, if you don’t have the stamina and speed to get an open look, you still won’t be able to score.

Today, I’m going to walk you through what exactly is weight training for basketball players.

Benefits of Weight Training

There are a great many of benefits when it comes to weight training, here is a list of the most essential ones for basketball players:

  • Improve Athleticism
  • Reduce Injuries
  • Increase Physical Strength

Improve Athleticsm

Although it may seem unfair, the best players are usually the ones with the best athleticism. If you don’t think so, just take a look at the greatest players in the NBA, Michael Jordon, Kobe Bryant and Lebron James, all of them are regarded as the most athletic players of all time.

Better athleticism means the faster you can sprint and the higher you can jump, which are the determining factors of how well you are able to perform during basketball games. So, if you want to dominate the court, you must equipped with great athletic skills.

Reduce Injuries

Injuries are nightmares to basketball players. Apart from the pain, it’s tough to sit on the bench while your teammates are competing on the court.

With proper weight training, you will be able to optimize the strength of your joints and ligaments in order to prevent you from getting injured. Also, it can improve your flexibility, which is going to minimize the severity even if you do get injured.

Increase Physical Strength

Basketball is an energetic, fast-paced sport which requires intense physicality, whether you are playing a point guard or a center, physical strength cannot be neglected.

Assuming you’re a point guard that drives in through traffic all the time, you have to use your physical strength to absorb the contact initiated by your opponent. By doing so, you will be able to maintain your balance and finish strong in order to score the basket efficiently.


While doing weight training, we want to focus on all muscle groups that are going to enhance our performances as well as reducing the chance of getting injured, particularly our arms, legs, core, hips and ankles.

These are the exercises that work best for me, implement them into your training routine to see quick results.

Pull Up / Chin UpPull Up

  • Purpose

This drill is one of the best way to increase your upper body strength, especially your biceps and back muscles.

Differences between pull up and chin up:

– Pull up uses the overhand grip where your palms are facing away from you, chin up uses the underhand grip where your palms are facing towards you.

– Pull up focuses more on your lats, which is a part of back muscles while chin ups trains both your biceps and back muscles.

1. Grab the bar with your arms about shoulder width apart or slightly wider than shoulder-width.

2. Hang to the bar with your arms straight and your legs down.

3. Pull yourself all the way up until your chin is above the bar.

4. Lower yourself back down and repeat the drill.

5. 8 – 12 reps for each set and do at least 3 – 4 sets.

  • Points of Emphasis

Fully extend your arm towards the bottom during the workout.

Although it is common that your dominant hand is stronger than your off hand, try to stay balanced and pull yourself with both sides equally.

Barbell Squats

  • Purpose

This drill mainly trains the muscles on your quads, glutes and hamstrings, which can also strengths the joints and ligaments of your lower body.

It is a great exercise if you want to train your lower body strength.

1. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and slightly turn your toes out, let the barbell supported on your shoulder muscles.

2. Keep your torso upright throughout the workout, lower into a squat position.

3. Continue your way down until your knees are at 90 degrees, your hips should be lower than your knees now.

4. Keep the weight on the front of your heels and explode up as fast as possible.

  • Points of Emphasis

Your front knee should not be going over your toes or it will bring lots of pressure on your knee, slightly spread your knees to unlock your hips.

Keep your chest up especially when lifting heavyweight or it will put a lot of pressure on your back and increase the risk of injury.

Power Lunge

  • Purpose

This drill is designed to improve your explosiveness and get off of the ground as fast as possible so that you can block more shots and grab more rebounds.

1. Stand with your feet about hip-width apart.

2. Step forward with one foot and lower your hips, both of your knees should be at 90 degrees.

3. Explode up as high as possible and alternate your legs in the air,

4. Once you land in a lunge position, leave the ground and explode back up as quickly as possible.

5. 12 – 15 reps for each set and do at least 3 – 4 sets.

  • Points of Emphasis

Your front knee should not be going over your toes or it will bring lots of pressure on your knee.

Engage your core and keep your torso upright to maintain balance.


There are way too many weight training exercises when it comes to improving your athletic performances or reducing injuries for basketball players. If you are willing to put in hard work, no doubt these workouts are going to step up your game.

Although the addition of weight training is significant to your game, don’t overdo it or you may easily wind up getting injured.

If you have any questions, please let me know and I’m happy to help you out.


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