This is Part 1 of a multi-series guide for effective year-round performance training in Basketball.

5 positions. Same Demands.

Although there are five distinct roles in a basketball game, the physical demands of each position are surprisingly player. Though we often see differences in athletic talent, age, sport positions (shooting guard vs. center) on the court, the way we train basketball players actually shouldn’t vary much.

However, there should be a variation of exercises that make a workload easier or harder, de- pending on the athlete.

Stat Sheet

Due to the stop and go nature of the game, basketball is primarily an anaerobic sport [1].

basketball team gathering


Unlike cyclists or cross country runners, basketball players are continuously switching among light, moderate, and intense activity; they might be jogging one second, and full-out sprinting the next! With all these sudden changes in movement, there isn’t enough time to rely on oxygen as our main pathway for energy.

The Off Season

  1. Address Current Injuries
  2. Corrective Exercises
  3. Stabilization Endurance
  4. Strength Endurance/Hypertrophy

This is the time of the year when an athlete can develop his or her physical capabilities to a new level. With all the competitive games and tournaments out the way, it’s the perfect time for basketball players to become quicker, faster and stronger. It’s more difficult to enhance physical performance at any other time of the year because the time and energy should be invested in sport-specific skills, team practices, and games.

Offseason strength training in Denver, Colorado

With a typical off season ranging anywhere from 3-5 months, an athlete has a significant amount of time to strategically plan and make gains in speed, strength, speed, power.

Address Current Injuries

At the start of an off-season training program, an athlete should first rehab any lingering injuries or impaired movement patterns typically found in basketball players coming off their competitive seasons. Otherwise, the athlete may find oneself more susceptible to injury in the long run!

Corrective Exercises

If you just finished a long basketball season, you may have either developed some poor movement patterns along the way or probably always had them . Often times, teams will have practices that go longer than the body would like. That prolonged exertion can lead to muscle tightness and weakness along with impaired stability and range of motion com- monly found in basketball players.

Skipping a proper warm-up/cool down, or even conventional wisdom also play a role in poor movement pattern development. Nevertheless, we must educate or re-educate the proper biomechanics and technique in our basketball players before the start of competition.

Two common habits that we typically see in basketball players are:

  1. Toes Pointed out
  2. Knees Caved in

Pointing Toes out… Better or Worse?

Often times, coaches will tell their players to point their leading foot out on defense, but unfortunately, this instruction does not teach athletes how to move and change directions effectively. Regardless of where we’re trying to move, Simply keeping our feet pointed forward allow quicker and more powerful slides!

By pointing our toes out while moving laterally, we engage more of our hip flexors as opposed to our prime abductor muscles, such as the Gluteus Medius.

By pointing our toes out while moving laterally, we engage more of our hip flexors as opposed to our prime abductor muscles, such as the Gluteus Medius.

The “Gluteus Medius” is actually a major hip stabilizer and inter- nal rotator! So by externally rotat- ing– or pointing our toes out while shuffling, we don’t take advantage of a muscle that’s meant to protect our joints!

Knees Caving in

Often times, a weak set of Gluteus Medius muscles is also the culprit when athletes cave their knees in during an athletic stance! Since the job of the Glute-Med is to abduct– or move the legs away from the midline of our body, it makes sense to strengthen it when our knees cave in during an athletic position! With that said, the first few weeks of off-season training should be dedicated to corrective work and re-education of proper movement patterns!

Here is an example training session that addresses common dysfunctions and imbalances seen in a basketball player.

If you’re looking for a simple way to workout, download our free app that helps you train smarter with from start to finish in the gym and on the court. Start a multi-week fitness journey, or just do a quick workout with simple instructions and clear video demos.


  1. Baechle, Thomas R., and Roger W. Earle. Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2008. Print. ↩︎
Posted by:Leo

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