DunkOrThree > Your Basketball Blog > Best Workouts and Exercises for Basketball Players

Best Workouts and Exercises for Basketball Players

Publish Date: 25.12.2019
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

So you want to be the best basketball player you possibly can be, and you’re ready to take your game to the next level. The main way the average person can do that is by implementing a basketball-specific workout regimen.

But where do you start? Are there specific workouts you can do to focus on and make you better at the game of basketball? Yes, there are, and we are going to take a look at some of them below!

What to Consider

Doing specific workouts can target specific muscle groups and make certain parts of your body that are lacking more efficient. So there is a big difference depending on where your individual body type is lacking.

  • Are you looking to lose weight and become more fit?
  • Do you want to bulk up so you don’t get pushed around on the court?
  • Are you looking to increase your jump height and explosiveness?

These are all things you should consider while putting together your individual workout plan. If you prepare correctly, you will be able to hone your body to make you a more dominant player on the basketball court.

Best Exercises for Basketball Players

We will not be giving reps or set counts due to everyone being at a different level of fitness. You will need to use your own judgment or seek out a trainer to help you iron out specific workout regimens.

Explosiveness Workout

1. Glute Bridge

In order to be explosive and jump to your maximum height, you will need to stretch out your hips and strengthen your glutes. Lucky for you, the glute bridge will do both of those things for you.

Step 1 – Lie on your back on the floor. Bend knees up until your feet are flat on the floor.

Step 2 – Lift your butt off the floor until your upper body all the way to your knees is a straight line.

Step 3 – Hold position for a few seconds, then relax back down to the floor.

2. Romanian Deadlift

One of the best exercises you can do to increase your explosiveness is the Romanian deadlift. It works all the major muscle groups that contribute to you being the most explosive player you can be.

Step 1 – Stand with feet shoulder width apart under the barbell.

Step 2 – Keeping back straight, bend over at hips and grab the bar with hands just wider than your legs.

Step 3 – Stand up using glutes and hamstring until your body is straight and tall.

Step 4 – Lower bar back down to the floor the same as when you lifted.

3. Medicine Ball Squat to Press

This entire exercise is designed to target jumping and explosive muscles. The motions you do in this exercise will mimic a jumping and extending move, helping your body to get ready for tough competition.

Step 1 – Stand with feet shoulder width apart, medicine ball held with both hands at chest height.

Step 2 – Lower to a deep squat with elbows touching knees, with back straight.

Step 3 – Explode up to a standing position, extending the ball overhead at full extension.

Step 4 – Lower back into starting position.

4. Medicine Ball Squat Throw

The last workout ties in nicely with the previous, as they are very similar and both make use of the medicine ball. Going with the same theme, this requires you to make explosive basketball moves with the added weight of the medicine ball to build and tone your muscles.

Step 1 – Stand with medicine ball held at chest height and feet shoulder width apart.

Step 2 – Squat as deep as you can, keeping your back straight and staying on balance.

Step 3 – Explode upward, and release the ball up onto a wall.

Step 4 – Catch the ball and go directly back down into another squat.

Step 5 – Repeat.

Speed Workout

1. Lateral Bound

If you want to be the fastest, most laterally quick player on the court, doing your share of lateral bounds is a must. The best part is that doing this exercise is not difficult to learn, and requires absolutely no equipment.

Step 1 – Stand in a crouched, athletic position.

Step 2 – Lift your right leg slightly off the ground and jump as far to the right laterally as you can.

Step 3 – Once you land, lift your left leg and jump back to the left as far as you can.

Step 4 – Repeat this going back and forth in a rhythmic motion.

2. Lateral Lunge

Sticking with improving the lateral movement and the muscles that control them, the next best exercise is the lateral lunge. This exercise targets your leg muscles and your glutes, opening and stretching them to allow you more freedom of movement while also building the necessary muscle to sustain this movement for long periods of time.

Step 1 – Stand with feet shoulder width apart, hands clasped together in front of chest.

Step 2 – Step your right foot out to the side as far as comfortable, and lunge downward into a squat.

Step 3 – Rise back up, and step back in. That completes 1 full rep.

Step 4 – Do equal reps on both sides to keep a balanced body.

3. Box Jumps

If you want to improve your speed and leg strength, few exercises are better than box jumps. They help with the quick and powerful movements needed for speed and momentum. Add these into your workout regimen, and watch as your speed increases exponentially.

Step 1 – Stand in front of your chosen box, feet shoulder width apart.

Step 2 – Bend down into a squat motion, preparing to jump.

Step 3 – Jump up onto the box.

Step 4 – Jump back down, and repeat as necessary.

4. Split Squats

You always see coaches making their teams do lunges. That is for good reason, and though this is technically called a squat, this is just a bit of a modified lunge. Great for strengthening the running muscles, and giving stability in the lower body.

Step 1 – Stand with feet shoulder width apart, dumbbells in each hand on your side.

Step 2 – Take a long step forward until your back heel rises off the ground.

Step 3 – Squat down until your back knee gets close to the ground.

Step 4 – Raise back up, and step back to the starting position.

Strength Workout

1. Pull Ups

The bane of many teenagers existence was the pull-up. Gym coach tells you to grab the bar and you can’t even lift yourself halfway up. Time to kick that fear in the butt and make pull-ups a part of your workout regimen. If you can’t complete a pull-up, use exercise bands to assist.

Step 1 – Grab the pull up bar, hands just wider than your shoulders.

Step 2 – Pull your body up until your elbows are at 90 degrees.

Step 3 – Lower back down and repeat.

2. Push Ups

The military uses this workout for a reason. It will help strengthen and build your core as well as arms and shoulders. If you want to be as strong as possible, this will fill out your upper body and core like few other workouts.

Step 1 – Start facing down with hands just outside of shoulders and fully extended. Feet should be up on the toes, and the body should be straight.

Step 2 – Lower your body down to just above the floor by bending the elbows. Keep your body straight.

Step 3 – Raise your body back up to the starting position. That is one rep.

3. Goblet Squats

There is no better workout for your quadriceps than the goblet squats. Doing them will create extremely strong quads, giving you much more power in your lower body. Combine that with the core and upper body strength from the previous two exercises, and your strength will be increasing at a fast rate.

Step 1 – Stand with feet wider than shoulder width, and a kettlebell held at chest level.

Step 2 – Lower your body into a deep squat, keeping upper body straight.

Step 3 – Raise back up to starting position. This is one rep.

4. Bench Press

When combined with the previous exercises, the bench press is like the cherry on top. Not only will it help build your pectoral muscles, it will combine with the core strength, arm, and shoulder building to create a powerful upper body. Plus, it’s nice to be able to outlift your friends in the gym.

Step 1 – Lying on your back on a flat bench, line your eye line up with the barbell.

Step 2 – Grab barbell with hands just outside of your shoulder width.

Step 3 – Lift barbell off the bench to full arm extension.

Step 4 – Lower barbell to chest, keeping a slow steady motion.

Step 5 – Raise arms back to full extension. This is one rep.

Tips and Tricks

Always make sure you are wearing proper gym equipment. This includes shoes, as you will need to keep your feet and ankles stable when doing your speed training.

It is also a good idea to tape up your wrists and ankles. This will provide extra support and help keep injuries at bay. Check out these videos to learn how:


Video: SportMedBC Tutorial: Mastering Wrist Taping for Sports and Safety

SportMedBC Tutorial: Mastering Wrist Taping for Sports and Safety


Video: How to Tape an Ankle (Quick & Easy Demonstration)

How to Tape an Ankle (Quick & Easy Demonstration)

Get ready for your total body workout

If you combine all three of these sections and the twelve exercises, you get a total body workout that is perfect for a basketball player. If you are looking to run faster, jump higher, and get stronger, these workouts are a great way to reach your goals.

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