VIDEO - 4 Strength & Conditioning Drills
for Basketball Players

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Check out this video by Emily Nkosi who is a student at Smith College's Exercise and Sport Studies MS Program. The video has some great drills for basketball players to improve basketball strength. These drills will help with:

  • Maintainig Position for Rebounds, Defense, & Offense in the Post Area
  • Triple Threat Footwork
  • Being Strong with the Ball
  • And more

WARNING: It's important to make sure the player is moving properly before adding weight or making the drill more difficult. If you take a player who has a bad movement pattern, you're just going to engrain a bad movement pattern which will make it even more difficult to fix. Make sure to improve general movement patterns (running, jumping, shuffling, crawling, lunging, squatting, etc.) before using these exercises.

Basketball Strength & Conditioning Drill # 1 - Getting Position
This drill is great to use for strengthening the body to withstand the aggressive play in the post area. It's great for maintaining or gaining position in the post. It could be applied to offense, defense, and rebounding.

Points of Emphasis:
  • Hands up
  • Feet quick and choppy
  • Posture upright

    Basketball Strength & Conditioning Drill # 2 - Strong With the Ball
    This drill is a great drill to get your players to be stronger with the ball and also improve footwork. Notice, the use of the medicine ball to increase difficulty for the jabs, lunges, pivots, and ball fakes.

    Points of Emphasis:
  • Both hands on ball
  • Keep moving
  • Pivot led by elbow

    Basketball Strength & Conditioning Drill # 3 - Step Backs, Creating Space
    This basketball strength & conditioning drill is great for building the appropriate functional strength to create space from the defender on the step-back.

    Points of Emphasis:
  • Go for length
  • Eyes up on landing
  • Relaxation to contraction quick

    Basketball Strength & Conditioning Drill # 4 - Resisted Start Steps out of Triple Threat
    Improve your strength when exploding out of your triple threat position with this basketball strength and conditioning drill. This is also great to practice when faking a certain direction to throw you defender off balance.

    Points of Emphasis:
  • Big step
  • Quick step
  • Shoulders over knees

    Keep Hips Down - Make sure on all of these exercises that the hips are down & back with the knees bent. If your athletes do not do this, they could set themselves up for injury.

    What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...


    Most Likes First   Oldest First   Newest First

    old school says:
    10/13/2010 at 11:49:50 AM

    This is terrific! Well done! Keep working on this approach for other aspects of the game. Look forward to seeing your good work here!

    Some thoughts on other areas where your approach might apply:
    - rebounding, box out, outlet
    - establishing post position
    - close out on perimeter players

    Oh, and by the way, can you use '80s music?
    Old School


    Yehudi John says:
    11/23/2009 at 3:23:24 PM

    Joe your work is of tremendous help to me. I'am from the small island in the west indies called Dominica and your tips are helping me better understand the sport and makes my work even more effective ... keep on the good work...


    Joe Haefner says:
    11/17/2009 at 8:56:55 AM

    Personally, I teach the hard, short step for the fake. However, if a player uses the lunge step and is good at it, I won't tell them to stop.


    Coach Q says:
    11/16/2009 at 4:53:56 PM

    Great exercises,

    For drill #4 I''''ve heard coaches emphasize a hard short step in order to maintain balance when making a quick change in direction.

    What are your thoughts?

    Coach Q


    Joe Haefner says:
    11/14/2009 at 9:25:14 AM

    Hi Jonathan, I think the Perform Better website may have some.


    Jonathan Lambros says:
    11/13/2009 at 11:21:32 PM

    Joe, where would you suggest we purchase the resistance bands that Emily was using around her waist? Any recommended websites that sell them? Thanks. Jonathan


    Dr Laurence J. MacDonald PhD says:
    11/13/2009 at 8:28:21 PM

    Hi Joe: was there supposed to be a video with these tips, if so it did not show up Laurence


    Kenny Robinson says:
    11/13/2009 at 6:51:21 AM

    Wow. Thanks, Emily and breakthrough basketball. These are some really cool training tips. I like the fact that you are thinking outside the box. I sm loving drill #4. I can't wait to use some, or all, of these this off-season. Thanks again


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