Basketball takes speed, agility, quickness and jumping power. When it comes to training, you need to think of overall strength to improve your game-day performance. Weight training is part of this game plan, but there's more to it than that. The demands of the game need to be mimicked with training to create a sport-specific environment. Your body will adapt to the more strenuous conditions and you will excel on the court.
Develop leg power by doing the right weight-training exercises. The glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves get activated when you run up and down the court and jump in the air. Perform compound exercises like squats, lunges, stepups and leg presses to work these muscles. Compound exercises work more than one muscle at a time, which leads to maximal gains in size and strength. Use heavy enough weights that you can only perform eight to 12 reps with each exercise and do four or five sets.
Work on your upper body muscular endurance. Muscular endurance is the ability to do repetitive contractions for an extended time. You need upper-body muscular endurance during a game when you shoot, grab rebounds and jostle for position with defenders in the paint. Do exercises like pushups, dips, pullups, back rows and biceps curls. Aim for 15 or more reps with each exercise and do four or five sets.
Develop core strength to further improve your abilities. The core muscles, which include the abs, obliques and erector spinae, sit in the center of your body. Strengthening this area will improve your body stability and help you move with more efficiency. Perform exercises like situps, plank raises, Russian twists, bicycle maneuvers and supermans. Aim for 15 to 20 reps and do three or four sets.
Add plyometrics to your training regimen. Plyometrics involve the stretching of a muscle followed by a fast contraction. According to the American Council on Exercise, this type of exercise helps improve explosiveness, muscular power and vertical jumping ability. Perform exercises like squat jumps, lunge jumps, box jumps and knee tucks. Aim for 10 to 12 reps and do four or five sets.
Strengthen your lungs by doing sprint intervals. Running back and forth on the court during a game takes a lot of aerobic strength. Simulate this action by doing interval training. Begin with a light warmup jog, then sprint for 20 seconds. Jog lightly for 40 seconds, then sprint again. Follow this pattern for 20 to 30 minutes and finish with a light cooldown jog.
Do your lower and upper body exercises in one workout and do your plyometrics and cardio routines in separate workouts. Work your abs after your plyometric exercises or cardio sessions.
Rest is another important part of gaining strength for basketball. If you overtrain, your muscles will not have time to recover. Take one day off in between each routine to allow for recovery.