Weight Training For Basketball by Milan Jovanovic

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Credit to www.elitfts.com

Program mission: To reduce the possibilities of injury and improve basketball performance

Program goals and tasks:

  • Enable basketball players harmonious development of the whole body
  • Prevent the rise of deformities and unbalances and try to fix current ones
  • Prevent injury incidences
  • Guide basketball players into serious strength training by learning the perfect techniques of the lifts and explaining training methods
  • Improve basketball performance (speed, agility, jumps)
  • Enable one to enjoy a very useful activity

Words of wisdom:

  • Kids are not miniature adults.
  • Strength training is a means to an end, not an end by itself.
  • Train movements, not muscles.
  • Training to failure teaches failure; training without failure, teaches strength.
  • Quality precedes quantity.
  • Either the technique is perfect or the athlete is perfectly trying to achieve technique.
  • In basketball, athletes are in an upright position and use the whole body. Let the training and exercises mimic this characteristic.

Training structure:

Strength training is done two times per week with a minimum of two days rest between sessions. The structure of the training session is as follows:

  1. Warm-up (joint rotations, exercises for activation and posture correction, dynamic warm-up)
  2. Plyometrics (hops, jumps, deceleration, medicine ball throws)
  3. Strength training
  4. Self-myofascial release (sMFR), corrective exercises, static stretching (hips, upper back, hams, quads, pecs)

Plyometric training consists of:

1.      Medicine ball throws against a wall

2.      Jumps with medicine balls

3.      Various medicine ball passes

4.      Easy jumps

5.      Deceleration

6.      Jumps, bounds, etc.

With strength training, there are two groups of exercises—core and assistance. Core exercises are those from which we expect the “most bang for our buck,” and they have the greatest transfer to athletic performance. According to improvements in core lifts, we determine how much strength has increased. Core exercises do not rotate and are always performed during this program. Assistance exercises are usually antagonistic exercises such as single leg variations. They rotate every 2–4 weeks to provide multilateral development and prevent overtraining, overuse injuries, and training boredom.

Core exercises: front squat, deadlift, bench press, and standing front press

Assistance exercises: rowing, lunges, pull/chin-ups, Romanian deadlifts

Training that we want to achieve over time is as follows:

Training A

Core exercises

  • front squat, 2–3 X 5–8 reps
  • standing front press, 2–3 X 5–8 reps

Assistance exercises

  • hip dominant exercise (e.g. single leg Romanian deadlifts), 2–3 X  8–12 reps
  • horizontal pull exercise (e.g. seated rowing), 2–3 X 8–12 reps
  • vertical push exercise (e.g. alternating dumbbell press), 2–3 X 8–12 reps

Training B

Core exercises

  • deadlift, 1–2 X 3–5 reps
  • Bench Press, 2–3 X 5–8 reps

Assistance exercises

  • single leg knee dominant exercise (e.g. lunges), 2–3 X 8–12 reps
  • vertical pull exercise (e.g. chin-ups), 2–3 X 5–8 reps (same rep/set scheme as bench press to prevent unbalances)
  • horizontal push exercise (e.g. alternating dumbbell press), 2–3 X 8–12 reps

Olympic lifts are learned before all other lifts but only when basketball players show increases in strength and stability in exercise technique.

The training progression for core exercises is done by trying to lift more weight every training session by 2.5–5 kg (depending on the movement). Assistance lifts are not so “important,” and we rotate their reps using daily undulating periodization.

When athletes start to “stagnate” in core lifts, we will begin to use alternations in the exercise order, periods of greater/lower volume and intensity (i.e. periodization), and unloading periods. The core exercises will remain the same.

Before we start applying this program, the athletes must be physically and mentally prepared (anatomic adaptation phase). The program that follows represents an introduction to the proposed program.

Training A

  • front squat *learning*
  • vertical push movement
  • hip dominant exercise
  • horizontal pull movement

Training B

  • deadlift *learning*
  • horizontal push movement
  • single leg knee dominant exercise
  • vertical pull movement

The deadlift and front squat are learned by using no more than five reps per set, starting with the bar only and progressing in weight over time. This enables “quality reps” because it’s shown that athletes start to lose their form when using more than five reps per set in complex movements. This is more evident with kids due to their lower attention capacity. To get an optimal volume of training, larger numbers of sets are done—5–6. Larger number of sets and lower number of reps enables a larger number of pauses and rest, during which the coach can provide corrections and cues for the next set.

Vertical press movement: In the first three weeks, we will start by using alternating
standing dumbbell presses using 12–10–8 reps (free weight progression). Then we will switch the exercise to the standing dumbbell press for three weeks, using the free weight progression as well. The grip is neutral/parallel. After this, we’ll start to learn the standing front barbell press using the principles explained in the front squat and deadlift progression section.

Horizontal pull movement: We’ll begin by doing supported/hanging horizontal rows on the Smith machine bar (hey—at least it has some purpose) for 8–10–12 reps (bodyweight progression). After this, we’ll start using the chest supported T-row, seated row, or dumbbell row for 12–10–8 reps over the weeks (free weight progression). The horizontal pull movements are very important for preventing shoulder problems and kiphotic posture. A gross number of athletes emphasize too much horizontal push movements (bench press) and forget about pull movements, which usually results in injuries like strain/sprain of the rotator cuff tendons.

Hip dominant exercise: For the first three weeks, athletes will use bridge exercises (for glute strengthening) for 8–10–12 reps. The next exercise is the single leg bridge followed by the bridge on a (basket) ball and a single leg variation of the same exercise. During this period, athletes may use hyperextension exercises for a 8–10–12 progression, and then increase the load and start the cycle again. Single leg variations of this exercise can be done too. After this period, we’ll start to utilize double and single leg variations of Romanian deadlifts (or SLDLs). The rest goes into a warm-up or it’s done after Romanian deadlifts for a set or two.

Horizontal push: We’ll start with push-ups using body weight progression (8–10–12). Then, we’ll move on to push-ups on (basket) ball, dips, alternating dumbbell bench presses, and dumbbell bench presses. We then will start learning the barbell bench press in an appropriate progression (same as for any other core exercise). Athletes must realize that the bench is NOT the most important lift, and they shouldn’t force this lift too much. Although the bench press is an excellent exercise for upper body strength, athletes usually overdo it because of its quick and visible results.

Single leg knee dominant exercise: Coaches say that basketball is played with the legs, but I must add that it is played mostly on a single leg. Single leg exercises are so important that it might be smart to replace double leg exercises with them. We’ll start by doing split squats (12–10–8), and then lateral split squats, lunges, step-ups, Bulgarian squats, lunge walks, and side lunge walks.

Vertical pull movements: We’ll begin with supinated pull-ups using the 8–10–12 progression. If the athlete is unable to do eight reps, we’ll use the lat pull-down on the chest (12–10–8). The different variations of a vertical pull movement are used (supinated, pronated, parallel, crossed grip, etc.). When the bench press can be done for 5–8 reps, we’ll do pull-ups with external resistance for 5–8 reps as well.


Copyright Elite Fitness Systems 2006


Submitted by DMorgan on Fri, 12/15/2006 - 11:46am.

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