Basketball Off-Season Strength and Conditioning for In-Season Success

Want to improve all aspects of your athleticism before basketball season? Try this program from STACK Expert John Cissik.

The basketball off-season is a time to lay the foundation for in-season success. Basketball players need to be big enough absorb contact, strong, explosive, able to change directions on a dime, and capable of withstanding the effects of fatigue. And they need to do all of those things while reading the defense, handling the ball and reacting to opponents.

To get you ready for the season, I've put together a comprehensive off-season program designed to address muscle size, strength, power, speed, agility and conditioning.

RELATED: Build Your Women's Basketball Training Program

The program is broken up into three four-week blocks. After you finish all three, feel free to repeat the program.

Determine Your Baseline

Before you start, it's important to figure out where you are. The following tests will establish your baseline. Repeat the tests at the end of each block to get  sense of your progress.

  • Strength: Bench Press and Back Squat, either a 1RM (i.e., how much weight can you can lift one time?), 3RM, or  5RM. Younger and out-of-shape athletes should perform the 5RM. Experienced athletes with a good spotter should perform the 1RM.
  • Power: the Vertical Jump Test has a lot to do with dunking, blocking shots and making lay-ups. The Standing Long Jump test measures your ability to use your leg strength.
  • Speed: the 10-Yard Sprint tests your ability to generate speed in a short, confined space–just like during a basketball game.
  • Agility: the classic T-Test is a great all-around agility test for basketball players. To take this test, sprint forward 10 yards, shuffle left 5 yards, shuffle right 5 yards, shuffle back left 5 yards, and backpedal 10 yards.
  • Conditioning: Suicides are the best test to measure basketball conditioning.

RELATED: Calculating Your One-Rep Max

Block 1 (Weeks 1-4)

This is the "get in shape" block. It lays the foundation for success, develops your conditioning and helps train your ligaments and tendons.

Day One

Strength:

  • Back Squats: 3x12-15@60-70%
  • Lunges: 3x12-15 on each leg
  • Romanian Deadlifts: 3x12-15
  • Reverse Hyperextensions: 3x12-15

Power:

  • Vertical Jump: 10x
  • Standing Long Jump: 10x
Speed/Agility:
  • Mobility drills: 10-15 minutes
  • Sprints: 5-10x5 yards
  • Shuffle: 3-5x5 yards each way
  • Backpedal: 3-5x5 yards

Day Two

Strength:

  • Bench Press: 3x12-15x60-70%
  • Pull-Ups: 3xMax
  • Military Press: 3x12-15
  • Biceps/Triceps: 3x12-15 each

Day Three

Off

Day Four

Strength:

  • Split Squats: 3x12-15x25@35% of Back Squat, each leg
  • Step-Ups: 3x12-15 each leg, 12-18-inch box
  • Good Mornings: 3x12-15
  • Back Raises: 3x12-15

Power:

  • Vertical Jump: 10x
  • Standing Long Jump: 10x

Speed/Agility:

  • Mobility drills: 10-15 minutes
  • Sprints: 5-10x5 yards
  • Shuffle: 3-5x5 yards each way
  • Backpedal: 3-5x5 yards

Day Five

Strength:

  • Incline Press: 3x12-15
  • Bent-Over Rows: 3x12-15
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 3x12-15
  • Biceps/Triceps: 3x12-15 each

Day Six

Conditioning:

This is a metabolic circuit. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds with minimal rest between exercises. Perform a set of each exercise in the order listed, then repeat twice. Substitute a medicine ball if you do not have access to heavy ropes, and a dumbbell if you do not have access to kettlebells.

  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Prone Hold
  • Heavy Rope Slams
  • Side Plank (right side)
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Side Plank (left side)
  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Crunches
  • Heavy Rope Woodchoppers
  • Burpees

Day Seven

Off

RELATED: Bench Press, Squat and Deadlift Mistakes, Fixed

Block 2 (weeks 5-8)

This block is heavier, more intense, and more complicated than the previous block. The agility drills listed in this block can be found here.

Day One

Strength:

  • Back Squats: 3x8-12@70-80%
  • Romanian Deadlifts: 3x8-12
  • Bench Press: 3x8-12@70-80%
  • Bent-Over Rows: 3x8-12
  • Military Press: 3x8-12

Speed/Agility:

  • Mobility drills: 10-15 minutes
  • Sprints: 5-10x10 yards
  • Shuffle: 3x5 yards each way
  • Backpedal: 3x5 yards
  • Charge Down the Court drill: 5-10x

Day Two

Strength:

  • Power Clean, Hang, Bar Above the Knee: 3x4-6
  • Clean Pulls, Hang, Bar Above the Knee: 3x4-6 with Power Clean weight plus 10%

Power:

  • Box Jumps (jump onto box, step down): 5-10x
  • Hurdle Hops (jump over mini-hurdles): 3x10 yards

Agility:

  • Jump shot drill: 3x

Day Three

Off

Day Four

Strength:

  • Superset: Goblet Squats with Dumbbell Bench Press: 3x12-15 each
  • Superset: Lunges with Pull-Ups: 3x12-15 each
  • Superset: Good Mornings with Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 3x12-15 each
  • Reverse Hyperextensions: 3x12-15

Speed/Agility:

  • Mobility drills: 10-15 minutes
  • Sprints: 3-5x20-40 yards
  • Down and Back drill: 3x

Day Five

Conditioning:

This is a metabolic circuit. Perform each exercise for 45 seconds with minimal rest between exercises. Perform a set of each exercise in the order listed, then repeat twice. Substitute a medicine ball if you do not have access to heavy ropes, and a dumbbell if you do not have access to kettlebells.

RELATED: The Best Basketball Conditioning Drills

  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Prone Hold
  • Heavy Rope Slams
  • Side Plank (right side)
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Side Plank (left side)
  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Crunches
  • Heavy Rope Woodchoppers
  • Burpees

Block 3 (weeks 9-12)

This block requires the heaviest, most intense training. It is extremely important to have performed the other two blocks prior to attempting this one. The agility drills can be found here and here.

Day One

Strength:

  • Back Squats: 3x4-8@80-90%
  • Romanian Deadlifts: 3x4-8
  • Bench Press: 3x4-8@80-90%
  • Bent-Over Rows: 3x4-8
  • Military Press: 3x4-8

Speed/Agility:

  • Mobility drills: 10-15 minutes
  • Sprints: 5-10x10 yards
  • Charge Down the Court drill: 5-10x
  • Figure 8 drill: 5-10x

Day Two

Strength:

  • Power Clean, Hang, Bar Above the Knee: 3x4-6
  • Clean Pulls, Hang, Bar Above the Knee, 3x4-6 with Power Clean weight plus 15%
  • Kettlebell Snatches, 3x5 with each hand

Power:

  • Box Jumps (jump onto box, step down): 5-10x
  • Hurdle Hops (jump over mini hurdles): 3x10 yards

Agility:

  • Jump shot drill: 3x

Day Three

Off

Day Four

  • Split Squats: 3x4-8x30-40% of Back Squat, each leg
  • Good Mornings: 3x4-8
  • Incline Press: 3x4-8
  • Pull-Ups: 3x4-8
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 3x4-8

Speed/Agility:

  • Mobility drills: 10-15 minutes
  • Sprints: 3-5x20-40 yards
  • 4-Cone drill: 5-10x
  • Weave and Shoot drill: 5-10x

Day Five

Off

Day Six

Conditioning:

This is a metabolic circuit. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, sprint 10 yards to the next exercise and rest minimally throughout. Perform a set of each exercise in the order listed, then repeat twice. Substitute a medicine ball if you do not have access to heavy ropes, and a dumbbell if you do not have access to kettlebells.

  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Sprint 10 yards
  • Prone Hold
  • Sprint 10 yards
  • Heavy Rope Slams
  • Sprint 10 yards
  • Side Plank (right side)
  • Sprint 10 yards
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Sprint 10 yards
  • Side Plank (left side)
  • Sprint 10 yards
  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Sprint 10 yards
  • Crunch
  • Sprint 10 yards
  • Heavy Rope Woodchoppers
  • Sprint 10 yards
  • Burpees
Looking for more ways to train this off-season? Check out STACK's Summer Training Guide for Baskeetball.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: BASKETBALL TRAINING | MILITARY | ASICS BASKETBALL | MOBILITY | POWER | EXERCISE | TRAIN | BENCH | CLEAN | PRESS | SPRINT | KETTLEBELL | JUMPING JACKS