Would you like to know how do basketball players train? Training is a crucial ingredient to the growth of a basketball player, and many things influence how basketball players train. We are going to do a deep dive into the world of training for basketball so you can get a thorough understanding of how to train for basketball in order to become a good basketball player.
What Kind of Training Do Basketball Players Train?
Basketball players are not all the same, and this goes for almost all aspects of their training. Just like some players tailor their games to suit a specific purpose, these same players tailor their training to achieve unique, desired results. There are numerous types of training that basketball players undergo and we will go through the main ones here.
Body Weight Training
Body Weight training includes exercises and gym workouts that are designed to get players to specific weight goals. Not a lot of people outside of the game realize that a lot of basketball players struggle with their weight. Depending on the position you play along with your height, there are ideal weight ranges that you should fit into. Remember this past season when Luka returned from the off-season and was noticeably overweight? Even though he was somewhat a capable PG, his performance was hampered by the extra pounds. To recover his right weight, Luka had to hit the gym and do various exercises such as dumbbell rows, loaded barbell pushes, and trap bar carries.
All professional basketball players do strength training for basketball. Strength is one of the most critical physical capabilities that basketball players need to have. Due to that fact, they all have to do strength training. When we think of strong players, most of us think about bigs, the guys that play the four and five positions. Yes, it is best if those players are very strong, but we should not count out the strength requirements of small forwards and guards. Stronger guards and small forwards also have a significant advantage over their weaker opponents in ball games. Some exercises done by basketball players to improve their strength include pullups, push presses, bench presses, squats, and many more.
Cardio training may not be the most enjoyable type of exercise but it is one of the most important for basketball players. The aspects of a player’s body that we see on the outside are driven by an internal engine. This engine comprises of the lungs, heart, and blood vessels. These are all organs that need to be exercised to achieve improvement and maintenance. Cardio exercises are conditioning exercises that make sure that your heart, lungs, and blood vessels remain in tip-top shape so the rest of your body can perform in games. Point to note, cardio exercises are good at fat reduction so overweight athletes also use this. Other benefits of doing cardio exercises include increased lung capacity, improves physique, strengthens the heart, and lower stress. Basketball players can enjoy all these benefits.
When players say that they are out of shape, in addition to their weight issues, they are also referring to their conditioning. So what is conditioning? Well, conditioning has to do with getting your body in shape so that you can keep up with the other plates on the floor and perform well. Physical conditioning enhances energy capacity and exercise performance, so players who focus on this will be capable of giving more for more extended periods of time. Players like Kevin Durant, who can play every minute on the clock of an NBA game, has his physical conditioning turned up to the max. Excellent conditioning training includes activities such as lateral lunges, burpees, squat jumps, beach runs, and more.
How Do Basketball Players Stay in Shape?
Since all of our bodies are different in more ways than one, we have to do different sets of exercises to stay in shape. There are other ways that one can stay in shape, like eating right and resting properly. Basketball players are no different. There are a lot of things they need to do to stay in shape.
Dieting is not just eating a small amount of food to maintain your weight. You would be surprised at how many people actually think that’s what consuming a proper diet means. Basketball players sometimes have personal chefs and dietitians who recommend and prepare their meals. Sometimes their teams will provide these personnel as a part of the team staff. Earlier, we mentioned weight, and a basketball player should be consuming the right diet to achieve or maintain a particular weight. Additionally, their diet should provide enough energy for their daily activities while helping them recover quickly and efficiently. There are so many things that go into a basketball player eating correctly to stay in shape.
Just like you, basketball players have to recognize and respect the importance of including daily exercises in their activities if they want to stay in shape. Exercise is such a vague word because it entails so many subheadings. Basketball players need to work on almost all the different types of exercises if they want to compete at a very high level. In addition to going into the gym to lift weights or heading to the beach or track to do some running, basketball players also do a lot of exercising on the basketball court. This is a reason why it is vital to attend training. Coaches should work on instilling the requisite discipline in players so they are willing to attend every training session when possible.
What? Resting? I’ve never seen that on a training program for basketball. We bet that at least one of these remarks just ran through your head. Well, firstly, we are not just talking about sleeping. Secondly, Resting is vital to maintaining your body in tip-top shape. When we say rest, it does include sleeping, but also just laying, or sitting down to allow your muscles to recuperate after a game or an intense training session is considered as resting. After you use them, your muscles need time to heal and recuperate. If you don’t get adequate rest, you leave yourself prone to injuries, your performance will drop, and your body will eventually run down.
How Many Hours Do Basketball Players Train?
The amount of training basketball players does affect their game. The short answer for this section is “for however how long it takes.” It is not easy to pin down an exact time that a particular player should train. Let’s look at why.
Depending on the Player
Some players are more skilled, in shape, stronger, faster, and more agile than others, and as such, their training requirements to get to peak levels in certain categories will be less than for those other players. Because the amount of training required may be less, the time requirement may also be less as well. Additionally, some players are faster learners and achieve muscle development faster, so their training time will also be less. Other factors that some players use to determine their training time include the load that their bodies can manage in a single session and the other workouts they have to do before or after.
Depending on the Time of Year
Depending on the month, the length of a player’s training session will vary. Basically, a basketball player’s time in the offseason and season break (depending on the league) can be more dedicated to training or particular types of training than in the regular season. This also goes the same for during the season when they have a few days between games vs. when they only have one. There are various reasons why players train more in the off-season and season breaks, and they include available time, fatigue, recovery time, and things like that.
Depending on the Exercise
Imagine doing light jogging around the park compared to running in the sands on a beach. You will have more energy to spend more time running around the park, so you can spend more time doing that. You will also achieve gains faster while running on the sand, so you do not need to spend the same amount of time as you would going around the park. Another example is a team of NBA players going over the steps to playing a basic box and one defense vs. that same team trying to work out a new offense that their coach came up with the night before. As you can imagine, they will be spending more time on the new offense.
Depending on the Skill Being Worked On
This point is a bit similar to the one before. When players train, sometimes they are training to get a particular move or improve a specific skill in their repertoire. Some skills are harder to learn or improve than others, and as a result, they will require more time to improve. Take Ben Simmons working on shooting a free throw vs. making a bounce pass. Which one do you think he would need to spend the most time training on?
How Do NBA Players Train in the Off-Season?
This is another question in our article that does not have a clear cut detailed answer. The best generalized answer that we can provide is “whatever they need to improve on.” Each player has a different focus, so that means that training will be different. Here is the training regime for 3 NBA players who play different positions.
-Wakes up at 8 a.m.
-Breakfast, usually Granola and fruit.
-Warm-up, stretch, foam roll, do corrective exercises, core work, and lift heavy.
-Go right to the court for inside work: jump hooks, baby hooks, short jumpers, and Mikan drill.
-Then move to perimeter stuff: ball handling series, face-up moves, game shooting.
-Wake at 8:30 a.m.
-Start with a ball handling series, working hard on my off-hand.
-Go through comprehensive stretching.
-Do 1.5 hours of intense game-like shooting (500+ makes).
-Head to the weight room.
-Lift legs/core twice a week and upper twice a week. I lift heavy.
-Wake up at 8 a.m.
-Start with my strength training.
-Focus on core strength and stability.
-Focus on quickness and agility, and proper movement.
-For cardio, a lot of biking and swimming to give joints a break.
-Go to shooting. Intentionally shoot from spots I don’t shoot well from in games.
-Record shots/makes and compare to last year’s numbers.
-Finishing series: working on floaters, runners, power lay-ups, Euro-steps.
-Do ball handling drills.
-Try to play 5-on-5 three times per week.
-Work out 5-6 times per week.
What are the Best Training Workouts for Basketball Players?
For this section, we managed to separate the basketball workout drills and exercises into three sections. It would help if you remembered that they are many other exercises that basketball players can do to improve their bodies and their games.
– Alternating dumbbell press.
– Fire drills
3 Best Exercises for Basketball Players
Here are five of the most essential exercises that basketball players can do on their own to significantly improve their weight, conditioning, strength, agility, and quickness.
Jogging is a great cardiovascular exercise that can be done almost anywhere. Players can even jog around objects in an enclosed room. Jogging also helps to improve overall endurance and helps to build leg muscles.
2. Backboard Tip
The backboard tip is a jumping exercise that helps with rebounding, vertical leap, endurance, and stamina. The drill can be done as a team in the form of a rebounding line where each player jumps and bounces the ball off the backboard for the player following behind to come and do the same thing. It can also be done as an individual basketball exercise where you stay on one side of the basket and continuously jump and tip the ball onto the backboard.
Suicide sprints are sprints done while incorporating all the horizontal lines of the basketball court into your exercise. A player would start at baseline and then sprint as fast as possible to the other baseline and back, then to the free-throw line and back, and then to the mid-court and back. It does not matter the order in which the sprints are done.
Wrapping Things Up: How Do Basketball Players Train?
There are so many factors that influence how basketball players train. Most players tend to do training exercises to improve or learn particular skills and the time they spend on these training exercises will vary based on a lot of factors such as available time and fatigue.