Should I Strength Train For Basketball?
Do you want to jump higher, run faster and be more explosive on the court? “Uhhhhh, yeah. Of course I do.”
Then get stronger.
Strength is vastly important in basketball because to be more athletic you need to focus on improving your rate of force production.
How hard of a force you use to push off the ground vertically - to jump - and horizontally - to sprint (or your first step) - are largely dependent on how strong you are.
Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at what physics teaches us.
Physics teaches us that the equation force equals mass times acceleration.
That’s why, if you watch football, some of these hits sound amazingly loud! Almost like a car wreck. Because these guys are so big (mass) running so quickly (acceleration) that the force when two big bodies like that collide is epic!
But it doesn’t stop there.
Your power output is measured as force times velocity.***
So how hard of a force you can apply as quickly as possible in a given direction will dictate how powerful you are.
If you want to apply a harder force you’ve got to improve your strength.
It’s not about the fancy footwork ladder drills and all that crap. It’s a waste of time. Get stronger. The sooner you get stronger the sooner you’ll improve quickness and vertical jump. When did you ever make a move in a game like you do in those ladder drills? Bottom line is you don’t. They don’t help you get faster like getting stronger helps you get faster.
And as for gaining upper body strength to improve your game? Basketball can be a physical game. Sure, there’s some bumping and knocking down on the block. So posts, you need upper body and core strength as well as lower body strength.
I was a guard. And pushing the ball up the court or driving to the basket usually happens with someone guarding you. And when someone is really pressing up on you having strength through your midsection (to be read inserting common recent buzzword “core”) and being able to hold them off with your off-hand are critical.
Strength doesn’t stop there either. Want to turn the ball over less? Do weighted carry exercises, deadlifts and chin-ups. When you get a stronger grip your hands and fingers get stronger. And when they get stronger you can control the basketball better. And when you can control the basketball better you have fewer turnovers. Well, that’s on you. But you should have fewer turnovers. :)
I could go on and on why you need to strength train for basketball. Get in the gym, train hard using full range of motion with big movements. Always perform the concentric portion of the exercise as quickly as you can. This will help you make a better brain/body connection and help that “quickness” aspect.
And if you want to get stronger and more explosive for the game of basketball with a program specifically for you, your body, your position and your goals, reach out to me.
Now go get after it.
*** Did you know vertical jump is a measure of power output?