Top 5 Strength and Conditioning Drills for College Basketball Players

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basketball strength and conditioning

I have the pleasure to introduce Andrew Fox of Aim Workout, who is a trained Boxing instructor and an avid triathlete. He wrote a great article for Inspirational Basketball on strength and conditioning for college basketball players.

Without further ado, enjoy…

In order to achieve success in basketball, you need to strengthen several body muscles.

You need to build your core muscles, lower body muscles among other things. You could also benefit from some high-impact exercises and learn some specific skills.

Particular drills are used in basketball for providing skills and exercises. With the help of drills, you can better your performance in dribbling, jumping, and shooting.

By building a good amount of strength, you can become dominate on the court and can help your team have a better chance to win.

In this article, I have outlined 5 exercises for college basketball players that can help with developing strength and enhancing overall performance on the basketball court. 

1. The Power Lunge (Making Higher Jumps)

It’s a given that basketball requires exploding up and making very high jumps. Your ability to jump higher will directly impact your performance on the court.

With the power lunge, you can make your body get off the ground very quickly. By performing power lunges, you can rebound several shots that you missed much quicker than your opponent.

To perform the power lunge, you simply need to explode up from the bottom position and alternate lunges on both legs.


2.  The Push Jerk (Maintaining Dominance On The Court)

In order to be dominant on the court, you need to be able to out-perform your opponents. In other words, you need to have good power and balance.

This can be achieved by practicing the push jerk or the push press. The Push jerk is nothing but a modified and accelerated shoulder press.

Like the clean and jerk, the push press helps build tremendous over-head mobility, so you can shoot farther, respond better to rebounds and collect that improbable pass. 

3.  Clean High Pull (For Triple Extension Movements)

If you want to learn how to make explosive triple extension movements, this exercise is the perfect option for you. Explosiveness is created, when the knees, ankles and other joints are brought to the extended position.

The clean high pull is the initial pull movement incorporated in the ‘Olympic clean’. You need to start this exercise by using your hips. Then, you need to place your shoulders in front of the bar.

Lastly, you should raise your body while maintaining a neutral spine. By performing in this manner, you can make your body perform extensions and other basketball friendly movements.

4.  Chin-Ups (Become A Rebounding Machine)

In basketball, you need sufficient pulling strength. It isn’t always easy to grab rebounds while playing basketball especially if you are playing amongst the trees. ,

You need to be able jump high, extend and retrieve the basketball and chin-ups will help you grab more rebounds.

You can perform chin-ups on the pull-up tower to improve your pulling strength. The chin-up is a wonderful exercise for building your bicep and upper back muscles.

For working your biceps, you need to use your full range of motion. However, if you are unable to perform several chin-ups, you do not need to worry. You can use a spotter or band to gradually increase your strength.

5. Dumbbell Step-Ups (Enhancing Balance and Control)

Dumbbell exercises are a good option for improving balance and control. By performing steps with the help of dumbbells, you can maintain equal balance in your left and right leg.

This exercise helps in working various joints at a particular time. As a basketball player, you need to have great balance and coordination. This exercise trains one leg at a time and is considered to improve your running ability. Here are basic instructions when you are performing the dumbbell step-ups!

  • You should use decent weight dumbbells
  • You need to keep your chest straight while raising your body.
  • You should raise your foot, align your knees and maintain this pose for at least one second, before returning off.


These exercises help in building a lot of strength and mobility which can greatly enhance your performance on court.

The power lunge helps in working the chest and lower body muscles that are involved in making high vertical jumps. With the push jerk, you can improve your coordination and power over-head.

The chin-up is useful for enhancing pulling strength that is needed to make rebounds on the post.  Step-ups improve your balance so can shoot and jump better.

Finally, the clean high pull helps you get that extra edge so you can be more powerful and dominant on court. Incorporate these exercises in your training routines and watch your game reach an all time high level.  

Author Bio: Andrew is the founder and CEO at Aim Workout. His enthusiasm for fitness and adventure has led him on several mountain biking, deep sea diving, and rock climbing journeys.

He is also a trained Boxing instructor and an avid triathlete. As a passionate fitness professional, Andrew attributes most of his strength gains to the squat cage. 


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