On-Court Basketball Workout

My coaching colleague challenged me to develop an off-season conditioning program for his team using nothing but a basketball court, balls and medicine balls, as this is all his club has available to him. As a youth, I basically had access to the same amenities, but never knew what to do. So, the following are exercises to combine into a total body workout for a basketball player using only a basketball, a court and a medicine ball (which you can purchase by following this link). Developing a program using several of these exercises and moving in a circuit is a quick way to move through the workout and create an element of aerobic training; I suggest doing each exercise for thirty second to a minute and moving quickly between exercises.

Basketball is an anaerobic sport. Therefore, running anything more than a 400m is not sport specific. Every player needs a base of fitness, but interval training is a better way to acquire this fitness than long, slow distance training. Additionally, running with the basketball increases the specificity of the training.

Rip Hamilton Drill
Sprint from free throw line to free throw line dribbling the ball as few times as possible and shoot pull-up jump shots. Make as many as possible in 1:00.

Full Court Lay-ups
Sprint from end to end shooting lay-ups with weak hand. Make as many as possible in 1:00.

Sprint sideline to sideline. Complete seventeen trips in 1:00.

Body Weight Squats
Put hands on your head and keep back flat. Push back with hips and do a slow, full squat.

Jump Squats
Squat down. Push up explosively and jump as high as possible.

Backboard Touches
Stand under the backboard. Jump and touch the backboard as many times as possible in 1:00.

Medicine Ball Jump Squats and Slide
Stand on one side of the rim under the basket and start with medicine ball under the chin. Jump as high as possible and extend the medicine ball as high as possible. Land softly, with ball back to the chin, and push with outside foot to execute one slide to the other side of the rim. Jump and extend with the ball again. Land and push with the outside foot to return to the other side of the basket. Continue.

Lunge and Press
Stand with medicine ball under one’s chin. Step out with one foot to lunge and push the medicine ball directly over head. Push back to original stance and repeat with other leg.

Hamstring Pulls
Lay on stomach and bend knees ninety degrees. Partner stands over the athlete and pushes on the heels, trying to push the feet to the ground. Athlete resists the pushing and keeps feet off the ground.

Side Kicks
Stand with arms outstretched against a wall. Kick legs in and out (abduction and adduction). Stand on right foot and kick left foot out as high as possible (abduction) and then kick across in front of the body and across her right foot (adduction).

Medicine Ball Overhead Throw
Bend at the knees and hips, bring the medicine ball down between one’s legs. In one motion, push up with the legs and throw the ball overhead as high as possible.

Side Throws
Reach with the medicine ball all the way to the right as far as one can twist and then throw to partner to one’s left. Work both sides.

Straight Arm Throw-in
Keep elbows almost locked. Bend torso back and throw the ball as hard as possible with upper body.

Chest Throws
Place hands on the ball like one is setting a volleyball: two hands even pressure on the ball. Tuck elbows close to the body and push ball to teammate.


Two-ball T-Drill
Start with two balls on the baseline in the middle of the key. Sprint and dribble to the free throw line. Slide to one elbow and then to the other elbow and back to the middle. Back pedal to the baseline.

Lane Line Slides
Start on one lane line. Shuffle from lane line to the other lane line and back.


Step-overs (half-carioca)
Just like carioca, but the trailing foot steps in-front; never behind.

Box Drill
Start on the baseline at the corner of one lane-line. Shuffle to the other lane line. Back pedal to the elbow. Shuffle to the other elbow. Sprint to the starting spot.

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