Conditioning Drills For Any Sport

Below are some conditioning tips that I use in basketball, but are very effective for all athletes. These workouts will help you stay strong and in condition for any sport. The workouts will include strength training exercises that assist with power as well as workouts that assists with endurance so you will never be the first one back on the bench.
Sets + Reps: 
  • For size: 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • For strength: 3-5 sets of 2-6 reps
  • For power: 3-5 sets  of 2-5 reps
Power Cleans
The Power Clean is one of the easiest and most effective Olympic lifts you can learn and perform. The exercise works the entire body, increasing the amount of power you can put into the ground — which is the key to jumping higher and running faster.

  • Starting with bar on floor, grip it slightly wider than shoulder width
  • Keeping low back tight and flat, move chest over bar and push hips back
  • Explode upward by forcefully shrugging and fully extending hips, knees and ankles
  • Pull bar up, keeping it close to chest
  • Drop under bar with bent knees, catching bar in front of shoulders with elbows forward
  • Powerfully extend at the knees and hips to upright stance
  • Lower to start position and pause for 10 to 15 seconds before next rep
  • Repeat for specified reps

Use a PVC pipe or broomstick to perfect your form before adding weight.

Front Squats

The Front Squat is my recommended version of the Squat for athletes looking to build lower-body strength. It places less stress on the back than the Back Squat, and the bar can easily be dumped forward if you sense a failed rep. You won’t be able to lift as much weight, but you will still see results:

  • Assume athletic stance with feet shoulder-width apart
  • Rest bar across front of shoulders with “Power Clean catch” grip
  • Keeping back straight and knees behind toes, sink hips back and lower into squat position until thighs are parallel to ground
  • Explode up by driving through heels and extending knees and hips to return to start position
  • Repeat for specified reps
Dumbbell Squat Press
The lower to upper body movement pattern of the dumbbell squat press mimics a jump shot or rebound, helping you maintain technique during a three-point shot or beat an opponent to a loose ball.
  • Assume athletic stance with feet slightly wider than hip-width, holding dumbbells at shoulders with palms facing together
  • Keeping back straight and knees behind toes, sink hips back and lower into squat position until thighs are parallel to ground
  • Extend hips and knees to drive up out of squat position while pressing dumbbells overhead
  • Lower dumbbells to shoulders
  • Repeat for specified reps
Sternum Lateral Pulldowns
Back strength is one of the most overlooked aspects of on-court basketball performance. This exercise will help you battle opponents for the ball and fight through screens.

  • Sit on the Lat Pulldown machine and grip bar overhead, slightly wider than shoulder-width
  • Lean back slightly and slowly pull bar down to chest for four counts
  • Allow bar to slowly rise back to start position for three counts until arms are straight
  • Repeat for specified reps
Jacob’s Jumps
If you want to increase your vertical, you have to get more powerful. This exercise eliminates the countermovement of a jump (the lowering phase) by forcing you to jump up as high as possible without any assistance from the stretch-shortening cycle.

  • Sit on a 24-inch box so hips and knees form 90-degree angles
  • Forcefully extend hips, knees and ankles to jump onto 12-inch box positioned two to three feet in front
  • Land softly with bent knees
  • Step off the box and repeat for specified reps
Wide Stance, Close-Grip RDL

This variation of the RDL puts more focus on glute strength. The more powerful this muscle group, the higher you will jump. It also works the hamstrings to help prevent injury from landing and decelerating.

  • Assume a slightly-wider-than-shoulder-width stance holding bar at waist with a narrow grip
  • Keeping legs slightly flexed, push your hips back and bend at the hips to the lower bar until it is two to three inches below knees
  • Keep back straight, chest up and bar close to shins
  • Forcefully extend hips to stand up
  • Squeeze glutes to complete movement
  • Repeat for specified

With these lifts, you’ll be taking on the world as an improved, faster, and stronger athlete in no time!

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