The Best Weight Lifting Exercises for Basketball: Get an Edge on the Court!

Written by: Chris Hungerford



Time to read 10 min

As basketball coaches, it's important to ensure that your players are in top physical condition. One way of doing this is through weight lifting exercises. With the right moves, you can help improve a player’s performance on the court and give them an edge over their opponents. So what are some of the best weight lifting exercises for basketball? We'll look into 10 moves today - squats, deadlifts, lunges, bench presses and pull ups - to uncover how each can enhance a basketballer's game.

Table of Contents:


Squats are a must for basketball players, aiding in leg and core strength building, balance betterment, stability enhancement, and boosting power/explosiveness. Let's explore the advantages of squats for basketball players, techniques to correctly perform them, and modifications to this workout.

Benefits of Squats for Basketball Players:

Squats are one of the best exercises for building strength in your lower body which is important when playing basketball. Stronger legs can help you jump higher, run faster, change direction quickly on defense or offense, and move laterally more efficiently while defending against dribble penetration or attacking off-ball screens. Additionally, squats also work your core muscles which helps with overall balance and stability on the court.

Start by standing, feet wider than shoulders' width, toes out at 10-15 degrees; then thrust hips back as if to sit in a chair while keeping chest up and head looking forward throughout movement until parallel depth (thighs level with the ground); press through heels to ascend without locking knees. Then push your hips back as if sitting down into a chair while keeping your chest up and head looking forward throughout the movement until you reach parallel depth (thighs should be parallel to the ground). Push through heels to return back up into starting position without locking your knees at the top of the movement. Make sure that during this entire motion, you keep weight distributed evenly across both feet throughout the entire range of motion so there’s no shifting side-to-side or front-to-back during reps.

Squats are an essential exercise for basketball players, as they help build strength and power in the lower body. They can be performed with different variations to target specific muscles, making them highly versatile. Now let's take a look at deadlifts and how they can benefit basketball players.

Key Takeaway: Squats can help basketball players bolster their lower-body strength, promote equilibrium and steadiness, as well as augment power. Proper form is essential to ensure that weight is evenly distributed throughout the entire range of motion.


Deadlifts are a must-do for basketball players, aiding in the development of lower body strength, posture enhancement, and increased power and explosiveness. Deadlifts target multiple muscle groups at once which can be beneficial for athletes who need to develop overall strength quickly.

  • Benefits of Deadlifts for Basketball Players: Deadlifting is an excellent exercise to bolster your core, as well as enhance balance and steadiness. This can help basketball players become more agile on the court by allowing them to move quicker and with better control. Additionally, deadlifting helps build up leg muscles such as glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, and hip flexors which are all essential for jumping higher during games or practice drills. Finally, deadlifting increases grip strength which is necessary when dribbling or shooting the ball accurately.
  • How to Perform a Deadlift Properly: Before attempting any type of weight lifting, it is paramount to comprehend the correct technique in order to prevent harm or unnecessary strain on the body. To begin a deadlift, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend down while keeping your back straight until you firmly grasp the barbell with both hands and palms facing away from you. Lift up using your legs, maintaining good posture throughout this movement until full extension without locking out your knees at the top of the lift; then slowly lower back into starting position again - repeating as many times as desired depending on how much weight has been loaded onto the barbell beforehand.
  • Variations of The Deadlift Exercise: Deadlifts are an excellent way for basketballers to build strength and power in their lower body, while also granting them the equilibrium necessary to jump higher and move with more agility. Lunges offer similar benefits but with an increased focus on balance and agility, making them an ideal next step in your training regimen.

Key Takeaway: Deadlifts can be beneficial for basketballers, aiding in the development of strength, posture, and explosiveness; however, executing them with the correct technique is essential to prevent injury.


Lunges can be a beneficial workout for basketball players, aiding in the strengthening of leg and core muscles, boosting balance and coordination, as well as enhancing agility. This article will discuss the benefits of lunges for basketball players, how to perform a lunge properly, and variations of the lunge exercise.

Benefits of Lunges for Basketball Players:

Lunges can be beneficial for basketball players in many ways. First, they help to build strength in both the lower body and core muscles which is essential when playing on the court. Second, lunges help with balance and coordination by engaging multiple muscle groups at once which helps prevent injuries while playing. Finally, lunges also increase agility as they require quick movements from side to side that mimic those used during a game situation.

Maintaining correct form while lunging is key to avoiding potential harm or overexertion of the muscles and joints. To begin, stand upright with feet hip-width apart then take one step forward into a deep squat position while keeping the back straight throughout the movement until the thigh is parallel with the ground. Subsequently, push off through your heel back into starting position; repeat this motion 10 times per leg before switching sides. It is imperative not to lean too far forward or let your knee go past your toes when doing this exercise as it can lead to harm over time if done incorrectly.

Performing lunges correctly is key to gaining leg strength and power, so it's important to ensure they are done properly. Now, let's look at bench presses to help boost upper body strength for enhanced basketball play.

Key Takeaway: Lunges are an effective exercise for basketball players, helping to build strength in the lower body and core muscles, improve balance and coordination, as well as increase agility. However, proper form must be maintained to prevent injury.

Bench Presses

Bench presses are a great exercise for basketball players to build upper body strength, improve shoulder stability, and increase power in pushing movements. The bench press is an important part of any basketball player’s training program as it helps them develop the necessary muscles needed for success on the court.

Benefits of Bench Presses for Basketball Players:

Bench presses can help basketball players strengthen their chest, triceps, and shoulders while also improving their core stability. This exercise will help athletes become more explosive when they jump or push off with their arms during a game. Additionally, bench pressing can help reduce the risk of injury by strengthening the muscles around the shoulder joint which often take a beating from all the jumping and physical contact that occurs in basketball games.

When performing the bench press, it is essential to maintain a flat back against the bench and keep your feet firmly on the ground. Begin by gripping the barbell slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and unracking it from its holder before slowly lowering it towards your chest until you feel slight tension in your pecs (chest). Once you reach this point pause briefly before pushing up explosively until you lock out your elbows at full extension above your chest again returning to starting position.

Upper body strength and power can be enhanced with bench presses, but pull-ups should not be overlooked as they offer extra advantages to elevate your game.

Key Takeaway: Bench pressing can be a great way for basketballers to bolster their upper body strength, fortify shoulder stability and mitigate injury risks while honing core steadiness.

Pull Ups

Pull-ups are an important exercise for basketball players as they help to develop upper body strength in multiple muscle groups. Pull-ups can be used when shooting or rebounding on the court, making them a great addition to any basketball player’s training routine.

  • Benefits of Pull-Ups for Basketball Players: Pull-ups work the muscles in your back, arms, and shoulders which are all essential for performing well on the court. They also help improve grip strength and stability, both of which are necessary when playing defense or rebounding. Additionally, pull-ups build core strength which is key for jumping higher and running faster during games. Finally, pull-ups increase overall muscular endurance so you can last longer during practice and games without getting tired quickly.
  • How to Perform a Pull-Up Properly: To perform a proper pull up begin by gripping the bar with your palms facing away from you at shoulder width apart then hang from it with straight arms while keeping your feet off the ground. Next, bend your elbows until your chin reaches above the bar then slowly lower yourself back down until your arms are fully extended again before repeating this motion as many times as desired or able to do safely without straining yourself too much. It is important that you keep good form throughout each repetition by engaging all of the correct muscles while avoiding swinging or using momentum to lift yourself up instead of relying solely on arm strength alone.
  • Variations of The Pull Up Exercise:

Key Takeaway: Upper body power, improved grip, and core strength, expanded muscular stamina - all these are gained by basketballers through pull-ups to boost their court performance.

FAQs in Relation to 10 Best Weight Lifting Exercises for Basketball

What are the best weight lifting exercises for basketball players?

Weightlifting drills for basketball players should concentrate on cultivating potency, power and explosiveness. Lower body exercises, including squats, deadlifts, lunges, step-ups and box jumps can be used to help create strength. Upper body exercises such as bench press variations and rows can help develop upper body power. Medicine ball throws are a great way to increase explosive power while plyometric drills like jump squats and burpees can improve agility and quickness. Finally core work such as planks or sit-ups will help with stability during game play. With the right exercises, basketball players can develop strength and power to help them dominate on the court.

Is weight lifting good during basketball?

Yes, weight lifting is beneficial for basketball players. It helps to build strength and power, which can improve performance on the court. Weight lifting can bolster muscle bulk and bone solidness, diminishing the danger of harm while boosting balance, coordination and general physicalityall key to excelling in basketball. Furthermore, it improves balance and coordination as well as overall athleticism. Ultimately, weight lifting can help basketball players reach their full potential by improving physical attributes that are essential for success in the sport.

What workouts do NBA players do?

NBA players have a variety of workouts they do to stay in peak physical condition. These include weight training, running drills, agility and plyometric exercises, core work, shooting practice, and ball handling drills. Weight training focuses on building strength and power while running drills help improve speed and endurance. Agility exercises focus on quickness and balance while plyometrics build explosive power. Core work helps with stability and injury prevention while shooting practice improves accuracy from the field or free throw line. Finally, ball handling drills help develop coordination for dribbling or passing the basketball.

How many days a week should a basketball player lift weights?

It is advised that basketballers partake in weightlifting sessions three to four times per week. On the initial workout, target lower body movements like squats and lunges. On the second day, concentrate on upper body exercises like bench presses and shoulder presses. Finally, dedicate the third or fourth day to core strengthening with planks and crunches. Make sure to rest at least one full day between each weight lifting session in order for your muscles to recover properly and prevent injury.


To sum up, Squats, Deadlifts, Lunges, Bench Presses, and Pull Ups are the ten most beneficial weight-lifting exercises for basketball. These exercises will help build strength and power in a basketball player's legs and upper body which is essential for success on the court. Weightlifting can also increase agility, speed, and endurance which are all key components of playing good basketball. So if you want to improve your game make sure to incorporate these 10 best weight lifting exercises into your training routine.

Are you looking to take your basketball game to the next level? is here to help! Our team of experienced coaches and trainers has compiled a list of the 10 best weight-lifting exercises specifically designed for basketball players, so that you can maximize your strength, power, and agility on the court. Check out our website now and start building those muscles today!

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