2020 was a sad year for hoopers all around the world. The passing of legends, the short collapse of the league, and, more than anything – the inability to sharpen your trade. Basketball seemingly stopped and with COVID-19 restrictions around the world keeping everyone inside and away from the courts – now is the best time to commit to an effective home basketball training program.
Look, we all know your recent trip to the park made you realize your jump shot is getting weak (you’ve clearly been spending too much time watching basketball movies).
Not to worry, TIB has you covered.
We’ve created a comprehensive guide to help you improve your jump shot, improve strength, vertical leap and bulletproof your body for next season – all in the comfort of your own home.
Here is your ultimate guide for how to train basketball at home.
How to Train Basketball At Home
Basketball is a sport that can be trained anytime, anywhere. Understanding that your game does not only revolve around your jump shot means you have time to develop lateral quickness, vertical leap, hand-eye coordination, footwork and various other skills.
Don’t think for a minute that the greatest players to grace a basketball court only practiced on a court. Don’t think for a minute that these same Hall of Famers only hit barbell weight training. The best players find a way to put in work and throw away the excuses.
Learning how to train basketball at home will help you to develop your game everyday.
From routine movements to at-home strength exercises, this step-by-step ultimate guide will help you to punish your opponents that sat at home playing 2K all quarantine. Let’s get into it.
Step 1: Assess Where You’re at
Before you start any workout program it is important to assess where you’re at. Simple tests like going for a 5k run and measuring your heart rate and completion time can help you to better understand your conditioning. Vertical leap and/or horizontal leap can help to target how powerful you are. In step 1, we determine what fitness level you are at, what types of food you’re eating and what your form/movement skills look like.
Great basketball players are quick in every direction, can jump high, have good conditioning and understand how to monitor their intensity. Here are two simple fitness tests you can do to assess where you’re at and track your progress throughout your at-home basketball training.
This simple test will help you to determine how much power you can generate by using a counter movement jump pattern. The higher you touch – the more power you can generate. Write down the average of your top 3 jumps. Repeat this test every other week to track progress.
Conditioning and muscular endurance can be tricky to measure at home. If you’re not keen on going for a run you can try a static hold. Using a Bulgarian static hold will help you to see the differences in each leg and also help to strengthen your core. Track how long you hold on each leg and repeat the test every other week.
Basketball is a sport with very high energy demands. This means you need to be eating a lot of wholesome food to perform at a high level. There is a reason professional athletes hire chefs to take care of their nutrition.
Take a good look at the food you are currently eating Ask yourself the simple questions; is this healthy? Am I getting all the energy I need from this food?
Try your best to make the necessary changes to your diet so that you are eating complex carbohydrates like whole grains, vegetables and fruit. Consume lean and rich protein sources like fish, legumes and lean red meats. Your fat content should remain moderate-low and focus on whole foods like nuts and seeds.
Now that we have a base level of information to work with, we can start to develop a simple program that builds strength, speed and endurance.
Step 2: Develop a Simple Routine
Basketball is a skill-based sport. Strong athletes can be successful, fast athletes can be successful, but to truly be effective in this game you need to develop a wide range of skills. This simple at-home basketball routine will help to develop skills while you improve strength, speed and endurance.
Perhaps the most underrated skill of any basketball player. Mobility isn’t just about being prepared for exercise, it’s something that will help you to outlast other athletes.
Checkout this follow-along video to help improve your performance and recover faster.
Ball Control & Footwork
Modern basketball is a unique game. With the rise of three-point shooting, chasing off the line, and zone defence, the age of specialized positions is drifting away. Very quickly, you as a player will need to understand that ball control and footwork are vital to your game – regardless of your position on the court.
Keep in mind – footwork is all about timing, and ball control is all about a change of speed and direction.
The best guards are athletes that understand what the defence is giving them.
Practicing a skill over and over again will help to program a movement, but you need to understand when and what specific situation that move will present itself. That said, here are our favourite at-home ball control and footwork drills you can do in a basement, driveway or living room – perfect for training basketball at-home.
The classic crossover. Set up one way by stepping and dribbling out, before a slight pause and a quick step back to the other direction. When done correctly, this is your most effective drill for teaching footwork and ball control.
Set-em up, blow-by. Any basketball player that wants to add some easy pull-ups, get to the free-throw line, or likes to work out of the pick and roll needs to understand how to use space to their advantage. The combo dribble to space is an easy way to set your defender up and blow-by into a bucket.
Getting reps up is the most challenging part of training basketball at home. If you are fortunate enough to have your own hoop try to get up 100 makes a day from the elbows, 45, baseline and corners. If you have a partner, work in some rhythm shooting – wing attack to step back, baseline side step etc.
Those of you that do not have a hoop at home but have a basketball – you’re sitting down and focussing on locking in your mechanics. Check out the video below of shooting coach Tyler Relph showing you how you can improve mechanics using a chair.
Basketball-Specific Fitness Training
Training basketball at home can be completed using a series of exercises and drills. Our favourites are plyometrics and isometrics.
Plyometrics are exercises that help to strengthen and condition the body to be elastic. The main concept is to teach your muscles to stretch and contract quickly while under control. If you want to jump higher, check out these three exercises that can be done at home, with no weights.
Powerful Plyometric Exercises
Using a seated starting position, use the swing of your arms to initiate an explosive vertical jump. Try to land soft and controlled without letting your knees collapse inwards. Repeat 4-6x for 3 sets. The focus here is on explosive power and quality in each repetition.
One of the most underrated exercises. The idea here is to land and enter a contract phase as soon as possible. Quickly snapping off the floor and landing again in a controlled movement will teach your body how to store and release elastic tension in the muscle. Repeat 3-5x for 3 sets.
The last and perhaps most forgotten part of plyometrics is skill jumps. If you have a hoop at home, lower it to 8.5-9.5 and practice dunking. Structure this in a way that you are practicing specific movements. 1 foot jumping (each leg) and two-foot jumping (leading with each leg). Have fun with this but keep it structured. Plyometrics are almost always completed with low, high-quality reps with long rest times between sets.
| Want more? Ultimate Guide to Building a Basketball Body
Our Favourite Isometric Exercises
1. Static Lunge Holds/Split Squat hold
Similar to our Bulgarian Lunge hold, the static lunge hold will help to develop strength in each leg. Focus on balance and maintaining your weight over the heel of the lead leg. Hold for sets of 20-30 seconds.
Planks are essential for core development. Beginners can start by planking on their hands and working towards an elbow plank. Hold for 1-2 minutes.
3. Glute Bridge (Single leg & traditional)
One of the all-time great exercises to train basketball at home – the glute bridge is simple and effective. Both single leg and double leg glute bridge can be effective to strengthen the posterior chain.
4. Dead Hang
Basketball players need strong and mobile shoulders. Dead hang can help to lengthen the latissimus dorsi while also improving grip strength and releasing tension in the upper back. Perform 1-2 sets to failure.
Step 3: Track Your Progress
Putting in the work is only one side of the coin. The other element that many basketball players forget is tracking their progress. Not only will it help you to maintain progressive overload, but it will also help you to stay goal-oriented and successful in the long run.
Here’s how you can create a simple at-home basketball program to build strength, elasticity and performance.
Example At-Home Workout Program
Your workout program should combine exercises you can do at home with limited equipment. We’ve chosen to include plyometrics and isometric exercises. If you have weights like a medicine ball, slam ball, kettlebell or dumbbell – feel free to get rolling with alternative exercises.
NOTE: Always start with a low-impact warm-up and dynamic mobility. Training basketball at home means you are responsible for the routine and total recovery. Here is an example of how you can structure a workout program to train basketball at home.
| Want more? Ultimate Guide to Building a Basketball Body
Example Shooting Log
We all know how important it is to lock in your jump shot. Getting shots up every day is a simple way to start getting better – but when we incorporate a basic shooting log we start to enable ourselves to be independent and successful. Check out this basic shooting log you can use to track your jump shot and determine improvements over time.
Looking to take your game even further? We’ve got you covered. Step 4 of our ultimate guide will help you to continue developing strength and power at home.
Step 4: Progressive Overload
The last step is for the keeners out there. The athletes that want to push themselves and take their game to the next level. Below, we will outline two popular training methods you can use to add more weight, gain more strength and overload the muscle.
French Contrast Training
A style of training that works by contrasting a heavy lift with light or assisted lift. In french contrast training, the main goal is to use explosive movements to train the elastic properties of muscles. Similar to plyometrics, you will be loading the muscle eccentrically before explosively contracting – the main adaptation to french contrast training is its use of circuits, strength training and some Olympic lifting. Check out the video below.
The Shock Method
Popularized by Yuri Verkhoshansky, the shock method is an advanced form of plyometrics that should only be used by athletes who are comfortable at least squatting their own bodyweight. The principle behind the shock method is that this style of training allows the athlete to train contraction speed. Check out the video below for a detailed breakdown of the shock method.
Training Basketball at Home – Force the Habit
If you’re like us, and you’ve been around basketball all your life – you know that training takes time and dedication. The biggest asset you can have as an athlete is to understand how to develop the habits needed to succeed at a high level. Using this guide to structure your training is one thing, actually putting in the work, day in and day out is another story.
Use this guide as a reference, be sure you’re getting all the nutrition you need, consult professionals when possible, and continue studying how to become a better basketball player.
| Want more? Ultimate Guide to Building a Basketball Body