How To Get Strong For Basketball – Vertical Jump Tips

by James Kerrison on November 10, 2010

Training for strength in sport, especially basketball, is about getting stronger and improving your power, speed and quickness. Your performance on the court or field is what matters first and foremost. Sure looking good on and off the court or field is pretty cool too, but no one is going to care how good you look after the game if you have no game!

Having said that, if you follow these tips you will become a better athlete as well as develop a better body. I train my clients for fat loss very similar to the way you see athletes train.


Because if you aren’t improving your performance in the gym, you wont be improving in any aspect whether its for fat loss and aesthetics or sports specific performance. Focus on these main points and improvements and then tailor the finer points to suit your specific goal.

1.) Train first for performance, not for aesthetics

Remember, the number one goal here is to be able to perform better on the court. Yes, we will gain strength and muscle and as a result we will look great, but that’s not the primary goal. Have a look at the difference between Rip Hamilton (6ft 7 in, 193 lbs) and Corey Maggette (6ft 6in, 225lbs). Corey is ripped and carrying 20+ pounds more than Rip but at the end of the day getting the job done on the court is what counts.

2.) Favor compound movements

Train with compound, multi-joint movements that work multiple muscle groups. For example, a compound movement for the shoulders would be an overhead press, while an isolation movement would be a lateral raise. Squats instead of leg curls and extensions, chin up and rows instead of pulldowns and bicep curls. You will get WAY more muscle strength and size gains from compound, multi-joint movements. You will also get these results quicker using shorter workouts using this method.

3.) Work on explosive movements before heavy movements, and heavy movements before lighter “volume” movements.

Your workout progression should look like this: explosive -> heavy -> volume.
An example of an explosive movement would be a medicine ball throw, a heavy movement might be a push press or chin up, and a volume movement might be a dumbbell press. Fire up the nervous system with an explosive movement, use your strength aroused CNS to power through the heavy exercises and then finish with some higher reps of a lighter, less complex movement.

4.) Dial in your post-workout nutrition (important!)

Remember, you are going to break down a ton of muscle tissue during your training and therefore need to supply your body with the nutrients necessary to come back bigger and stronger.

Muscle gains happen during the recovery, NOT in the gym.

The cycle starts as soon as you have finished you last exercise.

Recovery -> Compensation -> Super Compensation (that means you’re stronger!) -> Train Again

So even if you aren’t an athlete, train like one and you’ll become, well, more athletic looking (as well as that other boring stuff like fitter, stronger, leaner, quicker…..)


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