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Basketball Conditioning Tips

Read these 43 Basketball Conditioning Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Basketball tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How do I get in good shape for basketball?

Jump Rope

One of the most important pieces of equipment a basketball player can possess is a jump rope. Daily use of a jump rope will develop stamina, leg strength, agilty and coordination, timing, quickness, and hand-eye coordination. All of these are extremely important to becoming a good ball player.

What is the four step drill?

The Four-Step Drill

The four-step drill involves running across the court from sideline to sideline. Start on one sideline and sprint to the other side and back for a total of four sprints. (Going up and back equals two sprints). You should complete this in 15 seconds or less. Rest 30 seconds and then get ready for the second sprint - four times down and back for total of eight sprints. You should complete this in 30 seconds or less. You rest 60 seconds and then get ready for the third set, eight times down and back for a total of 16 sprints. Complete this last set in 60 seconds or less.

How can I get in better condition?


A 17 is a very common conditioning practice . You start behind one of the sidelines. You run to the other sideline counting as 1 then you run back to count as 2. You do this until you reach 17. (Always ending on the opposite side from which you started). To be in very good basketball shape you should be able to do this in under 1 minute.

How do I increase my vertical jump?

Build Your Jumping

In order to better your jumping, you need to increase your leg strength and stamina. A great way to do this is by doing a consecutive jumping drill. Begin by jumping as high as you can off both feet. Your hands should be above your head and rotating to help you jump high. As soon as you land, go right back up. Repeat this twenty-five times. Next, jump twenty-five times off your right foot, then twenty-five times off your left. Keep your hands up and go up as quickly as you can after landing. Next, jump twenty-five times bringing your knees to your chest. You can now bring your arms down in order to maintain balance, but continue jumping as quickly as possible. Then jump twenty-five times trying to kick your heals into your rear end. Finally, perform twenty-five Jerry Wests. A Jerry West is a jump in which you bend forward at the waist extending your arms at forty-five degree angles. Try to touch your fingertips to your toes.

What is the opposite hand layup drill?

The Opposite Hand Layup

The goal of the opposite hand layup is to cross the lane diagonally from one corner of the freethrow line as many times as possible in 60 seconds. Starting from beyond one corner of the freethrow line, dribble diagonally across the lane and perform layups with your dominate hand. Dribble back to the starting position with your dominant hand. Recover for 90 seconds between repetitions.

how can I improve my quickness?

Line Jumps

Stand beside any line on the floor. With your feet together, jump forward and backwards over the line, then sideways back and forth (two separate exercises). Repeat for thirty seconds, counting the number of times that you return to the starting point. Try to better yourself every day.

What is the crosscourt sprint and shoot drill?

The Crosscourt Sprint and Shoot Drill

You will need a passer for the crosscourt sprint and shoot drill. Begin by shooting a jumpshot at the top of the key and then sprint to either side of the court. Now sprint back to the top of the key or elbow to receive a pass and shoot jumpshot. After your jumpshot, sprint to the closest sideline. Now sprint to the opposite sideline and back to the key or elbow to shoot again. Continue the pattern, adding an extra sideline run before the jumpshot each time through until you are crossing the court a total of five times. Finish the drill by shooting five to 10 freethrows. Repeat the sequence two or three times.

how can I improve my quickness?

Ball Bounces

Hold the ball in front of you with your legs spread wide. Bounce the ball hard between your legs so that it will come up behind you. Quickly move your hands behind your back to catch the ball. The harder that you bounce the ball, the more quickly you will have to move your hands.

how can I improve my conditioning?

Dribble while you run

Everyone knows that running is an essential part of playing basketball and it helps you get in shape. Most people just jog or do sprints but why not dribble when running? This will help you get in shape and with your dribbling at the same time.

What is the 55 second drill?

The 55-Second Drill

You will need a passer for the 55-second drill. Starting on the right wing, shoot as many shots as possible in 55 seconds off of a pass. You must move seven to 10 feet side to side after each shot. At 55 seconds, shoot five to 10 freethrows and move to the center area of the court. Repeat the process and then move to the left wing area of the court. Repeat the drill again.

how can I improve my quickness?

Four Squares

Find a place on the floor where two line intersect. These create four areas that are numbered one through four. Jump 1-2-3-4, then 4-3-2-1. Count the number of times you return to square #1 in thirty seconds. Try to better yourself every day.

Can you give me some advice on crossovers?

Crossing Over

There are two keys to an effective crossover dribble.

First, you need to quickly change the direction of your body - starting left and then going right, past your opponent.

While doing this, the ball must stay very low, as it crosses from one side of your body to the other. The key is in the low and quick "pass" from one hand to the other.

What are gassers?


Suicide drills involves acceleration, deceleration and change of direction. Start on one baseline, sprint to the nearest freethrow line and back. Sprint to the half court and back, sprint to the far free throw line and back, and finally to the far baseline and back. At the end of each sprint, your foot must touch the line before you turn and sprint to the next line. Running time should be 30 seconds or less with 90 seconds of recovery time between repetitions.

How can I get in better condition?

Train effectively

To get the results you want, you must train HARD! You must make a commitment to never miss training sessions. Always apply your maximum effort to each drill. Consistency and effort are in your control and are the keys to reaching your performance potential.

What is the shooting w?

The Shooting W

You will need a rebounder for the shooting W drill. Begin by shooting a jumpshot at either elbow off the lane and sprint to either half court corner. Sprint back to the free throw circle or top of the key for another jumpshot. Then sprint to the midcourt circle and back to the key and repeat another jumpshot in the free throw circle. After the second shot, sprint to the opposite half court corner and back for a third jumpshot at the free throw circle or top of the key. If you miss a shot, grab the rebound for a short follow shot. If you make the shot, your rebounder will rebound the ball. Three shots equal one set. Work up to three to five shots. Shoot three to five freethrows and repeat the drill.

how can I improve my quickness?

Wall Passing

A good way to increase both hand quickness and hand-eye coordination is with wall passes. Stand in front of a wall and pass the ball hard against the wall, catching it upon its return. As you improve your hand coordination, decrease the distance you stand from the wall so that the ball will come back more quickly and you have to react more quickly.

how can I improve my quickness?

Enhance Movement Efficiency

The ability to change direction quickly and move laterally or backwards with minimal loss of speed is contingent upon two factors: (1) an athlete's ability to send a message from brain to the body about how and when to react; and (2) how well an athlete can coordinate upper and lower extremities while maintaining balance and speed of movement. Incorporating agility drills that focus on coordination and reaction time will help in enhancing movement efficiency.

What is the 17 sprint drill?

The 17-Sprint Drill

For the 17-sprint drill, you begin on the sideline and sprint to the opposite sideline. You repeat the drill for a total of 17 sprints. Across and back equals two sprints, so you will finish on the opposite side where you started. After you rest for two to three minutes, you perform another set of 17 sprints.

What is the wall run?

The Wall Run

The wall run is a great way to condition for basketball. Begin with your arms straight out against a wall. Drive your knees up as high as possible with good forward body lean. When doing this drill, drive your knees up as fast as possible staying on your toes. Perform the drill in 15 to 30 second intervals. Work for 15 seconds and rest for 30 seconds for 10 repetitions.

What is the four corner drill?

The Four-Corner Drill

The goal of the four-corner drill is to perform it in the shortest amount of time possible. Start in one corner of the court and sprint to the opposite baseline. Now, slide as you would when you are on defense against another player to the corner. Back pedal to the starting baseline and finish by sliding across the starting baseline. Do not cross your feet when you slide. Be sure you are facing down court during the entire drill. Recover for 90 seconds between repetitions.

What is the 300 yard shuffle?

The 300-Yard Shuffle

The 300-yard shuffle is based on the distance of a regulation basketball court. You begin by starting behind the baseline and sprint to the opposite freethrow line. Touch the freethrow line with your foot and sprint back to the baseline. A total of six trips up and back completes 300 yards. Rest for five minutes and repeat the drill.

how can I improve my quickness?

Reduce Ground Time Contact

To develop quicker movements for various drills, a basketball player should strive to reduce the amount of time spent on the ground when performing drills. Whether a player is fresh or fatigued while performing a drill, the goal should be to move the feet quickly and forcefully while constantly spending the least amount of time possible on the ground.

how can I improve my quickness?

Front-Back Catch

Pass the ball from in front of your body to behind it between your legs. Move your hands quickly to behind your body to catch the ball before it hits the ground. Once you have caught it, pass it back to the front of your body through your legs and catch it again.

how can I improve my quickness?

Ball Jumps

Stand next to a basketball with your feet together. Jump back and forth (sideways) over the ball as quickly as possible. Go for thirty seconds, counting the number of times that you return to the starting point. Try to better yourself every day.

how do I defend on the ball?

Wall Sits

A great exercise for increasing the strength and stamina needed in the legs for defense is wall sits. Take a position as if you were sitting in a chair with your back flat against a wall but with nothing underneath you to support your weight. Gradually build up the amount of time that you can do this.

how can I improve my quickness?

Side Catch

Place the ball between your legs with one hand holding it in front of your body and the other behind. Let the ball go and switch the position of your hands, front to back and back to front, and catch the ball before it hits the ground.

how can I get stronger?

Advantages of Basketball Strength Training

Participating in strength training and conditioning for basketball will help you be the best player possible, and could give you that extra edge to win a championship. Attaining strength and power through weight training will not only help your body resist injury (very important during the long season), but also allows you to gain the stamina necessary for basketball's physical play.

how can I improve my quickness?

Bench Jumping

Either face a bench that is about one and a half feet high or stand beside it. You can either jump over and back or sideways. Feet should be kept together. Go for thirty seconds and count the number of times that you return to the starting point. Attempt to increase the number every day.

how can I improve my quickness?

Lane Shuffle

The lane shuffle is a progressive drill that is outstanding for developing body control and coordination. You shuffle across the foul lane from one line to the other, first touching the line with your outside hand, the second time touching the line with the inside hand forcing a crossover step, then, the third time, touching the line with both hands. The drill can be run for a set time period with players counting the number of times they touch the lines.

How do I get in shape for basketball?


The game of basketball requires running. If you can't run, you can't play. The most horrible loss you can have as a team is when you just get outlasted by the opposing team. You must get in shape for basketball, in which the game is full of sprints and stops; this is how you must train... lots of sprints and lines, resting in between. Remember, "no pain, no gain"!

whn should I start weight training

When to start

Start only after a thourough check up from their advice is prior to high school just use resistance against own weight...(push ups, pull ups, sit ups) and tons of stretching( REAL IMPORTANT TO BE FLEXIBLE)...BODY MASS WILL INCREASE WITH AGE..DON'T RUSH IT...
Secondly, when they start lifting weights...always exercise both sets of muscles e.g. biceps AND triceps...push/pull group...hamstrings and Quads...etc...
go the case of Football...neck rolls combined with light weights will help the neck
But GO SLOW..and use full extension...contrary to popular opinion...not how heavy you lift...better to have more reps ( with full extension) with Light weights rather than a few lifts of Heavy weights...i.e. let the body develop as a result of GOOD NUTRITION rather than weights and the other stuff at an early age...good luck!

how can I improve my quickness?

Cobra Drill

When you are practicing with a partner, you can work on your hand quickness with this drill. Both of you stand inside the jump circle in a defensive stance. Try to hit the inside of each other's knees while remaining inside the circle. Whoever touches the inside of the other's knees an agreed to number of times is the winner.

how can I improve my quickness?

Hand Claps

Start holding a basketball. Toss it up, clap your hands twice, then catch the ball. Repeat, clapping twice. Continue to increase the number of times that you clap your hands. See how many times you can clap your hands and still catch the ball.

How can I get in better condition?

Plyometric Exercises - Super Effective When Done Properly

Always wear cross-trainers or basketball shoes when conditioning, as this supports your ankles during cutting drills. If you're participating in jumping drills (called plyometrics), then always perform them on grass or thick exercise pads and mats. Weight training exercises should be performed using slow and controlled movements. Try to use mostly machines to ensure maximum safety.

How can I get in better condition?

Catching a Medicine Ball

Prior to a catch, make sure that you:
keep your arms extended, keep your hands together, keep eyes on the ball, reach out to meet the ball prior to making contact, and do not attempt to catch balls thrown wildly.

how can I get stronger?

Keep it simple

Use basic drills to improve your basketball performance. Running stairs, suicide runs, and interval training are time-tested and great ways to get in "basketball shape". In fact, playing and practicing basketball is the BEST way to get in "game shape". If you participating in weight training to develop your strength, use simple exercises like lunges, step-ups, push-ups, pull-ups and sit-ups.

how can I improve my quickness?

Mimic Basketball Skills

A basketball player's quickness and agility program would include drills which emphasize lateral movement, change of direction, and sudden starts and stops (with or without ball) because these movement patterns are specific to the sport of basketball. By implementing these drills, inevitably, a basketball player's skill acquisition is enhanced.

What are some of the best exercises for basketball conditioning?

Basketball Conditioning

Running is always a good exercise for conditioning in basketball and for any sport. Both distance running and sprinting. The distance will build up your stamina, which is important at the end of the game and withstanding a long season. Sprinting builds strength and is the type of running you will be doing, there are a lot of short burst of running in basketball. Weightlifting is another good exercise for basketball. You want to work on all areas of the body because you use so many of your muscles for the different movements and skills in the sport. Jumping rope is an excellent basketball exercise for conditioning. It builds coordination, stamina, and improves your jumping ability.

how can I improve my conditioning?

Medicine Balls For Basketball Training

To ensure personal safety and good technique while doing medicine ball exercises the following points should be remembered: Complete throws with full extension of the arms. On standing exercises, plant your feet before beginning to throw the ball. Always use the full joint range in the correct sequence in carrying out each exercise. Maintain technique - do not sacrifice control for distance. Inexperienced athletes should not take the ball too far back behind the head when carrying out overhead throws. When picking up a ball, ensure the knees are bent and the back is kept straight. When carrying out exercises lying on your back, ensure the lower back always remains in contact with the surface.


Learning to Improve Your Basketball Jump

It is very important to be able to jump high when playing basketball. You will want to learn how to jump higher in basketball to improve your game. There are several different ways to do this, but the main one is by training your leg muscles to improve your jump.

One easy way to improve your vertical jump is by performing exercises known as jumping drills. You do not want to do the same exercise over and over again. This will quit working to improve your skills after a bit. That is why drills are the best way to go. You do several different exercises switching back and forth between them during your workout session. You will want to repeat these everyday for the best results. Always make sure you stretch well before and after your plyometrics basketball workout. This will help your jumping as well.

One of the best jumping exercises is squat jumps. You simply squat down to the ground and then jump up as high as you can over and over. You will want to swing your arms with this to help you along the way. Jumping up on a box that is tall and then back down to the floor is also a great exercise. Think of other ways that will improve jumping and get started on your circuit workouts daily.

how can I improve my conditioning?

Finish on a positive note

if the last thing that players do at practice before they hit the locker room and go home is something that they do not enjoy (or even dislike!), that is what they will be talking about until the next practice comes around. A negative atmosphere may be brewing, without even knowing it. A much better method is to end practice on a positive note, and have everyone looking forward to getting back to work at the next practice.

how can I improve my conditioning?

Condition with a ball

I prefer to do most of the conditioning with a ball, or by doing some activity that works on a basketball skill. We might do an intense full court dribble drill, offense vs. defense, a full court passing drill or some type of transition drill. One of my favorites is playing full court 3 on 3, no dribble. Watch how fatigued they get running, trying to get open, pivoting to protect the ball, and defending all of the above. Players focus on the activity and skill, rather than thinking that they are just “conditioning”.

how can I improve my conditioning?

Intense practices

During the season it is best to do a majority of your conditioning within the body of the practice. Practices should be intense and physical enough that they are actually more difficult than the games. It is a good idea to mix in some conditioning in between drills at various times throughout practice.

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Ray Lokar