How can I add strength and endurance training into one basketball workout?

There is a simple yet effective way to enhance both strength and endurance into one's basketball workout - Incorporate Power training.  Power training enhances strength, but also endurance, speed, agility, and more. When looking at the specific task of basketball it is important to choose power movements that look and feel like basketball. 

A quick limited example of foundational movements for basketball might include squatting, jumping, running, lunging, and pushing. Now let's put these moves together in a 3 round circuit sequence. For this circuit we will use speed and load as variables. We will want to maximize how many repetitions the individual can perform in 24 seconds (I chose the NBA shot clock time frame). This means that the load (weight) utilized needs to be appropriate for lasting 24 seconds while moving as fast as possible.

  • BW Squats
  • Vertical Jumps with Varying foot placements
  • DB 3D Lunge and Reach (Reach DBs anterior to body at knee, chest, overhead heights)
  • MB Alt Chest Pass w/Rotation
  • 20 yd. Sprint

I will give you a great drill to add some strength and endurance training into a basketball workout. This will be called a static lunge dribbling drill. Simply put yourself into a lunge position. If you are unfamiliar with this position Google lunge with pictures most will be accurate. The ideal position though is both legs at what is called right angles or 90 degree angles. Hold this position with your legs. With your arms you will be doing a crossover dribble between underneath your forward leg for a series or repetitions. You will then take one step forward after you complete the desired repetition and do it again. I would start with 10 reps and then work on increasing. This will help you develop leg strength and stamina while allowing you to work a dribbling drill.

Great question. There are many avenues of approach, so I will offer one suggestion. One avenue would be to wear a light to moderate weighted vest and utilize the length of the basketball court to conduct the following exercises: sprint the length of the court, then do weight vest push-ups, then do weighted jump squats, then sprint the court's length, then repeat. Hope that helps. Remember, keep it simple.

You can add strength and endurance training into a basketball workout by incorporating push-ups in addition to sprints, and then bicep curls with resistance bands. The best way to increase the overall fitness of the body is to always challenge muscular and cardiovascular system in new and effective safe ways.

Having to add something to a basketball workout can be challenging. Strength and Endurance can be achieved with functional training. USE THE BALL!!! Even though it is light weight it can be used as resistance. Here are 3 examples of what you can do using the Basketball:

1) MEDICINE BALL PUSHUPS: Do medicine ball pushups using one basketball under one hand and then alternating hands. This will give you an angle and help with stability and endurance. Adding this as a part of the routine during shooting hoops can increase stamina, endurance and resistance. This will help with building the total body and endurance. NOTE: Many athletes do this with a medicine ball.

2) MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS: Add mountain climbers to the warm up routine. Whatever warm-up you do, add mountain climbers. Mountain climbers are a great way to work the lower abdominals, back, arms and legs, building endurance for running on the court.

3) HORIZONTAL JUMP: From a squat position, holding the ball, jump forward. Jumping is a great way to build endurance and resistance, especially for a basketball player. Jumping from one place to another is a great exercise. This is the Horizontal Jump, if you do this across the floor, you will build endurance and strength. 

If you add any of these in between shooting hoops, running the floor and warming up, you will see an increase in strength and endurance. 

**NOTE: Many endurance and resistance exercises can be found on or on you tube check "NASM Exercises". Please know that all fitness information is subjective. Always double check any fitness information you obtain especially if you plan on working alone and check with your Doctor before beginning any fitness program.


Mike Elliott
Lower body strength and endurance can be a basketball player's livelihood.  Try coupling strength and stability exercises together on leg days in a superset.  For example, pair a 2-legged dumbbell squat with a single leg squat touchdown on an airex pad.  Or perhaps a single leg press followed by a single leg romanian dead lift on a 1/2 foam roll.  Another maybe be a single leg knee extension followed by a rotational step-up onto a box with an airex pad on it.  Lifts such as these that incorporate a strength exercise (8 to 10 reps) followed by a stability exercise (10 to 12 reps) for the same muscle are a good way to train for strength and endurance in the same workout.  An easier way to think about it is a 2-legged exercise followed by a single leg exercise for the same body part.
Supersets are a great way to incorporate both strength and endurance into your workout routine.  Try supersetting a stable strength exercise with a less stable exercise for the same muscle or muscle group.  For example, do 8 to 12 repetitions of a bench press followed by 10 to 12 push-ups on a stability ball.  Choosing a superset for your legs, chest, back, and shoulders creates a very challenging progression that incorporates strength, stability, and endurance training into one routine.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.