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As a basketball player, will weight training slow me down?

No, weight training when done correctly will give you increased strength and power as well as explosiveness. However, when building a strength training program for an athlete that demands speed and explosiveness, speed and explosiveness must be incorporated into the program. The nervous system tells the muscles how fast and hard to fire; the muscles then respond within their capabilities. Use strength training as part of an overall program that includes power training and you will be very happy with the results.

Casey Smith
Sports Medicine
I would argue that weight training will not slow you down, it can help accomplish the opposite, and can increase your speed, lateral quickness and explosiveness.  Weight training can help moderate chronic issues commonly seen in basketball such as knee tendonitis, and low back issues, and can speed recovery from common injuries like lateral ankle sprains.  Find a way to incorporate regular strength training into your practice sessions and see what a difference it can make.
No. This is a common myth that is especially pervasive within the basketball community. Strength is the foundation from which you build speed and power.  Although muscular individuals have more weight to move, they also have more muscle to move it with.  If you notice that you are tired after a weight training session, try scheduling your resistance training on alternate days or several hours before or after practice.

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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.