Off Season Basketball Workouts For High School Athletes

basketball court

Strength training plays a vital role in the success of basketball players’ performance on the court. From high school basketball players all the way up to the best players in the NBA, success starts in the weight room. And while professional players have access to any army of strength coaches and specialists, many high school programs are in search of off season basketball workouts for young basketball players looking to take their game to the next level.

We break down the different facets of basketball off season workouts to build and develop athletes who are ready for the various demands of a basketball game and season.

Defining Off Season Basketball Workouts


The beauty of basketball is the endless opportunities available for athletes to improve their game in the off-season. From pick-up games with friends to organized summer leagues and training camps and even ball handling drills in the driveway, the options are endless. All of these basketball training options are great additions to the off-season!


But for the purposes of this article, let’s look at off season basketball workouts in relation to the weight room. Off season basketball workouts are a time when returning players can maximize their potential through a quality off season workout routine. 


More importantly, this all comes at a time when youth athletes are experiencing higher levels of injury because of underdevelopment and overplaying. Here lies a golden opportunity for strength and conditioning to support the total athletic development of young athletes through safe and effective training programs! While athletes might be eager to play more and more basketball, the long-term benefits of strength training cannot be over-emphasized. 


The weight room use to be seen as a place for football players and building muscle mass and size. However, through an off-season training program, basketball athletes can reap the benefits of resistance training for things like increasing strength, power, cardiovascular endurance, and more. Let’s first unpack how off season basketball workouts translate to the court in a myriad of ways.

Littlestown High School
The high school weight room unlocks new levels of success for high school athletes.

Importance of Off Season Basketball Workouts


Your basketball players will reap the myriad benefits of participating in off-season basketball workouts. An effective off-season regime can help build strength, power, control, and capacity and promote injury prevention. Look no further than the various demands on the court to understand why all these elements are essential to develop through resistance training.


For example, basketball players need strength when battling for rebounds, driving to the hoop, or holding ground playing defense. In addition, players need power when jumping for a rebound, sprinting down the court on a fast break, or changing direction to get past a defender. 


However, none of these examples are truly singular moments; they are repeated efforts throughout the game from the first to the fourth quarter. Therefore, off-season basketball workouts can develop the endurance, control, capacity, and mental toughness to endure a full game on the court.


Taking it a step further, off-season basketball workouts can prepare students for the long slog of the basketball season. While strength and power are the exciting aspects of a strength training program, the essential benefits of strength training on injury prevention cannot be left out. A proper basketball offseason can make for a long and successful in-season.

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Comprehensive and Consistent Off Season Basketball Workouts


There are a lot of different factors that go into planning your off season basketball workouts!


Think comprehensive! The goal of an off-season is to take a complete look at what it takes to be great during the in-season. We are talking about the key areas of complete strength, power, speed, control, capacity, durability, and more.


Think consistent! And so that we maximize all of the parts together, it is important we consider starting light, low, and slow with an overall progression of building to heavy, fast and high. Rome was not built in a day, and neither are gains in the off-season.

Bonus Content: Check out PLT4M’s podcast on the Vertical Jump! 

Big Picture Approach Off Season Basketball Workouts


With both comprehensive and consistent in mind, let’s start to put together the pieces of successful off season basketball workouts. At PLT4M, we approach the off-season with the goal of developing a total athlete.


Over the course of the off season program, we place an emphasis on building raw total-body strength through unique phases of the powerlifts and their variations. Simultaneously, we will develop our rate of force production, or “Power”, through different plyometrics, ballistics, and a full progression of the “Clean” movement – utilizing all of it’s variations from the top down. Lastly, we will consistently build durability and work capacity through a blend of hypertrophy training, accessory strength work, and Metabolic conditioning. 


Each weight training day contains a brief warm up (with dynamic movement, mobility, and technique work), pre-hab & activation (injury prevention, core, etc), power development (plyometrics, ballistics, and/or olympic lifts), max strength (powerlifts), accessory strength work (unilateral work, push/pull, etc), and a short “finisher” for capacity and volume, complete with full instruction & explanation.

Sample Workout


Below is a sample workout from PLT4M’s off-season workout program. This is just one workout from a complete program that goes through different cycles and phases for building the complete athlete.


Want to see the full workout program? Reach out to learn more and get a full demo and preview of PLT4M programs!

5:00 for Warm Up

:30 Light Jog/Cardio, then 10 Yards each of…
Walking Lunge
Hurdle Walks
Side Lunge
Quad & Reach
Toe/Heel Walk Shoulder Circles
High Knees
Butt Kicks
75% Sprint x 2
85% Sprint x 2

2:00 for Jumps

8 Single Effort Reps, 4 Each Leg
Increasing in Intensity
Rest and Reset Between Reps

This is more about warming up our broad jump than it is about intense training. Use the snap downs to dial in efficient (and safe!) jumping mechanics on each leg. Start super easy, and increase your intensity over the 8 reps.

3:00 for Broad Jump

Max Broad Jump, 3 Attempts – Log Your Best Score

HOWEVER you and your coach choose to assess and track the broad jump (long jump pit, rubber mat, tape measurer, etc), get 3 reps of a max effort jump and record the best result below. Take your time, rest and reset between reps!


15:00 for Cleans. Rest a good 2 minutes between sets.

Back to our High Hang Power Clean for some HIGH SPEED reps! Weight should be relatively LIGHT, but your effort should be INTENSE. We want to move that bar with explosiveness. Really focus on driving the movement with your hips, not your arms. Each rep is taken from position 1, or the pockets, and caught in a strong 1/4 squat with elbows high.

  • 3 @ 50%
  • 3 @ 60%
  • 3 @ 65%
  • 3 @ 65%
  • 3 @ 65% 

3:00 for Push Up Assessment

MAX Reps in 1 Minute Testing our relative, bodyweight strength/strength endurance, here! Take a few minutes to warm yourselves up, then grab a partner (or coach) to time you and count/judge your reps. Let’s see how many perfect reps we can each hit in a 1 minute time domain. T his will only work if you all hold yourselves and each other accountable to the STANDARDS.
1. Chest (sternum), MUST touch the ground on every single rep.
2. Elbows MUST lock out fully at the top of each rep.
3. Hips MUST NOT sag/touch the ground. Only reps during which all 3 standards are hit should count!

12:00 for Push/Pull/Hinge Superset.

It’s simple – looking to hit some moderate volume/intensity single arm pressing work. We should focus on complete range of motion and total control. Want at least 8 reps per arm, adjust the weight as needed.

Single Arm Dumbbell Bench Press 

8-10 Each20% of max Bench Press
8-10 Each20% of max Bench Press
8-10 Each

20% of max Bench Press

Rear Delt Fly 

Weight is very much secondary, here. Our priority is set up and execution. Be sure to watch the video and move well throughout. Keep it on the lighter side.

8-106% of max Bench Press
8-106% of max Bench Press
8-106% of max Bench Press

Lateral Lunges: Goblet 

These are NOT easy. Lateral lunging is a weirdly difficult movement, but one that is super important in your pursuit of athletic performance enhancement. Keep the weight light enough for super well controlled reps! Perform all reps on one leg, then the other.

6-8 Each10% of max Back Squat
6-8 Each10% of max Back Squat
6-8 Each10% of max Back Squat

If time allows, get some proactive recovery done through a small cool-down session. Couple minutes of super easy cardio (bike/elliptical is great), then some static stretching or foam rolling. Trust us when we say taking 5 minutes to get this done will add up over time much to your benefit!


Key Takeaways On Off Season Basketball Workouts

Off season basketball workouts can unlock basketball players full potential. A few key takeaways to developing an off season workout program include:

  • Be Comprehensive – Focus on total athletic development that allows students to build skills and a tool box of that prepare them for the different positions they will find themselves in the game.

  • Be Consistent – The best strength program, regardless of lifts, sets, and reps planned, is a program that athletes complete on a consistent basis.

  • Be Creative – If your athletes don’t think the weight room will help them improve their game, get creative with the ways you show athletes the connection between the weight room and the court!



Does PLT4M have a plyometric specific training program? 

PLT4M workouts incorporate different progressions for plyometrics! But if there is something specific you want to see in your workouts, coaches can customize and build workouts using PLT4M’s workout builder! 


Is PLT4M just for basketball teams?

No! PLT4M partners with over 1,000 schools in PE and Athletics. Sports teams and physical education classes use the wide variety of different PLT4M programs and training options. 


What should I do in-season? 

Great question! Learn more about our approach to in season training. 

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