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12 Best Legs Workouts And Exercises For Basketball Players

Strength can be a key component and an important part of any basketball player's game, especially in the lower body area.

Having stronger legs can help you jump higher, stay in a defensive stance longer, and make you more explosive in general on the basketball court.

below I will be going over the best exercises you need to add to your basketball workout.

Pro Tip: A lot of these drills and workouts are things you can do at home or with limited equipment.

So if you find yourself wondering how you can do these try and adjust your workout plan and incorporate only the workouts you believe you can do at home.


I think it is important to note that with all of these exercises the reps and weight on them will change depending on your goals with gaining strength.

For example, if you are lifting to gain strength to increase your vertical then you want to be lifting heavy with low reps.

But if you are lifting to improve your overall conditioning then doing higher reps with lower weight will suit you better.


Also, make sure with any of these workouts you do what feels comfortable for you and you do these in a safe environment.

If you are under a certain age and do not have much experience make sure you consult with a professional and someone who can help you perform these exercises safely and effectively.

1. Squat

Why You Should Do It

I don't know of any better exercise to increase your glute strength and athleticism as a whole than a squat.

How To Do It

With a squat, you want to make sure you have a weight you feel comfortable with lifting on your back.

After that, you want to squat down and put most of the weight on the back of your heels and explode back up to the top and repeat until you are done with your reps.

Pro Tip: you can also do a front squat in this position if you want to hit your quads and upper back more.

2. Jump Squat

Why you should do it

The Jump Squat is a great workout you can do to improve your vertical and can also be great at working on your conditioning as well.

You can also do this very easily at home and without much equipment.

How To Do It

To do the jump squat I highly recommend using dumbells and to do this at around 6-12 reps.

When doing this focus on getting down in your squat and exploding up quickly almost like your trying to dunk or get a rebound.

3. Wall Sits

Why You Should Do This

If you find yourself having a hard time staying in a defensive position then this is a great way to train your legs to stay down lower for longer.

How To Do It

To do a wall sit you need to find a wall and have your back to the wall with your hamstrings parallel to the ground like a seating position.

With this drill, you can add weights like a plate or even a medicine ball if you want to make this more challenging. Just make sure you keep your hands off your knees and you keep good form throughout.

Pro Tip: let's say you do not want to use a wall you can then go into a low squat position and hold yourself there.

4. Deadlift

Why You Should Do It

Deadlifts can help increase your muscle mass and strength in the posterior chain of your body and especially your hamstrings.

Studies have even shown that hamstrings are responsible for 25% of your vertical and hamstrings can also be the main factor in your sprinting and running speed.

How To Do It

To do a deadlift your want to start with your weight on the ground. As you go up to the weight pick it up to where both hands are evenly placed on both sides.

After that, you then want to lift that weight mainly using your legs as the main power source.

As your going up make sure you straighten your back and extend your knees.

As you go down make sure it is a slow and controlled movement.

5. Hip Thrust

Why You Should Do It

The hip thrust is an exercise that works on your hamstrings and a lot of your legs as a whole.

With this exercise, you can even work on parts of your core that help stabilizes the entire body so while it is a great lower body exercise it can help work the whole body as well.

How To Do It

With this body, you're going to need to use some type of platform or bench where you can put your legs on while your back is on the floor.

While you are on the floor you then want to extend and push your hips up and really focus on extending your lower body up in the air.

Pro Tip: I also recommend using resistance bands with this exercise as that can help stabilize and make the workout more effective and challenging.

6. Lunges

Why You Should Do It

The lunges are a great exercise to work the whole leg from the glutes, hamstrings, and even quads.

How To Do It

To do a lunge you need to start by extending one leg In front of your body after that you then need to squat down and try and get your glutes as low as possible.

There are many different ways to perform them. You can do these stationary or even do them while walking, I think both work great it is just all up to individual preferance.

Pro Tip: To do the lunge I recommend starting out with a dumbell or even no weights if you can not comfortably do them off both legs.

Also, make sure you work on both legs evenly on both sides.

7. Split Jumps

Why You Should Do it

The split Jump is an excellent way to add the strength component of the lunge while also incorporating plyometrics as well.

How To Do It

To do a split jump you need to get in the same position you would on a lunge but instead, you will then jump up into the air and alternate between legs.

This can be a very hard exercise to master so if need be you might want to just stick with lunges or try not jumping too high on your jumps.

8. Power Clean

Why You Should Do It

A power clean is one of the best exercises to improve your explosive ability in any given sport.

This is also a great substitute for a deadlift for people with back problems or for people who do not love doing deadlifts.

How To Do It

To do a deadlift you want to get into the same position you would with a deadlift by having your knees slightly bent and back straight.

After that, you then want to lift the weight using your legs and exploding to move the weight from having your palms facing the ground to having your palms facing the sky.

This is also one of those exercises that can take a lot of practice and it might be a good idea to have a trainer show you and teach you how to perform this exercise.

9. Jump Rope

Why You Should Do It

While it might seem like a simple exercise this drill can really put a lot of work on your calves and legs as a whole.

This exercise can also improve your footwork, conditioning, and quickness.

How To Do It

This drill can be done in many different ways. Start by getting a jump rope and swinging it around your head and make slight jumps to get over the rope.

Pro Tip: Depending on what you are working on you should change this drill.

For example, if you want it to be more intense try working this drill by only jumping with one leg and swinging the rope faster.

If you really want to work on your conditioning then try and do this drill for longer extended periods like 1-2 minutes for each set.

10. Sprints

Why You Should Do It

If you are an athlete looking to gain explosion then this drill is for you because it really activates and strengthens your fast-twitch muscle fibers. Which are the muscle type responsible for quick and explosive movement.

How To Do It

What is so great about this drill is that you can basically do this anywhere you have enough space.

Start by taking off from one spot and run as fast as you can to the next spot.

Pro Tip: When doing this make sure to record your time week by week so you can see the progress you are making to give you a better idea if your training is working.

11. Box Jumps

Why You Should Do It

Box jumps are a great exercise to improve your jumping ability and even strength in your lower body if you add some kind of weight or resistance.

How To Do It

To do a box jump your a going to need some kind of platform you can jump on. This could be a box, bench, or even your bed if you do not have access to any other equipment,

To begin start by getting in an athletic stance and then jumping onto your platform.

You can use one leg or weight like a medicine ball or even a basketball if you want to add more intensity to this workout.

12. Depth Jump

Why You Should Do It

This is great for athletes who want to work on their pop-up speed when going for a rebound on their jump.

How To Do It

To do this exercise you need to start on top of a platform like your bed or box and then lightly drop down and then pop right back up.

Pro Tip: Make sure you feel comfortable doing this and only do this exercise if you feel strong enough to do so.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Will playing basketball alone be enough to strengthen my legs?

Answer: While basketball alone can be a great workout it does not really put the kind of movement to really strengthen your legs like the weight room can.

If you struggle to get a good workout after you play basketball trying alternating days you play basketball and lifts weights.

Or try and do your workouts spaced throughout the day.

Question: How often should I train my legs for basketball?

Answer: For almost all athletes I recommend doing full-body workouts 3 times a week. So if you are doing a full-body workout then 2-3 times a week should be a good goal to shoot for.

If you like doing more intense exercises then you could look to dropping it to 2 times a week and then split your workouts into an upper-lower body split.


The weight room should be a big part of your basketball workout routine. It can make you a more explosive better athlete as a whole.

And since so many basketball players avoid this part of their game it can be an excellent way to gain an edge up over your competition.

Thank you for reading and as always keep hooping my friends.

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