Lower Quarter Injury Prevention and Sports Performance for the In-Season Basketball Player

by Sam Kushner, PT, DPT

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A young woman in athletic gear stands next to a chain fence and dribbles a basketball.

Whether you are just finishing up a basketball season, or heading into the off-season, injury prevention should have a place in your routine. Here we share a training focus with you, along with exercise examples that you can add to your regular training, with frequency and focus tailored to where you are in your season.

Let’s quickly jump right into it by understanding 3 key differences between off-season training vs. in-season training.

Training Frequency

  • Off-season: 3-6x/week
  • In-season: 2x/week (or 3 if less experienced with resistance training)
    • to provide complemental mechanical stress to tissues while not overloading then in congruence with sport-specific training (practices, games, etc.).
    • Lower frequency is also more realistic for consistency purposes as well. Consistency is key in any training program in order to see results!

Training Focus

  • Off-season: long duration, high volume, high intensity
    • In other words, long training sessions, with a large variety of exercise variations at high weight/effort
  • In-season: short duration, lower volume, still high intensity
    • In other words, continuing relatively heavy weight/high effort to maintain off-season gains, but fewer exercise variations performed throughout a shorter training session.
    • These parameters will allow for more consistency, while avoiding excessive soreness or fatigue during practices and games that may affect sport performance.

Type of Exercise

  • Off-season: a large exercise menu with more of an emphasis on building muscle size, strength, power and overall conditioning.
  • In-season: similarly to concepts from above, we want to combine a small group of exercise variations that promote injury prevention and performance optimization.
    • Ideally, we want our exercise selection to be specific to sport demands, positional demands, and individualization to the athlete.

Exercise Examples

The exercises below are a great place to start to enhance basketball-specific performance and injury prevention!

3-Way Jab

Lateral Lunge w/ Forward Press

Broad Jump Squat Jump w/ Stick

Lateral Bound w/ Stick

If you’re already experiencing lower quarter (hip, knee, ankle) pain at this time, please refrain from performing these exercises and give us a call to set up a formal evaluation with a licensed physical therapist!

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