The most recent Ask The Expert is up at  Matthew Allinson hosted a certified strength and conditioning specialist named Joseph McAuliffe.  McAuliffe has been a fitness professional for almost a quarter of a century and is the Program Director of Edge Sports Academy and Health Club in Eatontown, NJ. He has trained over 300 Division I scholarship athletes in virtually every sport and boasts a star-studded client list of professional athletes that spans Olympians to the WNBA to MLB and the NFL. Most notably, he trains NFL rookie Donald Brown—the former University of Connecticut standout and Indianapolis Colts backup running back who most recently appeared in Super Bowl XLIV.

Here are a couple of good basketball-related Q&A’s in the piece:

(5) How applicable are powerlifiting exercises for elite basketball players? Do you think powerlifting is overly excessive for basketball players, in that basketball is largely a finesse-driven game?

I work with lots of basketball players and none of them do powerlifting routines, as they are way to extreme for the usually tall, lanky player. However, the squat, bench press, and deadlift exercises are very effective to help a player develop size, strength, speed, and power. Sets, reps, intensity, frequency, and tempo are all different for different ages, genders, and ability levels. When these lifts are appropriately used, they also prevent injuries.

(6) What tips can you give to basketball players seeking to increase their vertical leap?

The vertical leap can be improved with explosive power training exercises like Olympic lifts, plyometrics, and dynamic stretching. The squat also aids in developing leapers, as it teaches good extension (thrusting) of the hips. The more an athlete can lift over his/her body weight, the easier it is to overcome their own gravity against the ground. The greatest leapers I have ever trained all squat 1.5 times their weight. Donnie Brown squats more than triple his weight and can jump 42 inches.