AWESOME EXERCISES FOR ATHLETES | The most important way for you to become better at your respective sport is through skill development.  Although, a good strength and conditioning program will help too.  Be sure that you’re doing the right exercises and not just wasting your time.

You will need a good combination of exercises that will get you stronger, more explosive, improve your endurance, and prevent injuries.  Be sure that you are performing some of these awesome exercises to become a better athlete.

1) Front Squat

Right away, many of you may be questioning why the front squat would be on this list; and the back squat isn’t.  This is understandable, after all, the back squat is one of the greatest strength builders around.

However, there are some serious advantages for athletes performing the front squat.  Front squats can improve your hip mobility and lower body strength, which is essential for athletic performance.

The two major reasons that athletes should be interested in them is the fact that they more closely resemble the movement pattern you would take to drive through someone.

Front squats are also safer for your lower back. They force you to stay better aligned during the movement, which leads to less risk of injury.

2) Dumbbell Snatch

The dumbbell snatch is a phenomenal exercise for athletes to develop explosive strength and power that translates to the field.  It is a variation of the traditional barbell snatch that has been modified to better suit athletes involved in other sports.

The barbell snatch also is great for developing explosive power, but with one disadvantage; it takes a long time to become proficient.  It could take you an entire offseason to become good enough with the barbell snatch to see results on the field.

The dumbbell snatch is much more forgiving, easier to learn, and therefore will pay dividends much faster.

3) Romanian Deadlift

The Romanian deadlift (RDL) should have a home in every athlete’s strength program.  It targets the, often times neglected, muscles of your posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, and back).  Not training your posterior-chain is a sure fire way to get injured.

Female athletes, in particular, need to be focusing their training on strengthening the muscles of the posterior chain.  Women are much more likely to get knee injuries than men because they are more quadriceps dominant.


High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is not exactly a stand-alone exercise, but it is important for athletes to have in their program.  Performing HIIT workouts will provide 2 major benefits for athletes.

Improved anaerobic and aerobic fitness levels

After you have built your foundation of strength for the upcoming season or event, it’s time to dial in your conditioning levels.

Performing HIIT workouts will train your muscles to operate while tolerating high levels of acidity.  It also helps your ability to resynthesize that acid for fuel and improves your maximal oxygen consumption.

Prevents injury

For the athlete, HIIT workouts are a form of cross training.  This is simply a method of training that differs from your normal athletic training in some way.  HIIT workouts will give your muscles a break and prevent overuse injuries that could be caused by you sports preparation.

HIIT will help you even out muscle imbalances that develop over the course of training.  Think of a shot-putter who constantly uses only one side of their body to throw.  HIIT training will strengthen muscle groups unilaterally.

It’s important to note; athletes should perform HIIT workouts as part of the properly periodized strength and conditioning program.  If you are ready to get your conditioning up, try one of these awesome HIIT workouts to become a better athlete:

HIIT Sprinting Tempo Run
  • 5 Minutes warm-up (constant movement at low-medium-intensity)
  • Perform a 40-yard sprint at max effort
  • Walk back to the starting line
  • Repeat for as many sprints as possible in 10-15 minutes
  • 5 Minutes cool down (static stretching and/foam rolling)
HIIT Elliptical/Bodyweight Workout
  • 5 Minutes warm-up (constant movement at low-medium-intensity)
  • 20 Seconds max effort on elliptical machine
  • 10 Seconds Rest
  • 20 Seconds max effort jumping jacks
  • 10 Seconds Rest
  • 20 Seconds max effort on elliptical machine
  • 10 Seconds Rest
  • 20 Seconds max effort mountain climbers
  • 10 Seconds Rest
  • 20 Seconds max effort on elliptical machine
  • 10 Seconds Rest
  • 20 Seconds max effort jump squats
  • 10 Seconds Rest
  • 20 Seconds max effort on elliptical machine
  • 10 Seconds Rest
  • 1 Minute rest, then repeat 1 more time
  • 5 Minutes cool down (static stretching and/foam rolling)

5) Burpee

This is an exercise that has become synonymous with pain and exhaustion when performed at an unreasonable number of repetitions.  However, the burpee is actually a very effective movement for athletes.

Just like the movement found in many sports, the burpee will train you to get on the ground and back up off the ground as quickly as possible.  By adding them to an HIIT workout, you can really give your conditioning and endurance a boost.

There are many great exercises that can help you improve your athletic performance.  The next time you set up your strength and conditioning program, give some of these exercises a try and you won’t be sorry!

Read: 3 Mental Hacks That Will Help You Boost Your Athletic Performance


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