In order to improve strength, speed, power, and overall sports performance, you need to be spending 3-5 days per week strength training in the weight room. And when you’re in there, not a single exercise should be wasted. Everything you do should serve a purpose for success on the field or on the court.
With so many exercises to choose from, which exercises are the most effective to improve your performance as an athlete? We have them listed below. Be sure to revolve your strength training regiment around these five different exercises. Each exercise should be performed on a separate day:
1) Squat – This exercise is arguably the king of all lower body strength training movements… and it should be. The squat is an exercise that focuses on speed, power, and strength. Every muscle group from the lower body is being worked upon each rep, starting from the muscles in your calves all the way up, through your hips.
Have you ever seen that running back in the backfield whose legs are too big for most guys to wrap their arms around? That guy does not skip a single squat session in the gym. Ever wonder why he is so fast and takes three or four tacklers to bring him down? You guessed it… squats. This power movement is the ultimate lower body exercise to improve sports performance and make you a force on the field.
2) Deadlift – The deadlift would be considered as an all-around, full-body exercise. When pulling a plate-loaded bar off of the floor your body is activating every muscle fiber from the calves, through the quads, to the lower back, and all the way up through the upper traps. Talk about covering nearly every muscle group. This exercise is an all-around strength builder. Its short range of motion allows you to move massive amounts of weight and develop mighty amounts of strength.
3) Hang Clean – Do you want to build speed? This movement is going to require a deadlift motion (to start) and lead into a small jump and catch of the bar with your hands, just above the top of the chest. Not only will this movement build speed but will also improve your vertical leap. This movement is great for defensive backs, wide receivers, basketball players, and other positions that require jumping on game day.
4) Push Press – If you are wanting to increase shoulder, tricep, and core strength then this exercise is for you. Your shoulders play an important role in the power of your baseball swing and the power of your volleyball spikes. To perfect this movement you will start with the bar resting on your chest from an upright standing position and press the bar over your head. You will quickly feel the tightness in your core as you stabilize the bar overhead.
5) Bench Press – Your chest controls the movement of your arms across and in front of your body. Football players will find tremendous value in this movement, especially offensive and defensive linemen who are pushing their opponent away from them on every play. You want to be strong and control your opponents, don’t let them control you. Your strength on bench press will be an important factor in your ability to shed blocks or defend your quarterback on the field.
Be sure to add these five power and speed building exercises so you can perform on the field with confidence and dominance!