I’ve gotten a lot of free information from the internet in my time and I hope to continuously add my own bits of information here and there for others in turn! Here is my list of go-to exercises for a decently rounded strength programme for athletes.

Plyometrics

If you’re an athlete, you have to be doing some form of plyometrics! Three things to consider:

  • Be explosive
  • Land well
  • Make sure to do variations on one leg

Here are 2 of my go-tos:

Linear bounds

Lateral bounds

Lower Body

Key points! Try to lift:

  • As heavy as you can
  • As smoothly as you can (jerky, slow movements mean you’ve gone too heavy)
  • While breathing
  • On one leg or in a split stance

My number one choice here is the split squat. It gets the knees bending, the ankles dorsi-flexing and the hip flexing and extending. Lots of wins.

Upper Body

Push-ups – doable everywhere and there are just so many variations, why complicate things?

In order to balance all this pushing, it’s a good idea to do some pulling. DB Rows are a fun way to get strong.

In order to get out of mostly sagittal plane movements, adding in this chop series is highly recommended.

Other

I’m loosely categorising everything else as ‘other’. What we don’t have above are overhead actions. Things like chin-ups and overhead presses can come in here. However, we also don’t have much free bodyweight movement. So I’m going to give a couple of exercises that focus more on that area, combining the core (if you feel that was missed above) and overhead reaching.

First up is the bear crawl. No adult likes it – so of course all my adult clients get given it.

Inchworm – this one is great for hamstring flexibility and shoulder and core stability.

Lastly, I’m going to finish with a mobility trio of movements. Being able to get into a deep spiderman position is a particularly good sign for hip health. I learnt this through Mike Boyle’s internship and it follows me into every year as still being super useful and effective.

Putting it all together

So how do structure this as one piece? Assuming you put it all together in one workout, I would normally superset it something like this:

Superset 1 x 1 set

  • Spiderman-hamstring thoracics x 3ea
  • Inchworm x 5

Superset 2 x 3 sets

  • Linear bounds x 5 ea
  • Lateral bounds x 5 ea

Superset 3 x 3 sets

  • Split squats x 8 ea
  • Push-ups x 8

Superset 4 x 3 sets

  • DB Row x 8 ea
  • Bear crawl over 10m
  • Inline chops x 8 ea

Repeat the above for 3-6 weeks, trying to increase the quality of your reps or the load (how much weight you use). Then change the rep count, the number of sets or the variations. There are endless options when you take a template like this and tweak it every month rather than trying to come up with new exercises all the time. It may be a little boring and certainly does not provide as much stimulus as a more complete programme but for a beginner or someone who just needs something to get them going or maintain their physical fitness, this is a fine workout to turn to.

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