THE BLOG
03/09/2013 10:44 am ET Updated May 09, 2013

A Workout for Becoming a Better Athlete: Part II

In part one of this series, you learned how to identify the physical needs of your sport, and the key movements that make up most athletic scenarios. And while creating a specific workout for every single sport on the planet is beyond the scope of this blog post, you can guarantee that you'll be able to perform quite proficiently in just about any sport if you can include each of the movements you learned about in part one in just a few workouts a week.

For example, for a full-body, three-times-per-week workout using the exercises in the previous post, you could perform the following:

  • Five- to 10-minute dynamic warm-up (Don't know what a dynamic warm-up is? Check out "What Is the Best Way to Warm-Up?")
  • Three to four sets of six to 10 reps of each of the following, performed as either a circuit, or with 60 seconds to two minutes recovery after each exercise:
    • Vertical Pulling (i.e., pull-up)
    • Vertical Pushing (i.e., overhead press)
    • Horizontal Pulling (i.e., seated row)
    • Horizontal Pushing (i.e., incline bench press)
    • Double or Single Leg Strength (i.e., squat)
    • Lift (i.e. ,deadlift)
  • Three to four sets of six to 10 reps of any or all of the following, performed as either a circuit, or with 60 seconds to two minutes recovery after each exercise:
    • Slams (i.e., medicine ball slams)
    • Throws (i.e., medicine ball throws)
    • Tosses (i.e., medicine ball underhand throws)
    • Jumps (i.e., double leg box jumps)
  • Three sets of 12-15 reps of each of the following:
    • Twists (i.e., cable torso twists)
    • Core flexion (i.e., hanging leg raises)
  • At a separate time of day, or on your "non-lifting" day, do your moving exercises (also known as conditioning), which would include treadmill or cycling intervals, rowing, swimming, sprint repeats etc., preferably with time lengths and rest intervals that are close to what you'll experience while playing your sport.


You can find videos of most of the exercises above by clicking here.

As you can see, a workout to improve sports performance is a bit more complex than a weight-loss workout. But when implemented properly, it can not only help you run faster, jump higher, and push harder, but also keep you from getting injured.

In addition, the number of sets and reps you perform at any given time of year may change depending on whether you're in the off-season, in the competition phase, or in the post-season conditioning phase. You can learn more about this in the two-part series on "How to Train Like an Olympian."

For more by Ben Greenfield, click here.

For more on fitness and exercise, click here.

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