6 Most Effective Strength Training Exercises for Athletes 

Strength training is an important part of any workout routine.(Photo by Victor Freitas via pexels)
Strength training is an important part of any workout routine.(Photo by Victor Freitas via pexels)

When it comes to improving your fitness as an athlete, strength training should be your top priority. It allows you to use one or more muscle groups to perform a specific workout, such as squatting or lifting weights.

Due to the many benefits of strength training, it has become a major part of most workout routines, especially for athletes as it helps them become faster, bigger, stronger, and more agile. When your muscles grow in strength, it allows you to run faster, hit harder and perform all types of athletic tasks more efficiently.

Strength is considered the key to athleticism, and with proper and regular strength training exercises, you can improve your performance as an athlete.

The most effective strength training exercises for athletes

1.) One-Arm Rope Cable Row:

This exercise allows perfect pulling movement as it improves your postural stability, grip strength, and single limb movement.

Works on: biceps, back, core and obliques

How to do it?

  • Start by standing straight by facing a cable stack attached with a rope at your chest height.
  • Keep your feet wider than shoulder-width, your head and chest up, and your body absolutely straight.
  • Keep your right arm fully extended holding the rope and your left arm by your side.
  • Now pull the rope towards your midsection, while rotating your body (hips and back) to the side.
  • Hold the position with the weight at the top, and then lower the rope to the starting position. This completes one rep.
  • Repeat with the other arm.

Check out this video:

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2.) Medicine Ball Toss:

The medicine ball toss is an effective low-body power workout. It targets all the crucial triple extensions where your hips, ankles and knees extend to raise you upwards, which is important for power sports.

Works on: glutes, quads, triceps and shoulders

How to do it?

  • Start by taking a semi-squat position with a medicine ball in your hands.
  • Lower your arms so that the medicine ball is near your feet, and then push through your hips and extend both your legs.
  • As you extend your legs, swing up your arms and throw the ball as high and fast as you can above your head.
  • Catch the ball and use that momentum to do the next rep.

Check out this video:

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3.) Bench Press:

The bench press is a common exercise among athletes and it helps to strengthen the muscles of their upper body. This exercise requires a dumbbell or barbell and a flat bench.

Works on: triceps, pectorals and shoulders

How to do it?

  • Lie down on a bench and keep your shoulder blades back behind you.
  • Hold a barbell using an overhand grip by placing your thumbs outside of your closed fist.
  • Make sure your arms are wider than shoulder-width and your upper arm is at about 45 degrees to your body.
  • Now remove the barbell from its rack, while locking your elbows.
  • Do not remove the barbell from the rack directly to your chest.
  • Breathe easily and lower the barbell to your chest.
  • Slowly exhale and press the barbell above your chest and keep your arms extended.
  • Lower the barbell so that it’s just above your chest and in the starting position for the next rep.

Check out this video:

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4.) Burpees:

Burpees are a great strength training exercise where many major muscles of the body are introduced to resistive force that is basically applied using your own body weight. This exercise requires no specialized tools and can be performed anywhere.

Works on: hamstrings, shoulders, triceps, chest, glutes, quads and core

How to do it?

  • Stand straight and keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Your hands should be on your sides.
  • Squat down and keep your palms on the floor just in front of your feet.
  • Now lean forward so that your entire weight is on your hands.
  • Jump and take your legs out behind you so that your toes are on the ground.
  • After jumping, your body should be in a straight line from your head to toe and you should take a pushup position.
  • Perform one full pushup, jump, and keep your feet behind your hands.
  • Now push through your heels, jump and stand in the starting position.
  • Repeat.

Check out this video:

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5.) Prowler: Sled Push:

This strength training push exercise is very important for speed, power development, acceleration mechanics and for your body’s overall conditioning.

Works on: glutes, calves, hamstrings, quads, core, arms and chest

Ho to do it?

  • Start by loading a prowler sled with weights. (Do not overload the sled)
  • Now stand straight behind the prowler sled.
  • Hold each bar with one hand. Make a tight grip.
  • Bend slightly at your waist level.
  • Press your legs into the ground as you push the sled forward.
  • Push the sled for a few seconds, stop and relax.
  • Repeat.

Check out this video:

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6.) Deadlifts:

Deadlifts are effective powerlifting exercises that can improve your body posture and increase your core stability and core strength. This exercise helps to keep your spine, hips, and shoulders in alignment.

Works on: back, glutes, quads, hamstrings, hips and core

How to do it?

  • Stand straight behind a barbell on the ground.
  • Keep your feet hip-width apart.
  • Now slowly bend your knees and hips to grip the barbell.
  • Keep your hips back, chest up, and stand stable on your feet. Also, make sure your lower back is straight and your abdominal muscles are engaged.
  • With a firm grip, pull the barbell up close to your shins and extend your hips and knees at the same time explosively.
  • Now push yourself up through your heels and lift the barbell by taking your hips forward. Make sure to keep your arms straight and lift the weight by getting up on your legs.
  • Hold the position for two seconds and then return the barbell straight down to the ground by flexing your knees and hips slowly.

Check out this video:

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Bottom line:

Strength training isn’t just about weights. You can get the benefits of strength training exercises even using your own body weight. If you haven’t considered trying it, now is the time to begin your strength training workout.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced athlete, strength training will go a long way in improving your performance as an athlete.

Edited by Prem Deshpande