Branching out and adding key exercises other athletes favor can make you stronger.
Athletes tend to train for their sports. Runners run, swimmers swim, rowers row. But taking the right pages from another athlete’s book can help incorporate variety into a routine and boost proprioception (your body’s awareness of where it is in space), reaction time, power generation, joint integrity, and individual leg development, says David Otey, personal training manager at Equinox Sports Club in New York City.
To branch out, perform these “sport-specific”, power-building exercises about twice a week—no matter what sport you favor.
Soccer: Dynamic Lunge with Knee Drive
Start in a lunge position with your right knee on the ground behind you and your left finger tips grazing the top of a soccer ball at your side. Drive up explosively through your left leg. Land in a stable lunge position with finger tips on the ball again. Do 10 to 12 reps on each side. Complete 3 rounds with 60 seconds rest between rounds.
Skiing: Skier jumps
From standing position, hop laterally to one side. Landing on single leg, decelerate into lunging position and spring out of loaded position laterally. From acceleration, land on opposite leg in the same manner as previous leg to complete one rep. Do 10 reps, continuing to alternate sides throughout.
Football: Split Squat Jump
Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding football* with both hands in front of you. Lunge right leg behind you, bending both knees, keeping front knee behind toes, and lower ball to just outside left knee. Jump straight up, as you lift the ball overhead, switch legs mid-air, and land lunging with right leg forward, left leg back, and ball to outside of right knee. Repeat to complete one rep. Continue alternating sides for 10 reps. * You can perform this move without the ball. Also, as you progress, try to switch legs back and forth mid-air, so you land with the same leg in front each time.
Rowing: Burpee Side Jump
Stand beside the rower, with feet hip-width apart, arms extended by sides. Bend over and place palms on floor, directly under shoulders. Jump feet back into plank position, and then immediately jump them back toward hands. Stand up and hop over rower, to the other side. Repeat burpee. Do 12 to 15 reps.
Make it easier: Skip the burpee, and perform a squat, followed by a lateral jump.
Make it harder: Add a push-up into your burpee