Top 5 Exercises That Increase Athletic Performance

Want to build power and athleticism?

It’s going to be really tough to do if you’re not performing the right exercises.

That’s why we teamed up with MusclePharm’s Coach Loren Landow.

Coach Landow knows a thing or two about priming athletes for competition.

In fact, if you’re a fan of the NFL Combine, MMA, or the Olympics, you’ve probably witnessed some of his work in his client’s success.

So, listen up.

You’re going to need to start performing these exercises with perfect form if you want to go toe to toe with the best.

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All of these exercises share common characteristics. They’re compound movements that require muscle activation throughout your core. They also all require you to move the weight in explosive manners.

Both translate into better performance in athletics. You need a strong core as it is the foundational base to all movement. You also need explosiveness as most athletic sports call for quick bouts of explosive energy at various points throughout the contest.

Let’s break down each of these 5 exercises.

1. Deadlift

The first exercise up is the traditional deadlift. Start with your feet in a hip width position with the bar tight to your shins and an over/under hand grip. Keeping your back flat and core engaged, initiate the pull by driving through your heels.

Related: Sport-Specific Speed for Big Men - Improving Acceleration

The benefits of the deadlift are posterior-chain activation, total body strength, grip strength, torso strength, and great shoulder stability.

2. Back Squat

Next up is the back squat with a slight pause at the bottom of the motion. Every time Coach Landow tells an athlete to get in position to execute a squat, he tells them to pick out a comfortable stance on their feet. A comfortable stance can vary from athlete to athlete.

After you’ve picked out a comfortable position, squeeze the bar, pull your elbows in towards your rib cage and descend into the squat position as if you were dropping into a bucket. Keep your abdominals braced and extend the torso through the thoracic spine.

Once you meet your maximal depth, drive up through your heels and out of the hole until you’re in an extended position through the hips.

You can experience many benefits by performing the back squat including core, torso, glute, and hamstring strength. Squats are an excellent exercise for total body strength development.

5 exercises for athletic performance back squat

3. Hang Clean

The third exercise Coach Landow recommends is the hang clean. A great component of the hang clean is that it can be performed from various positions.

For the variation displayed in the video, start with the bar above your knee. Grab a firm grip on the bar and slide your wrist in towards your body. With a slight knee and torso bend, initiate the drive through your heels.

Once the bar reaches the crease position, pull vertically with a lot of velocity. As the bar pulls up, scoop your elbows up and through. Release and safely lower the bar back down to the starting position.

Some of the benefits of the hang clean include total body strength and power, grip strength, and (most importantly) power development of the knee and hip extension.

4. Overhead Medicine Ball Throw

Fourth on Coach Landow’s list is the overhead medicine ball throw. This is a fantastic exercise for power development.

Related: Dominate the Combine - Complete Off Season Football Workout

Start out in a hip width stance with the medicine ball overhead. Rapidly descend into a squat position as the medicine ball drops in between the knees. From here, reverse the position quickly into the extended jump position tossing the ball overhead.

The most important benefit you’ll gain from the overhead medicine ball throw is the speed from the eccentric load to the concentric unload.

5. Open Medicine Ball Rotation

Last, but certainly not least, is the open medicine ball rotation. This exercise is fantastic for developing rotational power important for so many sport activities.

Start off with the ball on your right hip. Next, leverage your foot into the ground. By pushing your foot into the ground hard, rotate your hip towards the wall and release the ball into the wall.

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Conclusion

There you have it, Coach Landow’s top 5 exercises for athletic performance.

Try adding these exercises into your workouts 1-2 times per week for optimal results and recovery.

When performing these exercises, make sure to make technique the number one priority. You should never let fatigue set and should give yourself 48-72 hours of rest before repeating these exercises.

What do you guys think of these exercises? Have any others that you’d add to the list? Put them in the comments section below!

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