In our search for the most effective weight training exercises for athletes, we decided to contact a handful of the country’s best trainers and strength coaches and ask them each one simple, yet ever-perplexing question: What is the single best exercise a ballplayer, fighter or any other sportsman for that matter can do to improve his performance on the field, the court, the track or the ring?
The typical response included lots of head-scratching, and more than one trainer made the point that it’s virtually impossible to pick one single move that trumps all others. Fair enough. So we rephrased the question: If for some odd reason, you were limited to one exercise to prescribe to your athletes, what would it be?
In the end, the trainers came through in fine fashion and delivered the following 10 exercises. Each individual had his own reason for choosing the exercise he did, but overall, any one exercise on the list will work for a number of sports, from football to fighting to sand volleyball on the weekends, provided that sport requires some combination of strength, power, flexibility and conditioning. (All you dart throwers and foosball players out there, sorry, you’re out of luck.) Fortunately, you’re not limited to picking just one exercise. Work several (or even all) of them into your current lifting program and we promise you’ll be that much more of a beast in your chosen sporting arena in no time.