May 272010
 

Strength conditioning is key to excellence in many sports. Wrestling, football, track and field events, and even baseball demand strength to excel. The challenge for athletes is determining the proper exercises for their sport.

Football is one sport which almost demands strength conditioning if you want to play. It does not matter what position you plan to play, whether receiver, defensive tackle, or even the quarterback, you must be strong. You are going to need to be able to physically compete against men who may be larger than you, or faster than you. Strength conditioning can help even the playing field, and give you the edge.

Using football as our example, let us explore the types of exercise you need. In football the core of your strength will come from your legs. You must be able to drive forward, and battle through tacklers arms, or to hold off a rushing linebacker. The best exercise to develop the explosive leg power is the squat. You are simulating the same type of driving motion you are going to use with your legs to power through an opponent.

Strong legs are not enough, you must have the ability to control your opponent with your upper body strength, too. The bench press is the ideal exercise to focus on to get an advantage. It builds powerful arms and chest muscles for pushing away the opposing player, and controlling their movement. If you are on the defensive side of the ball, you must be able to grasp and pull just as strongly. Using cable pull downs, barbell rows, and barbell curls will build massive pulling and holding power.

The dead lift is one of the most power packed exercises a weight lifter can do. You are building powerful buttock and lower back muscles. These muscles are the same ones which will help you throw off an opponent with ease.

While these few examples can be used in almost any sport, the key to strength conditioning is thinking about the movements, and the needs of the game. You then use weight training to build strength in the motions and methods you need for your sport. A basketball player is going to be more concerned about explosive jumping power, and the ability to hold their ground against a bumping player. Customize your workouts to build strength in the areas you need improvement on, and you will soon be dominating on the field or court.

When you workout, work intensely, with mental focus and drive. Always keep in mind the players on other teams are exercising, too. The player who will win in the game is the one who trains and practices with the most intensity. Make that player be you.

Do not allow strength conditioning to become your overwhelming focus in your sport. It is just as important to learn the plays, techniques, and to work on aerobic conditioning and speed. Combining your added power into all other aspects of your game is where excellence is born.

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