Athletic Development Exercises

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Last Updated on November 8, 2022 by admin

You want to be the best that you can be. For any athlete who wants to compete in their sport, they need to train hard. Training is as much about training in your specific discipline as it is about improving your athletic ability. Improving your athletic ability includes a wide array of exercises and activities, but you will often find that you can train with similar exercises across multiple disciplines.

When we set out to find the best athletic exercises, we looked for those which would benefit the largest number of athletes. The exercises below are great no matter what sport you are competing in. Let’s take a look.

Overhead Squat

This is a great exercise for improving your overall strength along with pinpointing the strength in your legs. This exercise will help to improve your overall mobility, and you can scale the exercise up to add more weight as you become comfortable with the weight which you are using.

When performing an overhead squat, you are working your ankles, hips, spine, and shoulders, working the mobility in each of those joints. Be sure to start with a small amount of weight and add additional weight when you feel comfortable and are performing the exercise with good form.

Box Jump

The great thing about this exercise is that you do not need to find a lot of specialized equipment to perform the exercise. You can do this exercise anywhere where you have a surface to jump up onto.

With your feet planted firmly on the ground, you jump up onto the platform, bending your knees to absorb some of the impact. This is a great exercise for adding explosive power to your legs and improving your jumping ability. Once you have good form and are comfortable with the jump, you can progress to higher heights.

Single Leg Squat

This is a great exercise for improving your strength, stability, and mobility (something which is of great benefit in almost every sport). When you are performing a sport, you spend a lot of your time on one leg so improving your ability when on one leg is going to be a great benefit. Place one leg out in front of you, keeping the leg horizontal and unbent.

Squat down with the other leg as far as you can go without falling over. Bend down slowly and back up slowly. Work on your form first before upping your reps. Switch between legs. If you want to add some challenge, you can squat as slowly as you can or hold some weights in your hands.


You cannot hear the word lunges without grimacing. They are well known as being painful and often boring exercises, but they are one of the best for improving your athletic abilities and building strength. Along with strength, lunges are going to add power to your mobility and enhance your flexibility. Lunges are great for lower body movement and, when you are happy with your form, you can perform your lunges with weights in your hands.


A classic strength and conditioning exercise. When you hold your body in a plank position, you work your entire core which is great for overall strength. You also work your upper body muscles, such as the arms and shoulders. If you participate in a sport where upper body strength and mobility is important, then push-ups should be an integral part of your athletic regime.

Soldier Crawls

Also known as lizard or bear crawls, these exercises are great for your overall body mobility. Stay as close to the ground as possible while using your lower legs and arms to propel yourself forward. When you are moving, your legs and arms should alternate. When you are pushing with your right hand, you should also push with your left leg and vice-versa.

You should look similar to a soldier when you are crawling along the ground. Imagine that there is barbed wire above you to help keep yourself low. Along with promoting mobility, this exercise is great for improving your coordination, strength, and core stability.

Wall Squats

If you are doing it right, wall squats are going to hurt, but they are also going to give you explosive leg power and great muscle definition. Stand to face a wall, as close to the wall as possible. Place your hands above your head and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Stand back up without falling back. If you are involved in a sport which involves jumping, this exercise is going to be of great benefit to you. The exercise will improve your ankle and hip mobility, and leg strength.

Mixing It Up

To achieve greatness in sport, you have to work on many athletic development exercises. The goal as an athlete is to maximize the number of skills which you have and which are relevant to your sport. Your exercise program should reflect that and should contain many, if not all, of the athletic exercises listed above. Athletic exercises are all about conditioning. The more you do the exercises, the better your form is going to be, and the more effective the exercise is going to become.


Athletic development exercises are an important part of athlete training. It is only when your body is trained that you can perform at a high level. As an athlete, you need a well-rounded program if you are going to want to perform at a high level. This means sports training, mental training, and athletic development.

Your athletic development program should focus on strength, flexibility, conditioning, and mobility. When you combine this with nutrition, hydration, sleep, and recovery, you are on your way to conditioning your body to perform in all situations.

Take some of the exercises from our list or take them all. Each one will target a specific set of muscles and joints. Repeating them is going to improve your form. Once you are adept in the exercise, you can begin to challenge yourself.