An athletic build is desired by many, it is similar to that of a bodybuilder but they are not the same. While a bodybuilder is built for size and strength an athletes body is built for power, speed, quickness, explosiveness and agility. Typically the body of a bodybuilder is more bulky, sometimes VERY bulky. The body of an an athlete is usually more slight. Then there is a grey area where some athletes look like bodybuilders. If you want an athletic build you need to train like an athlete does. These are the top 10 exercises athletes do to give you an athletic build.
1) Power Cleans
Power cleans and other types of cleans are a mainstay in most athletic programs. Cleans are a total body exercise that use your quads, calves, hamstrings, glutes, spinal erectors, deltoids, traps, and forearms, as well as the core muscles that come into play to stabilize your spine throughout the movement. Cleans develop power and explosiveness essential to an athlete. If an athlete could only do one exercise this would probably be it and if you can only do one exercise to achieve an athletic build this should be it as well.
Squats are the king of the lower body exercises. Any athlete who needs power in his lower body is doing squats. Don’t be one of those people with a built upper body and chicken legs. Squats target a number of different muscle groups all over the body: the core muscles including the abdominals and lower back, the glutes, and the thigh muscles. Hit the squats hard and hit them often.
3) Bench Press
If the squats are king of the lower body the bench press is the king of the upper body. Athletes that need upper body power use this as a mainstay of their training. The bench works the chest, shoulders, triceps, and even the abs are used to help generate power and stability. Whether you do it with a barbell or dumbbells the bench press is a must.
Sprints are another biggie in an athletes training, athletes not only want power and explosiveness but as the old saying goes “speed kills!” Speed can be a huge asset to to many athletes, whether it is going deep on a passing route, a fast break in basketball, or stealing second base in baseball, having speed is essential. Not only does sprinting build speed but doing sprints in interval training will burn fat like crazy which we talked about in this article. If you haven’t noticed pretty much all sprinters have athletic build.
5) Core Training
Athletes need to have a strong core and I am sure you are looking to have a six pack with your athletic build so you will need to do core training. Hanging leg raises, planks (both front and side) and crunches will get your core tight and strong.
6) Chin ups
Chin ups are common exercise for many athletes as part of their training to improve pulling movements, they will also help you get that nice V-shape we all love.
7) Shoulder Press
Strong shoulders are a must in many sports for pushing movements. Shoulder presses not only work the deltoids but the triceps, lats and traps as well, they are also a must for an athletic build.
Rows build strength for pulling movements useful in wrestling, football and other sports. They work primarily the lats and traps as well as the biceps and shoulders. Doing rows add thickness to the back muscles.
9) Close Grip Bench Press
The close grip bench is used for athletes to strengthen pushing movements, unlike the bench press the close grip bench press focuses on the triceps as the primary muscle rather than the chest.
Lunges are widely used to build strength in the quads, glutes and hips. They will also help you get a nice round butt we all like.
Honorable mention- Plyometrics
Plyometrics are very popular with athletes to build explosiveness, quickness and agility. They involve many different jumps and other movements. The most common type of plyometrics you see a conventional gym is usually box jumps. Use caution when doing these as they can lead to injury if you are not in good shape or do them incorrectly.
There you have the top 10 exercises you need to get you an athletic body. Notice all the exercises on the list are compound movements that use multiple muscles at the same time. Athletes generally do not do isolated movements like bicep curls or calf raises as part of their every day training, you can feel free to mix in movements like that if you desire however.