4. Poor Man’s Glute-Ham Raise
Perfect for: Football (or Baseball or Basketball)
You’ll notice that a lot of these exercises are working the hamstrings and glutes. That’s because those are two of your biggest muscle groups (along with your quads), and they’re where you get your power. Think about it: who are the fastest and most powerful athletes in football? The running backs. And what do they have? Huge glutes and hamstrings. Almost like horses. To get your own big backside, do the poor man’s glute-ham raise. Kneel down on a pad, have someone hold your ankles and slowly descend to the floor. As soon as your hamstrings and glutes can’t take anymore, return to the starting position and repeat. Training solo? Get creative like the guy in this video.
5. Sledgehammer Swings
Perfect for: Boxing (or Golf or Wrestling or MMA)
For a great upper-body exercise that also involves the hips and core, there’s nothing better than pounding a sledgehammer against a tire. Believe me, this is going to help you a lot more in your sport than, say, the bench press. It’s going to develop strength in your hands, forearms, biceps, triceps, back and shoulders. As for chest strength, that’s overrated in most sports. Look at boxers, football players and MMA fighters—they’re thick in their backs. That’s where the power and strength come from. Plus, if you vary your sledgehammer strikes, you’ll be simulating everything from a golf swing to a baseball swing to a knockout punch. In all of those, remember the golden rule: lead with your hips.
Jay Cardiello is Made Man’s fitness and nutrition expert. As a top certified strength and conditioning coach, personal trainer and sports nutritionist, Cardiello has helped Hollywood A-Listers, Fortune 500 CEOs and NFL players sculpt the best bodies of their lives. Learn more at jcorebody.com. Got a question for him? Email us here, with ASK JAY in the subject line, and he’ll do his best to address it in a future column.