No matter your reasoning for getting into the lifting game, there’s little doubt that you probably like the idea of not only feeling stronger, but feeling more athletic as well.
Because after all, what good is feeling like your making gains in the gym if you can hardly move, or all of that lifting doesn’t carry over into real life?
I don’t care if you’re not a high school hero, hitting dingers every week. Chances are you’re going to find yourself playing some sort of pick-up basketball, flag football, beer league softball, sand volleyball, or any number of athletic activities.
And when you do, you don’t want to be so stiff and incapable of moving naturally that you downright suck at these, do you? Which is exactly why you start performing movements that have a high carryover to this sort of activity.
Think of movements that build upper back strength and stability, challenge your core, and build single leg strength. And that’s exactly what I’ve got for you today.
Here are 4 exercises to turn you into an intramural all-star.
Bent over row.
The bent over row is one of my favorites for building serious upper back strength. In fact, I’d argue as far as back exercises are concerned that there isn’t a better lift when it comes to building strength and size.
But on top of that, thanks to the positioning your hamstrings, glutes, and spinal erectors are forced to work as stablizers, which helps build the type of functional strength that serves you well no matter if you’re playing flag football, sand volleyball, or beer league softball.
The front squat.
Confession: I would happily go the rest of my life without back squatting if it meant I could front squat more. This may seem like blasphemy to a lot of people, but the reality is that front squats are a far superior move for a lot of people out there when it comes to increasing athleticism and functional strength.
Thanks to the position the bar is in, you’re placing more emphasis on your core with this movement, forcing it to respond by getting stronger.
But on top of that, you’re also increasing upper back strength and stability, which will have massive carryover into day to day life and whatever athletic endeavors you find yourself in.
The trap bar deadlift.
This is by far and away one of my favorite movements to give people who are completely new to deadlifting, or who just want to become more of a badass.
The trap bar works wonders in helping people build strength and size throughout the glutes, hamstrings, and recruits more quad involvement than the traditional deadlift.
You also get a ton of upper back involvement, which makes a huge difference in carrying over the adaptations of the movement to everyday life.
Bulgarian split squat.
One of the most overlooked aspects of training for a number of people is the use of unilateral movements, that is movements that involve one leg or one arm working at a time.
Bulgarian split squats work wonders for building athleticism because they directly mimic moves you might make in sports, or day-to-day life. They help increase stability, core strength, and do a great job of building more overall size and strength.