4 Combo Exercises to Build Muscle Quick for Spring Sports | STACK

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4 Combo Exercises to Build Muscle Quick for Spring Sports

February 23, 2013 | Jim Carpentier

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Feeling like you waited too long to get back into shape for the upcoming spring season? There's still time to add muscle for a powerful tennis serve, lacrosse shot or baseball or softball swing To be completely ready for that first match or game, head to the weight room and try this quick yet intense full-body muscle-building workout a few days a week (on non-consecutive days). Each session lasts only 15 to 20 minutes—so you can squeeze them in around practice schedules.


  • One moderately heavy medicine ball and two moderately heavy dumbbells (about 80% RM)
  • Water bottle


  • First perform upper- and lower-body warm-up
  • Finish workout with upper-/lower-body cooldown static stretches for enhanced flexibility
  • Rest 15 to 30 seconds between sets, hydrate and immediately proceed to the next combination


Med Ball Side Lunges and Twists

Sets/Reps: 2x10

These exercises are critical for improving core, upper- and lower-body strength and adding muscle. They build the core muscles used in the turning and twisting required for a tennis backhand stroke and serve, lacrosse shot and pass, and baseball/softball batting and throwing.

  • Begin in an athletic stance holding ball at chest level with arms extended and feet shoulder-width apart
  • Simultaneously lunge laterally with right foot and explosively rotate ball to the right
  • Bring left foot toward right and ball back to start position
  • Continue Lunges/Twists nine more times, then switch to left foot Lunges/Twists for 10 reps

Dumbbell Forward Lunges and Upright Rows

Sets/Reps: 2x10

An effective lower- and upper-body strength-/size-builder for the hips, quadriceps, hamstrings, shoulders, upper, middle and lower back, chest, biceps, triceps, abdomen and groin.

  • Hold dumbbells at waist level with an overhand grip and lunge forward with right leg while simultaneously quickly raising dumbbells to chest level
  • Pause one second, then lower dumbbells to start position
  • Lunge forward with left foot while raising dumbbells
  • Continue alternating Lunges/Rows for nine more reps
Watch NFL WR Andre Johnson perform the similar Reverse Lunge to Upright Row.

Squat Thrusts and Med Ball Push-Ups

Sets/Reps: 2x10

Squat Thrusts promote explosive lower-body power in the hips and thighs. A requirement for vertical jumps when reaching for an overhead tennis volley, going high for a lacrosse pass or leaping to catch a line drive or errant baseball/softball throw. Med Ball Push-Ups are a terrific upper-body strength-/size-builder for the chest, shoulders, triceps, middle and upper back and for promoting core muscle stability.

  • Assume push-up position with hands around ball
  • Explosively drive legs forward towards hands and back 10 times
  • Without rest, do 10 Push-Ups, slowly lowering body in three seconds towards ball, and pressing back up in one second

Med Ball One-Legged Squat and Overhead Press

Sets/Reps: 2x10

A great combo set incorporating balance, core stability and lower- and upper-body strength and size, all essential sports attributes.

  • Assume athletic stance holding ball at shoulder level
  • Bend right knee and raise left foot off ground
  • Slowly squat, pause one second
  • Rapidly rise and press ball overhead
  • Return to start position and repeat nine more times
  • Switch to left leg One-Legged Squats/Overhead Presses


Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as associate health and wellness...
Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as associate health and wellness...
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