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

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

4 Combo Exercises to Build Muscle Quick for Spring Sports

February 23, 2013 | Jim Carpentier

Must See Strength Training Videos

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...
Must See
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,545,261
Brandon Jennings: "Always Improve"
Views: 2,124,053
Margus Hunt Benches 385 Pounds for Five Reps
Views: 18,611,384

Featured Videos

James Harden Core Circuit Views: 112,056
Path to the Pros 2015: Danny Shelton Views: 152,673
Quest for the Ring: University of Kentucky Views: 543,285
Load More


STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers


Latest issues of STACK Magazine


Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice


Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes


Find the latest news relevant to athletes

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Exercise

7-Exercise Core-Blasting Workout

12-Week Resistance Band and Chain Workout

12 Strength Moves from NFL WR Harry Douglas's Full-Body Workout

Use Eccentric Lifts to Increase Size and Strength

The Science of Building Muscle: 2 Ways to Maximize Hypertrophy

3 Tricks for a Stronger Front Squat

7 Ways to Work Out Competitively Without CrossFit

Improve Your Squat Depth With 5 Easy Warm-Up Exercises

3 Nordic Hamstring Curl Exercises to Boost Your Performance

7 Best Lower-Body Strengthening Exercises

3 Simple Strategies for a Better Workout

Master the Lateral Lunge to Improve Your Hockey Stride

How NOT to Perform a Pull-Up (With Fixes)

Improve Soccer Agility with Lateral Strength Exercises

4 Weaknesses That Can Ruin Your Exercise Technique (With Fixes)

Putting Together an Off-Season Workout for Point Guards

Dominate Your Bench Test With This Strategy

6 Gym Machines That Are Actually Worth Your Time

Posterior Chain Fixes to Improve Your Game

Develop Core Strength for Throwing

Mike Boyle's 5 Tips for More Effective Workouts

Perfect Your Squat Technique With the Unloaded Squat

Increase Your Explosiveness with the Power Curl

7 Farmer's Walk Variations for Improved Core Strength

4 Deadlift Variations to Increase Your Pull

How to Design a Greco-Roman Wrestling Training Program

Build Max Power With These Pulling Exercises

Todd Durkin

How Functional Training Has Overly Complicated Strength Training

3 Post-Activation Potentiation Combos for Explosive Strength

Bench Press Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

5 Exercises to Develop Soccer Power

How to Improve Shoulder Strength and Flexibility

4 Simple Golf Core Exercises to Increase Your Driving Distance

10 Ways to Get Stronger With a Sandbag

The Best Single-Leg Exercises for Youth Athletes

Mike Boyle: 4 Small Muscles That Can Lead to Big Gains

How Often Should You Vary Your Exercise?

Reach New Training Heights With Resistance Band Exercises

Never Bench Press With Your Feet in This Position

Grab a Broom for This Fast-Paced, Full-Body Workout

5 Ways to Get a Higher Vertical Jump

How Strength Training Changed Rory McIlroy's Game

7 Strategies for Faster Workout Recovery