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OUR

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50

CONDITIONING TIPS
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50 CONDITIONING TIPS

Use this list of conditioning tips and drills to


ensure you stay fast and strong all game long.
Games are often won or lost in the final minutes of competition. Great conditioning is
what allows athletes to perform their best late into a game to ensure victory. Try out these
conditioning tips and drills to perform your best when it matters most.

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GET FIT WITH THE LADDER WORKOUT


Begin at the goal line, sprint to the 10-yard line and perform a Push-Up. Sprint to the 20 and perform
two Push-Ups. Progress the drill 10 yards at a time until you finish with 10 Push-Ups at the opposite
goal line. Rest 60 seconds then repeat with Burpees and Sit-Ups.
HIT THE TRACK FOR ELITE CONDITIONING
Sprint 50 meters, jog 50 meters, sprint 100, jog 100, sprint 200, jog 200, sprint 400, jog 400. Rest 2-3
minutes and repeat.
RUN FASTER, LONGER
Perform 300-Yard Shuttles to improve your speed, endurance and conditioning. Sprint 50 yards and
back three times. Touch the ground at each turn. Rest for 60 seconds between shuttles. Repeat the
drill 3-4 times.
CHANGE UP YOUR RUN
Running your usual distance course in reverse every once in a while to change the scenery, hill locations and wind resistance.

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50 CONDITIONING TIPS

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FARMERS WALK BEFORE YOU RUN


Superset Farmers Walks with Sprints. Maintaining control, walk 40 yards while holding heavy dumbbells at your sides. Set them down and sprint back to the start. Walk back to the dumbbells and repeat
for 10 minutes.
BUILD MUSCLE, GET FIT
Circuit Squats, Bench Presses and Pull-Ups with no rest between exercises to get a conditioning effect
from your strength training. Do 3x8-10 each exercise and rest 60 seconds between circuits.
FORWARD, BACKWARD, BETTER
Improve metabolic conditioning at the end of a strength workout with a treadmill that is turned off.
Manually backpedal for 30 seconds, turn around and manually run for another 30. Rest for 60 seconds.
Repeat 4-5 times.
ULTIMATE RUN/WALK INTERVALS
Sprint the straights of a track and walk the turns to recover. Repeat this pattern continuously for a
total of 12-24 sprints.
CRAWL YOUR WAY TO GREATNESS
Begin at the goal line and Bear Crawl to the 10-yard line. Sprint to the 20, then Bear Crawl to the 30.
Continue this pattern to the opposite goal line and sprint 100 yards back to the start. Rest for 60
seconds and repeat for a total of 3-4 reps.
CONQUER A HILL
Use Hill Runs to develop endurance and power. Sprint up a steep hill for 10-20 seconds. Walk back
down and repeat for 10-12 sprints.

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50 CONDITIONING TIPS

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REPEATABLE SPEED
Train yourself to be fast throughout the course of an entire game by sprinting 40 yards and slowly
jogging back to the start line to recover. Do 4x10 with two minutes rest between sets.
RUN FAST, REPEAT
Run Yasso 800s to develop extended speed and endurance. Run 800 meters at close to your fastest
pace then jog for the same amount of time it took you to run 800. Continue this pattern for 4-8 reps,
trying to come within 10 seconds of your initial time.
INTENSE INTERVAL SPRINTS
Use variable Interval Sprints for conditioning. Sprint 200 meters, rest 20 seconds, sprint 100 meters,
rest 40 seconds. Repeat the 2-minute circuit continuously for a total of 16-24 minutes.
QUICK CUTS FOR CONDITIONING
Perform 60-Yard Shuttles to improve your ability to sprint when fatigued. Sprint down and back to
cones at 5, 10 and 15 yards. Rest for 45 seconds and repeat the drill 6-10 times.
CONDITION WITH LOW-LEVEL PLOYS
Jump rope for 10 minutes alternating between 30 reps each of regular hops, side-to-side and front-toback. Finish with a single-leg version of each variation for 20 reps on each leg
SPORT-SPECIFIC FITNESS
Match the conditioning demands of your sport by performing sprints that mirror the work-to-rest ratio
involved. Sprint for the typical duration of a play in your sport, then rest for the typical break you get
between plays.

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50 CONDITIONING TIPS

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BETTER TREADMILL RUNS


Simulate running on flat ground on a treadmill by setting the incline to a 2-percent grade to ensure
that your stride form is preserved during your workout.
NEXT-LEVEL JOGGING
Perform Fartlek Runs so you can perform near your max for longer durations. Alternate between a fast
run (not a sprint) and a slow jog every minute for 15 to 20 minutes.
FAST RESULTS IN 4 MINUTES
Increase your endurance with a four-minute Tabata workout. Choose an intense exercise such as a
Sprints, Squat Jumps or Burpees, and perform a total of eight, 20-second intervals with 10 seconds of
rest between sets.
TRACK YOUR HEART RATE
Wear a heart rate monitor during conditioning workouts to monitor your intensity. You should work
at about 80 percent of your max heart rate for endurance training, and at 85-90 percent of your max
heart rate for sports conditioning.
BUILD POWER ENDURANCE
Perform Resisted Sprints to develop short-duration power endurance. Attach a resistance band to your
waist and sprint for 15 yards with a partner resisting your momentum. Rest for 60 seconds and repeat
five times.
COMPETE FOR MORE INTENSE WORKOUTS
To increase workout intensity, compete with a partner on the 160-yard Shuttle. Sprint for 40 yards,
stop at a cone and sprint back to the start. Repeat twice for a total of 160 yards. The losing athlete
does 20 Push-Ups.

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50 CONDITIONING TIPS

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CRAWL FOR FULL-BODY ENDURANCE


Perform Bear Crawls to increase full-body muscular endurance. Crawl as quickly as possible while
remaining in control for 50 yards. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat.
GOAL LINE INTERVALS
Use in-and-outs to develop full-game endurance. Sprint down the sideline, walk across the goal line,
sprint down the opposite sideline and walk across the opposite goal line to return to the starting
position. Repeat four to five times.
TIME YOUR SETS
Add a conditioning element to bodyweight exercises with timed sets. Perform an exercise such as
Squats or Push-Ups for as many reps as possible in 20-30 seconds. Repeat for three sets.
PLATE PUSH FINISHER
Use the Plate Push Finisher to develop metabolic conditioning and mental toughness. Place a towel
under a 45-pound plate and push the plate across a floor for 25 yards. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat
six times.
BACKWARD HILL RUN
Develop the muscles on the front of your body by going up a hill backwards. Backpedal for 20 yards up
the hill and walk back down slowly to recover. Repeat four times.
PAIR EXERCISES TOGETHER
Combine two exercises into one move to work more muscles and increase metabolic conditioning. For
example, try the Dumbbell Squat to Press to work both lower- and upper-body muscles.
SPORTS-SPECIFIC JOGGING
Make jogging sport-specific by adding multi-directional movement. Every half of a mile, perform Power
Skips, Reverse Power Skips and Lateral Shuffles (both directions) for 25 yards each.
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50 CONDITIONING TIPS

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MED BALL CONDITIONING BLAST


Circuit Med Ball Slams, Med Ball Squats and Med Ball Rotational Throws to build full-body power,
strength and endurance. Perform each exercise for 15 seconds, resting for 30 seconds between sets.
Repeat four times.
HIT THE TRAILS
Change up your outdoor runs by running on a trail. The unpredictable terrain and changing elevation
function as natural intervals. Uphill runs train short-term endurance, while easier parts of the trail
help you continue to perform for the duration of your game.
RUN WITH A TEMPO
Use Tempo Runs to build overall conditioning and endurance. Run for 40 yards at 80 percent of your
max. Walk back to the starting line and repeat for 10 minutes.
COMBINING ENDURANCE AND STRENGTH
If you do both strength and conditioning on the same day, always finish your workout with conditioning
drills. Youll have more energy for your strength exercises and wont cause your muscles to break down.
MAX-INTENSITY ROWING
Use a rowing machine to develop endurance and anaerobic power. Row as fast as you can for 500
meters. A good time is between 1:30 to 1:35.
FAST REACTIONS
Add a reaction component to conditioning drills to improve decision making when youre fatigued
during high-pressure game situations. Set up four cones in a 5-yard box. Stand in the center of the box
and sprint to the cone designated by a partner, returning to the center of the box after each sprint.
Perform for 30 seconds then switch positions with your partner. Repeat four times.

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50 CONDITIONING TIPS

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300-YARD SPEED TEST


Take the 300-Yard Speed Test to measure your speed and power endurance. Place two cones or water
bottles 25 yards apart. Sprint as fast as you can back and forth between the cones, touching each
cone. Repeat for 12 lengths for a total of six round trips. An elite time is under 55 seconds.
TEST YOUR SPEED ENDURANCE
Measure your fitness and endurance with the 10/10 Treadmill Fitness Test. Set a treadmill to a 10-percent grade and run until you cant run anymore. Elite athletes can do 2 minutes.
FOUR COMPLETE QUARTERS
Develop full-game endurance with the 1,000-Yard Workout. Sprint for 100 yards, rest for 30 seconds
and repeat 10 times for a total of 1,000 yards. Record your time to measure your progress.
BIG DRIVE CONDITIONING
Build endurance by performing Sprint Repeats for the distance you typically cover between whistles in
your sport. A football player might sprint for 15-20 yards, while a basketball player might sprint for 30
yards. Slowly walk back to the starting line after each sprint. Perform 8-10 reps.
DIAMOND REPEATS
Build conditioning for all sports with Diamond Repeats, a drill that varies up your running by taking it
to a baseball field rather than a track. From home plate, sprint to first base and then walk back home.
Sprint to first and second and walk back to home. Repeat the drill, sprinting to first, second and third
and then once more, running all four bases. Walking back home after each rep. Repeat three times.
110-YARD CONDITIONING TEST
Start at the back of the end zone and sprint for 110-yards. Rest for 45 seconds and repeat 16 times.
Larger athletes should complete each sprint in 18-19 seconds, smaller athletes in 14-15 seconds, and
all other athletes in 16-17 seconds.

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50 CONDITIONING TIPS

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SPRINT 22S
Sprint from baseline to baseline and back on a basketball. Sprint to the opposite baseline again, and
then sprint back toward the start but only through the second foul line. Finish in less than 22 seconds.
STRIDE RIGHT
Overstriding can increase your likelihood of injury. Check your stride length by running on a treadmill
and counting your steps. If your feet strike the platform fewer than 180 times per minute, youre likely
overstriding. Try taking shorter, quicker steps that propel you forward.
OH MY SOLE!
Keep an eye on the wear along your shoes outsole. If the tread is worn smooth in places, or if any part
of the midsole is exposed, its time to get a new set of kicks. Most running shoes will last for about
500 miles, although bigger, heavier runners may break shoes down more quickly.
BREATHE EASY
Heres a simple way to stay on pace: Time your breaths to your footfalls. Try inhaling for three steps
then exhaling for two during an easy run. If you you cant keep your breathing timed to your steps, try
running slower. If it feels too easy, try speeding up a bit. Eventually, you can try inhaling for two steps
and exhaling for one on faster, harder efforts.
GO DEEP
Taking slow, controlled deep breaths can help you recover faster between hard efforts. Practice deep
breathing by lying on the ground, placing a hand on your lower abdomen, and breathing in slowly
through your nose. Feel the air fill up your diaphragm as you breathe in. Then breathe out through your
mouth. Your hand should feel the air exiting your lower belly. Practice this for about 5 minutes while
lying down, then stand up and try to maintain this technique throughout the day. Return to this type of
breathing when you find yourself out of breath after a tough training interval.

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THREE IS THE MAGIC NUMBER


During an interval workout, anybody can throw in a surge during the last hard set. If youve been
having a great session and want to test your fitness, push your pace beginning with the third-tolast interval. If you can consistently hit a faster speed during those last three intervals, youll know
youre making progress.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY
When running an interval, aim for a time that is still challenging, but one you can consistently hit. Try
to run all of your intervals within 3 seconds of that target time.
BEAT TREADMILL BOREDOM WITH BASKETBALL
Watch basketball while youre on the treadmill. Warm up with about 20 minutes of easy running,
then alternate between a hard tempo pace and an easy jog, slowing down whenever there is a break
in the action in the gamea foul, a timeout or a commercial, for example. Cool down with 10 minutes
of easy jogging.
DONT DREAD THE MILL
If you find treadmill running to be boring, keep things lively by changing something every minute:
speeding up or slowing down, or increasing or decreasing the incline every few minutes.

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