9 Exercises You Can Do Everyday to Make Yourself a Better Athlete

The key to athletics is the ability to produce power. You should move explosively every day.

Athletes know the importance of taking care of their body.

But a few training sessions a week may not be enough to overcome the muscle imbalances and postural deficiencies our modern lifestyles create. That's where performing a handful of select exercises or movements on a more frequent basis can be a huge help.

The following nine exercises are examples of movements you can perform on a daily basis to increase your athleticism and help your body feel and move better than ever.

Soothe Your Soft Tissue

One of the biggest mistakes I see young athletes make is not dedicating enough time to recovery. Recovery includes things like sleep, nutrition and soft tissue work.

Soft tissue work might not feel all that crucial in your teens and early 20s, but it can significantly decrease soreness and help prevent muscular imbalances. In the long-term, soft tissue work will help you prevent those nagging injuries (such as a tight shoulder or hip) that many older athletes or former athletes are forced to deal with on a daily basis. There is a price for training and playing competitive sports. You need to take care of your body early and often.

The following three soft tissue work movements target common problem areas for athletes.

Maximize Your Mobility

It is baffling to me that more people don't put time into mobility work. Sport is movement, and if you can't move properly, you will be very limited in your ability to master that sport. When you start to lose mobility, that is when compensations begin to creep in, leading to impaired performance and a higher risk of injury. Taking just a couple minutes out of your day to focus on mobility can have a huge impact on your body.

Sets/Reps: 2-3 sets of 3-5 reps on each side

Sets/Reps: 2-3 sets of 3-5 reps on each side

Upgrade Your Stability

Being able to stabilize in an ever-changing environment will allow you to react quickly, create more force and prevent injury. The other great thing about stability drills is they are not very muscularly and neurologically fatiguing, which means you can do them more frequently without them affecting your performance.

Sets/Reps: 2-3 sets of 6-10 reps on each side (credit to Dr. Joel Seedman for this one)

Sets/Reps: 2-3 sets of 6-10 reps on each side

Sets/Reps: 2-3 total reps, covering a distance of 10-20 yards on each rep

Produce Power

The key to athletics is the ability to produce power. You should move explosively every day. One of the best ways you can do this is with the Kettlebell Swing.

The Kettlebell Swing will teach you to load the hips and create power. It also trains generating power from the posterior chain and transferring energy into the upper half via your core, two important attributes for elite athletic performance. Unlike jumps or Cleans, Kettlebell Swings create less impact on the joints while allowing you to produce large amounts of power and strengthen your hips. While you shouldn't be performing grueling Kettlebell Swings with heavy weight on a daily basis, performing a couple sets with light weight and a concentration on proper form can be a great way to re-inforce the right movement patterns.

Sets/Reps: 2-3 sets of 6-10 reps

By simply grouping together a few of these exercises, you can create a quick daily routine that gives you a great dose of healthy movement and massage. For example:

Rolling: Adductors, 1 minute on each side

Mobilize: Standing Hip Circles, 5 in each direction

Stabilize: Single Leg Switches 2 sets of 8 reps on each side

Power: Kettlebell Swings with light-to-moderate weight, 2 sets of 10 reps