Strength and Conditioning Training: Best Exercises & Workouts

Woman doing strength and conditioning training

Strength and conditioning training consists of exercises or workouts designed to make your body stronger, more supple, and extra resilient. Here we’re going to tell you all about the exercises that will elevate your training performance.

Whether you’re a seasoned athlete, someone who likes to get active once in a while—or anyone in between—weaving a little conditioning into your routine is a good idea.

Strength and conditioning training comes with a treasure trove of body-boosting benefits. With the right movement patterns, you’ll also elevate your physical performance reducing your risk of injury.

A solid strength and conditioning program will go a long way. While this may be the case, knowing where to start can seem like an uphill struggle—but we’re here to help.

In this Smart Guide, we’re going to look at the strength and conditioning exercises that will take your performance to the next level.

But, first…

How strength and conditioning training boosts your exercise performance

Before we get down to the nitty-gritty, we’re going to look at the performance-boosting perks of weaving strength training and conditioning exercises into your routine.

Better athletic performance

As we’ve mentioned, strength training—coupled with conditioning—will give you more power as well as significantly improved levels of endurance. Adding the right exercises to your fitness routine will also improve your lung and cardiovascular health.

As a result, you’ll elevate your athletic performance in a range of areas, reaching your goals faster in the process.

Improved mobility and stability

Another perk of strength and conditioning workouts is improved mobility and physical stability. Certain exercises and movement patterns will strengthen your joints while making them more supple.

In turn, you’ll become more flexible over time while reaping the rewards of better core stability. Armed with a stronger, more stable core, you’ll find that your overall strength improves while everyday movement becomes far less strenuous. Bonus.

Efficient resting metabolism

Strength training especially can boost your resting metabolism because after a while, you’ll build more lean muscle mass (1). As lean muscle tissue is more ‘metabolically active’ than fat, you’ll burn more calories when you’re resting.

In addition to burning calories (and fat) more efficiently, having a more efficient metabolism will also give you more energy during the day while improving your sleep quality—which as you know is essential to your general wellbeing.

Healthier posture

Over time, regular strength and conditioning workouts will improve your bone health, give you more muscular strength, and improve your core stability.

This triple-threat of health benefits will make your posture better. When you improve your posture, you’ll reduce your risk of chronic physical ailments, boost blood circulation, regulate your breathing, and even boost your productivity.

SmartTip: Check out our Smart Guide on building more muscle for insider tips on diet, exercises, and choosing the best supplements for the job.
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The best strength training and conditioning exercises for every athlete

We’ve covered the strength and conditioning benefits—now let’s look at the exercises you should prioritise to boost your performance in your workouts—and your everyday life.

Here we’re going to tell you the top 10 strength and conditioning exercises you need to weave into your strength and conditioning routine (*drum roll, please*)...

1. Push-ups

2. Squats

3. Glute bridges

4. Planking

5. Deadlifts

6. Jumping Jacks

7. Burpees

8. Walking lunges

9. Box jumps

10. Pull-ups

This dynamic mix of strength and conditioning movements are designed to give you a full body workout that you can perform anytime, anywhere. 

These exercises will offer maximum conditioning benefits while boosting your strength in a way that improves your athletic performance and everyday life.

SmartFact: Just 30 to 60 minutes (2) of quality strength training each week can make a huge difference to your strength, performance, and body composition.

How to perform each exercise…

To help you put these strength and conditioning movements into action, you should perform every one of these exercises in order either to failure or for 60 seconds at a time, twice over, with a 30 second break between each set.

As you become stronger and more supple, you can increase the length of time you perform each strength and conditioning exercise.

How to get your form right

  • · To get the most from your strength and conditioning workout plan, here are some tip top form tips for your consideration…
  • · Search for videos on each of these strength-building exercises to get a visual feel for how they look when performed correctly
  • · Perform each exercise slowly and with as much control as possible. Aim for a full range of movement
  • · When you’re performing bodyweight exercises, make sure you go as slowly as you can to put your muscles under more tension. This will ensure you squeeze as much muscle-boosting juice as possible after each exercise
  • · Make sure you get your fill of healthy whole foods (including plenty of protein) after your workouts

Bonus tips for boosting your physical performance

In addition to prioritising your strength and conditioning workouts, here are some additional hacks that will help you boost your performance and reach your goals faster.

Fuel up

It’s important to eat well after you’ve exercised, but to get the most from your training sessions, pre-fueling is equally as vital.

Make sure you fuel up well before any training session and you’ll maximise your performance. Taking the right supplements or eating a balanced selection of wholefoods between 90 and 30 minutes before you exercise is the way forward.

SmartTip: Explore our essential guide to pre-workout nutrition to maximise your training performance.
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Sleep better

Improving your sleep hygiene will help you recover faster between training sessions while significantly boosting your overall health and wellbeing.

Here are some sleep hygiene tips to rest better the Smart way…

  • Aim for a similar ‘lights out’ time every night to help your body get into a good sleep rhythm
  • Try to ditch any bright screens or stimulants at least an hour before bedtime to ensure you get at least seven hours of quality sleep
  • Set your room temperature to around 18 degrees. That’s what we call the ‘slumber sweet spot’

Get Smart with your Supplements

In addition to getting into good habits with your strength and conditioning efforts while focusing on your diet and sleep, taking the right supplements will elevate your performance.

Not only will working with the right supplements fill in any nutritional gaps and give you energy but there are certain products or formulas that can improve your focus.

Consumed alongside a solid strength and conditioning plan, taking a balanced blend of supplements will elevate your performance time after time.

Our Raise Performance Kit contains three supplements designed to power up your training sessions, keep you topped up with body-boosting electrolytes as well as essential branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)—and sharpen your mental focus when it counts most.

Check out our Raise Performance Kit today and level up your performance in ways you never thought possible.

We hope you found this Smart guide helpful and if you’d like tailored recommendations on the supplements that will suit your specific goals, try our quickfire Smart Quiz.

Sources

Smart Protein is committed to sourcing only the best and scientifically-backed research in our articles.

1. Nike

https://www.nike.com/gb/a/strength-training-benefits-metabolism

2.  Harvard

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/strength-training-time-benefits/

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