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Conditioning Drills & Exercises List 2023

Best Conditioning Exercises and Drills
Best Conditioning Exercises and Drills

Conditioning exercises and drills are workouts that aim to improve overall athletic performance and physical fitness.

Conditioning exercises and drills are workouts that aim to improve overall athletic performance and physical fitness.

They focus on enhancing cardiovascular endurance, agility, speed, power, flexibility, and coordination. 

Conditioning drills often simulate game-like situations or engage multiple muscle groups in an integrated way, to maximize functional and sport-specific fitness.

Examples include:

  • Interval training
  • Shuttle runs
  • Agility ladder drills
  • Plyometric exercises
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Sport-specific drills, such as:
    • Dribbling in soccer
    • Shooting in basketball

Strength Exercises vs Conditioning Exercises

Strength exercises aim to build muscle mass and improve muscular strength and power. These often involve weights or resistance training and typically target specific muscle groups.

Examples include:

  • Weight lifting
  • Using resistance bands
  • Bodyweight exercises, such as:
    • Push-ups
    • Squats

In contrast, conditioning exercises focus on enhancing overall athletic performance. They aim to increase stamina, speed, agility, and muscular endurance, often engaging the whole body and cardiovascular system rather than isolating specific muscles.

ExerciseStrength ExercisesConditioning Exercises
FocusBuilding muscle mass, muscular strength and powerEnhancing overall athletic performance
ExamplesWeight lifting, Using resistance bands, Push-ups, SquatsInterval training, Shuttle runs, Agility ladder drills, Plyometric exercises, Sport-specific drills

Conditioning Drills for Various Sports and the Army

Basketball Conditioning Drills

  • Suicide Drills: Also known as line drills, athletes sprint to various lines on the court, returning to the baseline after each sprint.
  • Dribble Drills: Dribbling skills are practiced at varying speeds and intensities to develop ball handling.
  • Defensive Slides: Athletes slide across the court in a defensive stance to enhance defensive footwork.

Soccer Conditioning Drills

  • Interval Running: Mimics the stop-and-go nature of the sport by alternating between sprinting and jogging.
  • Ball Control Drills: Improve touch and control with maneuvers around cones or markers.
  • Shooting Drills: Conditioning with shots on goal improves fitness and shooting technique.

Army Conditioning Drills

  • Push-ups, Sit-ups, Pull-ups: Standard army exercises to build strength and endurance.
  • Ruck Marches: Long-distance, timed marches with weighted packs to build stamina and resilience.
  • Obstacle Courses: Simulate combat scenarios, improving agility, speed, and strength.

Youth Football Conditioning Drills

  • Agility Ladders: Develops foot speed, agility, and coordination.
  • Shuttle Runs: Improve speed and quickness with rapid changes of direction.
  • Tackling Drills: Teaches proper technique and form for safe and effective tackles.

Softball Conditioning Drills

  • Fungo Drills: Athletes practice fielding and throwing with this batting drill.
  • Base Running: Sprinting between bases enhances speed and agility.
  • Catching Drills: Develops hand-eye coordination and reaction time.

Lacrosse Conditioning Drills

  • Wall Ball Drills: Improves catching, throwing, and cradling skills.
  • Box Drills: Enhances passing and shooting with game-like scenarios.
  • Four Corners: A passing drill that also serves as a conditioning exercise.

Volleyball Conditioning Drills

  • Pepper Drills: A two-person drill to practice bumping, setting, and spiking.
  • Blocking Drills: Enhances timing and jumping ability.
  • Shuttle Runs: Builds speed and endurance while improving lower body strength.

Baseball Conditioning Drills

  • Tee Drills: Enhances batting skills, focusing on swing mechanics.
  • Long Toss: Strengthens arm muscles and increases throw distance.
  • Round the Bases: Develops speed and agility.

Tennis Conditioning Drills

  • Suicide Sprints: This drill improves speed and endurance by having players run to various points on the court.
  • Ball Toss: Tossing a tennis ball and catching it on the bounce helps build agility and coordination.

Rugby Conditioning Drills

  • Burpee Ball Drop: Combines burpees and quick decision-making to enhance agility.
  • Tackle Bag Sprint: This drill improves tackling power and endurance through repetitive sprint-tackle exercises.

Swimming Conditioning Drills

  • Freestyle Pyramid: This drill focuses on improving endurance and pacing with graduated effort levels.
  • Kickboard Drills: These drills are used to enhance kicking strength and endurance.

Golf Conditioning Drills

  • Walking Lunges: Walking lunges help to enhance lower body strength and balance, which are important for golf swings.
  • Rotational Medicine Ball Throws: Improves core strength and rotational power for a stronger golf swing.

Boxing Conditioning Drills

  • Jump Rope: Jumping rope enhances footwork, agility, and cardiovascular endurance.
  • Heavy Bag Intervals: High-intensity rounds on the heavy bag to improve punching power and anaerobic endurance.

Conditioning Drills and Exercise List 2023

Various sports and the army employ specific conditioning drills tailored to enhance the skills and physical fitness required in their respective fields.

Sport/FieldConditioning Drill
BasketballSuicide Drills, Dribble Drills, Defensive Slides
SoccerInterval Running, Ball Control Drills, Shooting Drills
ArmyPush-ups, Sit-ups, Pull-ups, Ruck Marches, Obstacle Courses
Youth FootballAgility Ladders, Shuttle Runs, Tackling Drills
SoftballFungo Drills, Base Running, Catching Drills
LacrosseWall Ball Drills, Box Drills, Four Corners
VolleyballPepper Drills, Blocking Drills, Shuttle Runs
BaseballTee Drills, Long Toss, Round the Bases
TennisSuicide Sprints, Ball Toss
RugbyBurpee Ball Drop, Tackle Bag Sprint
SwimmingFreestyle Pyramid, Kickboard Drills
GolfWalking Lunges, Rotational Medicine Ball Throws
BoxingJump Rope, Heavy Bag Intervals
Conditioning Exercises

Benefits of Conditioning Exercises

The following are the benefits of conditioning exercises and drills:

Improved Cardiovascular Health

  • Conditioning exercises, particularly those involving aerobic activity, improve heart health and increase lung capacity.

Enhanced Athletic Performance

  • Conditioning exercises can significantly boost performance in almost any sport by improving relevant physical abilities.

Increased Stamina and Endurance

  • Regular conditioning helps to increase energy levels and the body’s ability to sustain prolonged physical activity.

Weight Management

Improved Coordination and Agility

  • Many conditioning exercises require improving balance, coordination, and agility.


Risk of Overtraining

  • Without proper rest and recovery, there’s a risk of overtraining, leading to injury and decreased immune function.

Requires Time and Commitment

  • Effective conditioning requires consistent effort and time investment.

Potential for Injury

  • As with any physical activity, there’s always a risk of injury, mainly if exercises are performed with improper form or if the body is not adequately warmed up.
George N.