Sport-Specific Training – A Guide to Exercise Selection

by Nick Tumminello, NSCA-CPT
Personal Training Quarterly November 2023
Vol 10, Issue 3


This article seeks to help simplify the exercise selection process by providing clarity on how different exercises can aid in enhancing performance and potentially reduce injury risk.

Paywall block issue

This article is not configured properly for members or paid content.
isMemberOnly: {{isMemberOnly}} | isPaidContent: {{isPaidContent}}
spc: One or more parts of the product SPC is missing.

Read the full article

View the video

Login to view more

{{discountDesc}} Valid thru {{discountEnds}}

This {{ogType == 'video.other' ? 'video':'article'}} is available with a NSCA membership

This {{ogType == 'video.other' ? 'video':'article'}} can be purchased for {{prices}}
Price includes membership pricing and promotions

Purchase this {{ogType == 'video.other' ? 'video':'article'}}. Price range: {{prices}}
Price range includes membership pricing and promotions

Become a Member Add to Cart Login

This article originally appeared in Personal Training Quarterly (PTQ)—a quarterly publication for NSCA Members designed specifically for the personal trainer. Discover easy-to-read, research-based articles that take your training knowledge further with Nutrition, Programming, and Personal Business Development columns in each quarterly, electronic issue. Read more articles from PTQ »

Related Reading



  1. Askling, C, Karlsson, J, and Thorstensson, A. Hamstring injury occurrence in elite soccer players after preseason strength training with eccentric overload. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports 13: 244-250, 2003.
  2. Coyle, EF, Feiring, DC, Rotkis, TC, Cote, RW 3rd, Roby, FB, Lee, W, and Wilmore, JH. Specificity of power improvements through slow and fast isokinetic training. Journal of Applied Physiology: Respiratory, Environmental, and Exercise Physiology 51(6): 1437-1442, 1981.
  3. Deane, RS, Chow, JW, Tillman, MD, and Fournier, KA. Effects of hip flexor training on sprint, shuttle run, and vertical jump performance. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 19(3): 2005.
  4. Folland, JP, Hawker, K, Leach, B, Little, B, and Jones, D. Strength training: Isometric training at a range of joint angles versus dynamic training. Journal of Sports Sciences 23(8): 817-824, 2005.
  5. Harman, E. The biomechanics of resistance exercise. In: Baechle, ER, and Earle, RW (eds.), NSCA’s Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. (3rd ed.) Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 25-55, 2000.
  6. Jakubiak, N, and Saunders, DH. The feasibility and efficacy of elastic resistance training for improving the velocity of the Olympic Taekwondo turning kick. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 22(4): 1194-1197, 2008.
  7. Kitai, TA, and Sale, DG. Specificity of joint angle in isometric training. European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology 58(7): 744-748, 1989.
  8. Lauersen, JB, Andersen, TE, and Andersen, LB. Strength training as superior, dose-dependent and safe prevention of acute and overuse sports injuries: A systematic review, qualitative analysis and meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine 52: 1557-1563, 2018.
  9. Lauersen, JB, Bertelsen, DM, and Andersen, LB. The effectiveness of exercise interventions to prevent sports injuries: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. British Journal of Sports Medicine 48: 871-877, 2014.
  10. Lopez, P, Radaelli, R, Taaffe, DR, Newton, RU, Galvão, DA, Trajano, GS, et al. Resistance training load effects on muscle hypertrophy and strength gain: Systematic review and network meta-analysis. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 53(6): 1206-1216, 2021.
  11. McGuigan, MR, Wright, GA, and Fleck, SJ. Strength training for athletes: Does it really help sports performance? International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance 7(1): 2-5, 2012.
  12. Meylan, C, McMaster, T, Cronin, J, Mohammad, NI, Rogers, C, and Deklerk, M. Single-leg lateral, horizontal, and vertical jump assessment: Reliability, interrelationships, and ability to predict sprint and change-of-direction performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 23(4): 1140-1147, 2009.
  13. Pipes, TV. Variable resistance versus constant resistance strength training in adult males. European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology 39(1): 27-35, 1978.
  14. Rhea, MR, Kenn, JG, Peterson, MD, Massey, D, Simão, R, Marin, PJ, et al. Joint-angle specific strength adaptations influence improvements in power in highly trained athletes. Human Movement 17(1): 2016.
  15. Santana, JC, Vera-Garcia, FJ, and McGill, SM. A kinetic and electromyographic comparison of the standing cable press and bench press. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 21(4): 1271-1277, 2007.
  16. Schoenfeld, BJ, Peterson, MD, Ogborn, D, Contreras, B, and Sonmez, GT. Effects of low- vs. high-load resistance training on muscle strength and hypertrophy in well-trained men. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 29(10): 2954-2963, 2015.
  17. Siff, MC. Supertraining. Denver, CO: Supertraining Institute; 2003.
  18. Thepaut-Mathieu, C, VanHoecke, J, and Maton, B. Myoelectrical and mechanical changes linked to length specificity during isometric training. Journal of Applied Physiology 64(4): 1500-1505, 1988.
  19. Tumminello, N. Building Muscle and Performance. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 14-15, 2016.
  20. Tumminello, N. Resistance training—General vs specific exercises. Personal Trainer Quarterly 2(2): 4-7, 2015.
  21. Tyler, TF, Nicholas, SJ, Campbell, RJ, and McHugh, MP. The association of hip strength and flexibility with the incidence of adductor muscle strains in professional ice hockey players. American Journal of Sports Medicine 29: 124-128, 2001.
  22. Vigotsky, A, and Tumminello, N. Are the seated leg extension, leg curl, and adduction machine exercises non-functional or risky? Personal Training Quarterly 4: 4, 2017.
  23. Weir, JP, Housh, TJ, Weir, LL, and Johnson, GO. Effects of unilateral isometric strength training on joint angle specificity and cross-training. European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology 70(4): 337-343, 1995.
  24. Weiss, LW, Frx, AC, Wood, LE, Relyea, GE, and Melton, C. Comparative effects of deep versus shallow squat and leg-press training on vertical jumping ability and related factors. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 14(3): 241-247, 2000.
  25. Werner, SL, Suri, M, Guido Jr., J, Meister, K, and Jones, D. Relationships between ball velocity and throwing mechanics in collegiate baseball pitchers. Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery 17(6): 905-908, 2008.
  26. Whittaker, JL, Small, C, Maffey, L, and Emery, CA. Risk factors for groin injury in sport: An updated systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine 49: 803-809, 2015.
  27. Zourdos, M, Dolan, C, Quiles, J, Klemp, A, Jo, E, Loenneke, J, et al. Efficacy of daily 1RM training in well-trained powerlifters and weightlifters: A case series. Nutricion Hospitalaria 33(2): 437-443, 2016.
About the author

Nick Tumminello, NSCA-CPT

Contact Nick Tumminello

Contact Nick Tumminello

Your first name is required.
Your last name is required.
Your email is required.
Your message is required.
Your reCaptcha is required.

Your email was successfully sent to Nick Tumminello

Nick Tumminello has become known as the Trainer of Trainers for his ability to provide simple, honest, and immediately applicable solutions to common ...

View full biography
#NSCAStrong #NSCAStrong

has been added to your shopping cart!

Continue Shopping Checkout Now