What is the Universal Athletic Position?

Learn how this vital athletic stance is the foundation for athletic movement with these Pro Tips.

Are you looking to improve your strength training fundamentals? Learning the basics of the universal athletic position is a great way to start.

Corrective exercise and performance enhancement specialist Drew Walsh considers this position vital to athletic movement. He stresses that all athletes, no matter the sport, should learn this stance.

“Being proficient with this setup is a necessity for athletes to reach their full athletic potential,” Walsh says. “If proper mechanics are overlooked, we then create poor habits and movement patterns.”


Woman Performing Universal Athletic Position

Begin by standing in an athletic stance with your feet slightly outside your shoulders. Attempt to evenly distribute your weight through your midfoot. Once you’re in position, follow these steps:

  • Drive your hips straight back. Your chest should lean slightly forward.
  • Bend your knees until your shoulders are in line with your toes.
  • Fully extend your arms, aligning them with your torso.
  • Bring your shoulder blades down and back.

Hold this position while maintaining a flat back. Remember to shift your weight through your midfoot.

Walsh notes that understanding the universal athletic position can lead to more advanced, intricate movements to further your training. “Once this setup is mastered, athletes can progress to more complex movements to maximize transfer to all strength training, movement mechanics and sports-specific tasks, while also enhancing performance and helping to reduce risk of injury,” he says.

Now that you know how to set up in the universal athletic position, put it to use by learning how to perform the hip-hinge movement pattern.