Training Football Players

Football training and workouts to improve athlete's speed, strength and conditioning

Browsing Posts tagged Football Cardio Workout

A football speed workout is essential if you want to excel in the sport.  Football is a game of speed and strength.  One without the other is no good.  A good football speed workout will focus on developing the muscles and the skills to accelerate quickly.

Your goals should be to increase your speed for 10 yard and 40 yard sprints.  The best players are able to outrun other players at these distances.  Keep careful track of your progress to determine if your speed workout is working.

Most players will not run more than 15 to 20 yards on a play (linemen less, receivers more).  Acceleration is more important than top speed.  Focus on accelerating and running a fast 10 yard and 40 yard dash.

Football Speed Workout – The Sprints & Improving Your Speed

Running 100 yard dashes is not effective.  Focus more on acceleration and short distances.  To accelerate faster you need to focus on the power in your legs as well as the speed of your contractions.

Include leg exercises in your weight lifting.  Here is a sample leg workout routine:

Day One – Quads

  1. Squats (12, 10, 8, 6 reps)
  2. Hack squats (12, 10, 8, 6 reps)
  3. Dumbbell step ups (12, 10, 8, 6 reps)

Day Two – Calves

  1. Seated calf raises (15, 10, 8, 6 reps)
  2. Standing calf raises, one leg (15, 15, 15 reps)

Day Three – Hamstrings

  1. Straight leg dead lifts (15, 12, 10, 8 reps)
  2. Leg curls (12, 12, 12, 12 reps)

Football Speed Workout – Improve Your Speed of Contractions

Power is important for your initial burst of running and contributes to speed.  Your speed of contractions (how fast you can contract your muscles) will have a more direct impact on your speed.  Sprint training over short distances will help you accelerate faster along with some light plyometrics exercises. The operative word there is “light”.

Plyometrics exercises include jumping off a box and rebounding immediately onto a higher box.  You can also try hopping over a box, cone, etc.  These short, fast, explosive outbursts help train your muscles.

Include plyometrics training exercises on the days you are not doing the weight lifting exercises.

Football Speed Workout – Focus on Mechanics

Technique is as important as the effort put in.  When it comes to maximizing your football speed workout you want to make sure you run in proper form.  There are two phases of sprinting – acceleration (the most important for football players) and top speed.

The most important things to keep in mind for accelerating are:

·    Drive off the balls of your feet
·    Your entire body should be leaning forward
·    Your strides should be short and powerful
·    Pump your arms hard and throw your elbow back hard (not forward)
·    Keep your shoulders square and head still

After 10 to 15 yards you will be at top speed and your mechanics should be different:

·    Your forward lean should lessen
·    Your strides should be more relaxed and arm action less exaggerated

Follow this football speed workout and you should see an improvement in your 10-yard and 40-yard dash times.

A football cardio workout is essential for peak performance on the field.  You do not want to get winded too quickly.  Stamina is an essential component for all football players regardless of the position you play.

If you are going to start a football cardio workout you should get clearance from your doctor.  Make sure that you have your heart checked and are cleared for the workout.

Football Cardio Workout – When to Workout

Generally speaking the best time for a football cardio workout would be first thing in the morning before you had a chance to eat anything.  It may seem counter-intuitive to workout on an empty stomach but when it comes to a cardio workout that is exactly what you want to do.  At most you can drink a sugar-free energy drink.

The reason you want to do your football cardio workout on an empty stomach is so you force your body to burn fat reserves rather than the food you consumed right before the workout.

Football Cardio Workout – How Long to Workout

Your cardio routine should last between 30 and 75 minutes at most unless you have to drop significant weight.  You should typically do cardio 4 days or 5 days per week.  If your football cardio workout is being started at the early part of off-season you can stick with 30 minute cardio workouts and increase the time as the season approaches.

Many football players focus less on time and more on distance.  They run 3 to 5 miles per day.  This is typically sufficient for a football cardio workout.  You will also get a partial cardio workout from your circuit training.

Football Cardio Workout – What to Do

There are a number of different cardio workouts you can do.  It is typically a good idea to switch them up often so you do not get bored doing the same football cardio workout day after day.

Here are some of the best cardio workouts:

Elliptical machine
Jump rope
Kick boxing
Spin class

Swimming and jumping rope are two of the best cardio workouts and ideally can be incorporated into your cardio routine.  If you have not jumped rope before take it easy at first.

Football Cardio Workout – Warnings

You need to use your best judgment when engaging in a football cardio workout especially in the warmer months.  Make sure you are sufficiently hydrated and that you pay attention to your body.  Stop immediately if you feel light headed or dizzy.

Do not start a cardio workout plan without medical clearance.  If necessary make sure you properly monitor your heart rate and do not exceed the recommended rate.  Your goal here is not to become a world class runner it is to be a better football player.

Stay focused on an overall workout plan that includes a cardio workout as well as strength and speed workouts.  If you do this you can improve your strength, speed, stamina and most important of all – your football game.