WEIGHT TRAINING FOR FOOTBALL
by John Wheeler
Football is one of those sports where a variety of physical skills are needed, and the objective with any strength training and weight training for football routine should be on increasing your overall performance level. A simple bodybuilding program is not good enough, as you require functional muscles, not just big ones.
In this respect, a weight training for football routine can be split into 3 major areas that will focus on building strength and power, increasing speed and agility, and increasing explosiveness. Depending on which position you play, there may be a slight bias to one area more than another.
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Build Strength and Power
Strength and power are essential for blocking opponents and holding your own, and can make all the difference late in the game.
To build strength and power your weight training for football program should focus on high intensity low volume training - which is where you are lifting as heavy as possible for low numbers of reps.
Stick to compound exercises like Squats and Bench Press, as these will maximize your time in the gym and help you to gain muscle quickly. This type of training is the best for building solid slabs of muscle mass
Increase Speed and Agility
To increase your speed and agility you need to be focusing on exercises that have a large range of movement and allow you to perform them quickly and at high intensity.
For this reason your approach should be different to just building muscle mass as above. You should look to perform exercises like push-ups, burpees and pull-ups using a weighted vest and/or ankle and wrist weights to add some extra bulk and force you to up your efforts.
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These exercises create functional muscles that respond in the same way as they would when you're out on the field.
We all know that explosiveness is the secret ingredient to success in this sport, and the guy who can off the mark quickest can make all the difference in the game.
To increase your explosiveness you'll want to perform exercises where the weight is enough to keep you challenged but not as heavy as in your strength building workouts.
The key here is to "explode" the weight up through the first part of the exercise very quickly and then do a slow contraction so you maintain a 1:3 ratio. So, for example, on a bench press you lower the bar slowly (the "3" portion of the exercise), then you push the weight upwards explosively.
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