Are you jealous of the speed, agility, core stabilization and leg power of your favorite, pro football player? Here are a few tips to help you become ready for the football field:
- Include sprints into your workout twice a week. Sprints should last 10 minutes. According to Human Kinetics, "Five minutes of the speed workout should be devoted to doing 10 all-out quality sprints at distances ranging from 10 to 50 yards (9-46 meters). Athletes should have about 30 seconds of rest between sprints so that they are breathing easily before their next sprint."
- To improve your speed, you must stretch correctly so flexibility training is critical.
- Jumping rope is great. Try some of these variations: typical two-foot jump, stride jumps (swap forward foot on each jump), crossover jumps or single-leg jumps.
- Use a speed ladder. A speed ladder is a vinyl ladder you roll out onto a flat surface. Run through the ladder (always as fast as possible) with one foot in each space. Then, do two-foot jumps forward. Step sideways on the left and step the right foot in, then the left foot in, then out to the right, then back to the left and so on. Try shuffling sideways straight through the ladder leading with the left foot, then back leading with the right. Want a more difficult workout? Place your speed ladder so it is going up a hill. According to All-Pro return man and shutdown CB Patrick Peterson, “Going uphill makes your muscles work harder than they would if you were just on a flat surface; you’ll get more out of it.”
- Side Plank - Lie on your side with your right elbow underneath your body. Keeping your body straight, rise onto your elbow and the outside edge of your right foot; hold for specified time. Perform on the opposite side. Hold for 45 seconds on each side. This exercise targets the obliques, which protects the lower back. For a quarterbacks, the obliques play a critical role in his ability to pull through a throw and drive the football downfield.
- Superman - Lie on your stomach with your arms and legs extended. Retract your shoulder blades down and in towards the midline of your spine with your ab muscles drawn in. Maintain this position while lifting your opposite arm and leg. Ensure your hips stay in contact with the floor. Hold for 3-5 seconds. Repeat 10-20 times.
- Parallel Squats - Stand with your feet parallel, about shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing straight forward or slightly outward. Place a weighted bar (or even a broom handle) across the back of your shoulders. Push your hips backward and lower your butt until the top of your thighs are parallel to the floor. Your feet should be flat on the floor with your weight on your heels. Rise back up to your starting position while keeping your heels flat on the ground. Repeat 10-20 times.
- Lunges - Stand like you are beginning a Parallel Squat with a weighted bar or broom handle across your shoulders. Take a step forward with one leg so that your front knee is aligned over your heel. Drop your back knee straight down until it is about 1/4 inch from the floor. Use your stepping foot to push you back into your starting position. Repeat this sequence with your other leg. Do 15-25 reps on each side.
Are you ready to take your athletic training to the next level and train like a professional athlete? Call Fitness for Health at 301-231-7138 to learn how we can help you become stronger, faster and more explosive.
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