FOOTBALL STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING

By: Jeff Paluseo

American football requires a wide range of training, including football fitness and conditioning training. To most athletes they look at the physical strength required to play the game as being paramount. Strength is important however in today's game speed, power and quickness are all equally important; and this is true whether you are playing on the offensive or defensive line, or at the running back and safety positions. This sport requires a combination of strength power, and endurance. Now the question is what are the best exercises to develop in these areas?

Strength is a key element of any football fitness program. Let's look at strength first. To build your strength a variety of exercises should be used including: Bench Press, Incline Press, Squats, are all effective programs.

Quickness is critical at any position. The lineman for example who can come off the ball quickly is more likely to make the block, than one who is slow and methodical. Quickness however should not be confused with speed. It's related; but not the same. To improve your quickness you should consider the following exercises: Plyometrics (Hurdle Jumps, Hops and Bounds), and Olympics lifts (Snatches, Cleans, Push Jerks).

We've all heard the saying that speed kills, and it does especially on the football field. Give me a lineman that can roll out with a running back and make a key block to spring him loose consistently, and I have a very valuable player. By the same token, a running back with the speed to break a run for the end zone, wins games. Speed is an important element in today's game. Good exercises to help improve this part of your game are: Olympic Lifts, Running Technique, and Running Form are all effective.

Power should not be confused with speed or strength. It's a combination of both. The strongest player is not necessarily the most powerful. At the end of the day it's not the strongest player who gets the job done, it's usually the most powerful. So how do we develop this power? I suggest you incorporated the following exercises into your football fitness program: Olympic Lifts, Power Jumps, and Squats.

The final consideration for this fitness program is endurance. I'm sure you've all heard the old saying screamed on the sideline, "We play 60 minutes here." This is one of the truest statements in the game. Generally the team that can play all 60 minutes has a much better chance of winning that the team that can't. Famous Green Bay Packer and NFL Hall of Fame Coach Vince Lombardi said it best, "Fatigue makes cowards of us all." However it's easier said than done. So how do you gain the aerobic endurance to last a full 60 minutes of hard play? It's a great question, I suggest using the following exercises to help get you in condition: Anaerobic Training (intervals both laterally and linearly) Build anaerobic work capacity that is very large. Aerobic training can make you slower.

I hope you found this article helpful in getting you started on a football fitness program. If you'd like to learn more or if you would like to consider a program tailored to you, please complete the "Contact Us" form (find the tab on the left) and e-mail it to us and we will get started setting up a football fitness program targeted specifically to you. Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter too. I think you'll enjoy it.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my article. We look forward to seeing you again.

Stay Fit,

Jeff