9 Exercises to Perform Better on the Field

In American Football International’s continuing series of articles offering features and information on off-season training and conditioning, this article by Tammy Kovaluk on Stack.com gives us nine core exercises that are a must for any football player intent on improving.

If you have any more tips or ideas, please let us know.

Link to original article from Stack.com.

When you break down all of the action on a football field, everything that happens falls into one of three categories: sprinting, engaging in standing hand-to-hand combat, and changing direction. That’s it. So to succeed on the field, you need to prepare during the off-season with moves that translate well to each of those functions. My top nine exercise recommendations are as follows:

Power Clean

AFI - Power clean

 Why?

Power (which is strength plus speed) is a key element for football players. Studies show that speed and power are the most important factors differentiating between starters and non-starters.[1]

The Power Clean and its variations require you to exert a high amount of force against the ground through a series of rapid movements. It involves triple extension of the ankles, knees, and hips, the same motion you make during a tackle or the start of a sprint. Involving all the major muscles of the body, the Power Clean offers so many benefits to football players that it deserves its own article. (See 5 Reasons Why Football Players Shoulder Power Clean.)

How To

  • Starting with the bar on the floor, grasp it with a slightly-wider-than-shoulder-width overhand grip.
  • Position the bar over the center of your shoe laces, move your chest over the bar and push your hips back.
  • Explode upward by fully extending your hips, knees and ankles.
  • Forcefully shrug your shoulders to pull the bar up, keeping it close to your chest.
  • Drop under the bar in a quarter-squat position and catch the bar in front of your shoulders with your elbows forward.
  • Extend your knees and hips to stand up.
  • Lower to start position, and repeat for specified reps.

Sets/Reps: 3-6×2-4

Caution: You need a good strength-training base before attempting the Power Clean. Develop this strength with Deadlifts and Front Squats. Once you’re ready to try the Clean, begin with the Hang Clean and have a certified coach work with you on the movement.

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Tammy Kovaluk
Tammy Kovaluk, MSc, CSCS, is the owner of RISE Sport Performance Training (Tucson, Arizona). Originally from Canada, she has over 15 years of experience working with athletes in a wide range of sports. She specializes in high school and collegiate athletes, with team experience in football, baseball, and swimming. Kovaluk was the strength and conditioning coach for Belmont High School and the Victoria Rebels Junior Football teams, and she still consults with them. She was a competitive amateur boxer, cross country runner and triathlete; and she's currently an obstacle course racer.
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