Train Like a Pro! 8 Moves Inspired by Football Pros
Now you can train like the best of the best with these pro-inspired exercises.
If you follow any professional football players off the field, you’ve probably noticed they have some of the nicest physiques around, even when it’s not football season.
As athletes they obviously have to be strong. Have you seen those bone-crushing tackles? They also need explosive power and speed to sprint up the field, and agility to dodge defenders. The result is a body that’s both muscular and lean. #Goals
Ready to take some inspiration from the pros and challenge yourself?
First of all, you should know that most running backs aren’t on crazy fad diets. No juice cleanses, no cabbage soup detoxes. And those defensive linemen probably aren’t lifting boulders, dragging school buses with their pinkies, or doing any other out-of-this-world training.
So if you’re going to explore training like a pro, it’s all about effective exercises in a wide range of areas. They focus on building physical endurance in both strength and speed. And you can do it too! We have eight exercises just for you inspired by professional football players. Yep – they are challenging, but totally doable!
Resisted High Knees
High knees are a good option if you want to strengthen your legs and build overall stability. They work your calves, quads, hamstrings, shins, and abs. It’s a simple concept: run in place, lifting your knees high enough to reach your arms bent at the elbow. To increase the intensity, put a resistance band around your waist and tie it to a wall or have a buddy hold onto it. As you do your high knees, pull against the band. Here’s a helpful demonstration video.
Add this exercise to your cardio routine, and try to keep those knees moving for at least 20 minutes. You can do it!
To develop explosive power and speed, you need to train your muscles to do it correctly. Bounding can help reinforce muscle synchronization. It’s easy to perform, and it will get you killer results! Basically you bound from one leg to the other continuously. Try to cover as much ground as possible with each bound. Really drive your feet into the ground! Rawr!
Not sure if you’re bounding with flying colors? Check your form and learn more about bounding here.
Dumbbell Bench Press
This is a great strength-building exercise for your upper body. The dumbbells allow you to have a wide range of motion with your reps, and unlike the barbell bench press, dumbbells ensure each arm is lifting the same weight and becoming equally strong. To begin, lay down on a bench. Grip your dumbbells, and hold your elbows out at 45 degree angle from your side. Lift the dumbbells toward the ceiling until your arms are fully extended. And repeat!
Here’s a video that will show you everything you need to know about the dumbbell bench press here.
Pulling exercises are wonderful for strengthening your arms and back. Football players like using the landmine row because it puts less strain on your lower back compared to other pulling exercises.
Instructions for this one:
1. Stand parallel to the end of a barbell.
2. Bending over, grab the end of the barbell with an overhand grip.
3. Use your lat muscles to pull up the bar as high as possible.
You can either flare your elbow to the side, or keep it against your side. Try both to work different muscles. Use this helpful video to make sure you’re doing it right!
Never underestimate the power of push-ups! They activate nearly every muscle in your body, and help you stabilize muscle movements. Football players like to add weight to their pushups. This increases the resistance and makes your core work harder. Little by little, you can try placing a weighted plate on your back, or draping your back with a chain. We like the chain because more of it lifts off the ground as you pop up, adding weight to the place you’re strongest.
When you find a weight you’re comfortable with, do your max reps and then repeat 3 times. Don’t worry about doing a ton of weight right away, just keep challenging yourself as you progress over time – there’s no rush!
Glute Ham Raise
Nobody wants a pulled hamstring. You can help prevent that injury by strengthening your glutes and hammies. Bonus: it will help you run faster, too! The easiest way to do this type of exercise is on a glute ham raise machine (GHR). Unfortunately, not every gym is equipped with one, but never fear! We found a natural way to do the same exercise and a handy demonstration.
Try to do 3 sets of 6 reps, and then give yourself a pat on the back.
Kettlebell Lateral Lunge
When a running back jump cuts around defenders, he’s using his lats. (In case you forgot, those are the big muscles on your lower back directly under your arms.) The kettlebell lateral lunge is a great exercise to strengthen the lats, plus your core and back strength and hip flexibility.
These are basically like regular lunges, but off to the side instead of forward.
Here’s how to do it:
● Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
● Hold a kettlebell with both hands in front of you.
● Step to the right with your right foot and lower your hips down into a lunge.
● Push up through your hip to return to starting position.
● Now do the other side!
Let’s get to lunging! Try to do 3 sets of 5 reps on each leg, and then stretch it out. Good work!
Quarterbacks love the Russian twist, and so will you! It strengthens your core to help you throw an amazing 50 yard Hail Mary, or absorb a pulverizing sack from a lineman. It’s pretty easy to do. Just sit on the ground with your legs bent and raised off the floor. Hold a medicine ball and twist from side to side, touch the ball to the floor with each twist. Now go as fast as you can! (But stay in control.) How many times can you do it? 30? 40? Add this exercise to the end of your workout and finish strong!
Are you ready to learn from the pros? Then lace up your sneakers and get at it! These exercises are perfect for adding a little challenge to your everyday routine. Let us know how you like them, and what other strength training tips you have. Who knows, you might give those football players a run for their money.
– The goodNes Crew