Training Tips for Football Players
Follow the Pros
Playing football at any level takes a certain kind of person to be able to withstand the rigors of the sport and the violent nature of the game. But if you are blessed with the mental and physical toughness to play at the high school, college, or even the recreational level then it is important that you stay in shape all year round.
Incorporating a training regimen that is peculiar to football players will allow you to maintain your fitness while steeling your body for the punishment of an entire football season. And while some injuries cannot be avoided, many can be mitigated through flexibility training, core strengthening, and pliability exercises.
Some of the best fitness training can be found from the pros and if you follow the favorites for the Super Bowl and think about growing your own training regimen based on what their team trainers advise then it’s a big step in the right direction for your growth as a player and healthy one at that. So, let’s see what the professionals do to take their game to the next level.
Travis Kelce – Tight End – Kansas City Chiefs
Speaking of Super Bowl teams, we might as well start with the best tight end in the business who, not so coincidentally, plays for the best team in the world, the Kansas City Chiefs. Kelce spends hours upon hours working on catching drills, with many of them of the one-handed variety. A pass-catcher can never get enough skill work in but improving quickness, strength, and stamina is always at the top of any professional athlete’s list.
“Your core is like your engine. It triggers everything and gets everything going,” Kelce says. “Guys can be as big as they want, but if they’re weak in the core, they’re not going to be a good football player.”
Kelce’s regimen consists of several sets of eight-reps on the flat bench and Romanian Dead Lifts followed by squat thrusts for explosion off the line and skull crushers for strengthening the triceps which allows for forceful blocking in pass protection schemes.
Patrick Mahomes – Quarterback – Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes recently signed a historically enormous contract, paying the 25-year-old $500 million over 10 years. That kind of money demands Mahomes treat his body like a temple and if it’s one area of the body that every quarterback needs to protect, it’s their throwing shoulder.
“Shoulder care is definitely something I’m doing more than I used to,” Mahomes stated. “My trainer, Bobby Stroupe, takes me through a routine where my shoulder is in awkward positions while gaining strength. I throw from so many awkward positions on the field, so it’s an important part of my routine.”
Mahomes also answered what a typical day at the gym consists of for the All-Pro athlete, “I make sure to get in some foam rolling and time with the Hypervolt volt to warm up. I have to make sure my body is ready to work out. I do legs one day and arms the next and then keep switching back and forth. We also always do shoulder mobility workouts and throwing mobility exercises. It’s important that I always make sure my shoulder is the healthiest it can be.”
Sterling Shepard – Wide Receiver – New York Giants
Twenty-seven-year-old Sterling Shepard makes a good living catching a tight spiral from the likes of young Giants’ gunslinger, Daniel Jones, but the key to his success is being able to get open and ditch those pesky cornerbacks trying to blanket his every move. To that end, Shepard focuses mainly on leg squats and working with Kaiser machines for his daily workouts.
“I feel good about where my strength is, but I want to get faster, more explosive for next season,” said Shepard. “I’ve been doing a lot of speed work on the treadmill, strengthening my smaller muscles. I want to build on my first season and continue to get faster and stronger.”
Khalil Mack – Linebacker – Chicago Bears
Let’s end with one of the premier defensive players in the National Football League, Chicago’s Khalil Mack. In order to be such a devastating force, Mack says getting stretched out and optimizing his fast-twitch muscles is essential in moving around the behemoths protecting the quarterback or run blocking for speedy tailbacks.
“Over each offseason, my training is mostly the same stuff, but I try and tweak it with a different approach,” Mack stated. “My workouts start with a really good stretching session. After that, I fire up some of my smaller muscles to get them ready for the next part of my workout. I love kettlebell workouts and pushing the sled—I’ve been doing a lot of that this offseason—along with heavy sets of pushups and sit-ups.”