Off Season Football Workout - Get SHREDDED
Stop getting beat on the football field early in the season by making big moves. Have you ever heard the term “he’s already in midseason form”? You shouldn’t be waiting until the middle of the season after 5 or 6 games have already passed to be performing at your peak. Start the season off strong and blow away your coaches by showing up to training camp in peak condition.
Just because the season is over and you might not be competing every weekend for a shot at a title, doesn’t mean that you should be taking it easy. What separates average football players from the great ones are the strides they take in the weight room to keep improving their craft.
Every position in football requires three key aspects: blast impulse, strength speed, and endurance. All players need to have these qualities regardless of their role on the field. In this article we will cover the ultimate off season workout that will incorporate agility training, strength training, and technique to develop the ultimate ability to perform right when the season starts.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Why Football Players Should Train Off Season
The first and arguably the most important quality that a coach looks for in their athlete is conditioning. Conditioning is going to be the athletic quality that determines how long a player can go for and how hard they can be pushed. It’s a major part of any preseason training camp and should be incorporated in all off season training sessions.
Overall performance is going to be dictated by your conditioning and can make or break a starting spot. Your coaches will notice who worked and put in the effort to improve during the break and who didn’t. Make sure to stay conditioned so you’re not struggling throughout the season.
This one should be a given. After conditioning, strength is going to play a massive role in your ability to move opponents and also move the ball. Doing the right workouts in the weight room throughout the off season is going to begin building the ability to handle more intensity as you develop.
Strength is also going to be a key indicator of how well your technique is on the field. Whether it is your down stance, blocking position, or tackling ability, strength is going to be the foundation of everything you do.
As an athlete, you are SPEED! Jumping, blocking, tackling, especially running, speed training is the third core pillar of football performance. You know that is going to help improve your speed other than just plyometrics and sprints? Moving heavy weight!
By incorporating technical and power movements like cleans is going to focus on building speed and strength at the same time. It is going to make you a well rounded athlete and most of all explosive AF! Speed work in the off season is going to define who gets off the line faster and who makes the big plays.
What Football Players Need to Have
Your muscles need to produce power quickly and effectively, that’s what blast impulse is all about. Think about blast impulse as not just speed, but creating as much force as quickly as possible. Having this is going to give any player an advantage on the field and during drills that are bound to impress coaches.
This can be developed by incorporating exercises that stay focused on explosiveness while still reinforcing technical elements that stimulate neural drive. These types of exercises are going to maximize gains in all the areas an athlete would want.
Similar to blast impulse, strength speed requires the ability to stay fast while producing force. You need to be able to build strength and improve positions so you can perform in all directions. To progress as an athlete, you need to be very versatile in the way you use your strength. Especially as a football player, transitioning your static strength into strength speed is going to bolster you for the upcoming season.
The last piece of the puzzle that you need to develop over the off season is going to be endurance. Endurance is going to come with conditioning and be tested in the preseason. You need to stay in tip top shape for when you need to play 4 quarters all out come the next season.
We won’t touch much on cardiovascular endurance in this workout, but definitely muscular endurance to increase your sport fitness. Let’s take a look at the workout.
6 Step Off Season Football Workout
Exercise 1 - Low Hang Clean
The first exercise that you will be using in your workout is going to be a low hang clean. The low hang clean is going to be a great movement that develops blast impulse and strength speed through a dynamic lift.
This movement is going to light up the posterior chain and target all the muscle groups in your body. It will engage your legs, core, back, and arms for the ultimate power production lift. The low hang clean is a great test of dynamic truck control, balance, and overall power output.
When doing the low hang clean make sure to incorporate a slow eccentric past the knees and a tight back so that you stay in control of the load. Your rep scheme is going to be: 4X2 → 2X4.
Exercise 2 - Incline Bench Press
The next exercise is going to be for building strength in the upper body. The ultimate combination of building pressing power in the shoulders, triceps, and chest. The incline bench press is going to transition perfectly into the positions that you would use when blocking or attacking another player carrying the ball.
The incline bench press is even great for quarterbacks and receivers to help shield off defenders or provide killer stiff arms.
We like to do a specific variation which is 1 and 1/4th reps. The reason we like to use this variation is because it is going to recruit more high threshold motor units and engage the upper body like no other movement. You are going to do these for a heavy set of 5X5.
Exercise 3 - Single Leg Squat
The third exercise on this list is going to be another lower body exercise that will isolate the leg and build strong trunk control. This is going to be the single leg squat.
The single leg squat can be loaded on your back, in a front rack, or even held overhead. But for football players, we want to load it on our back to push maximum weight. This is the perfect exercise to develop agility and unilateral balance.
Wonder why Nick Singleton can cut horizontally so fast and accelerate once he’s in the clear? That’s because he hammers single leg squats to become an explosive beast. To get started, you can do 5 sets of 7 reps each side to get a massive leg pump and maximize gains.
Exercise 4 - Rotating Back Extension
As a super set to your single leg squats, we want to really build that horizontal movement and cutting ability. The supplemental lift is going to be rotating back extensions with a split stance. These are going to target the adductors and strengthen the lateral ability of athletes.
Not only is it a great accessory for the lower body, it is going to double down as a core exercise. By using a dropping medicine ball, you’ll be engaging the core to stay stiff and quick through the rotation.
The key about this movement is that you want to be FAST. You can do it controlled and just go through the reps, but it won’t provide that much benefit. You want to move quickly and with intent so that you are establishing fast twitch adaptations. Again, do these for 5 sets of 7 each side.
Exercise 5 - Towel Grip Pull Up
As we move onto accessories, the first one is going to be towel grip pull ups. You want grip strength? This is how you get it. If you’re wondering why towel grip instead of just using the bar, it’s because we want to focus on developing grip here.
As a running back you need to have exceptional ball security as you are being tackled or when you are running through defenders. As a wide receiver or tight end, you need exceptional grip strength to catch and maintain control of the ball. As a lineman or a defensive back, you are going to be pushing, pulling, and tacking.
Towel grip pull ups will make sure you get a firm grasp on anything you get a hold of while still building that upper body. Start with 4 sets of 12 reps unweighted and increase the weight for the progressive overload as you improve.
Exercise 6 - Miracle Grow
The final accessory and superset to your pull ups is going to be miracle grows. If you haven’t read our content before, miracle grows are going to be almost like a dumbbell pull over, except you will be bending the elbows.
The reason we bend the elbows is so that there is more activation from the triceps at the finish rather than just chest isolation. Miracle grows are one of our favorite exercises to build size in the lats, triceps and shoulders.
They’re also a phenomenal tool in developing shoulder stability for heavier lifts like your incline press. Do these for 4 sets of 12-15 so you can superset them with your towel grip pull ups.
Getting your reps in during the off season is an absolute must if you want to play at the collegiate and professional level. Although hitting the gym and training is important, recovery days and taking care of your body are just as important.
Keeping your nutrition and recovery held together will make sure nothing is lacking as you enter training camp. That means getting enough protein, creatine, water, and tracking your food in case you need to make a specific weight.
Hopefully you use this off season workout in your program so you can come back an absolute beast. If you want to see more workouts and exercises for football, check out the Peak Strength app. This is the app we created to get elite level programming in your pocket so you never have to worry about not being prepared for the upcoming season. Set your goals, confirm your equipment, and be the best on your team!
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Yo, It's Dane
Welcome to the Garage Strength Blog, where it is my goal to provide you with the experience and knowledge I've gained in the strength and conditioning world over many years of learning from both successes and failures. I train elite-level athletes in a multitude of sports from the high school to professional levels, already producing 5 Olympics and 30+ National Champions. If you want to be the next champion I train, check out my strength programs below!
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