The Football Workout

Aug 27, 2016 | Workouts

A male trainer doing football drills

There’s a reason why football players are among the best athletes on the planet. Strength, speed, agility, and power are all athletic attributes players must possess in order to be successful at the elite level. With football season just days away, we put together a gridiron-inspired Workout of the Month for September that features some drills and exercises that will help you improve acceleration, speed, agility, explosiveness, and strength.

Keep in mind that this isn’t necessarily a football training program, but rather a workout that emulates some of the drills and exercises football players might perform.

This workout is a two-part workout consisting of strength and speed, agility, and quickness (SAQ). Do your strength day and SAQ day separately to maximize the benefits. Remember, you’re trying to get stronger and more athletic, so be sure to take advantage of the rest protocol. You want to be able to give 100% to each set, not 100% of the only 70% you have left to give.

For the strength portion of the workout: Make sure that the weight is heavy enough that you can’t complete more than 10 repetitions in a row. Take 1-2 minutes of rest between each set. Finish all three sets of an exercise before moving on to the next.

Strength Day

  • Barbell Bench Press
    3 sets | 5-10 repetitions | 60-120 seconds of rest
  • Barbell Bent-Over Row
    3 sets | 5-10 repetitions | 60-120 seconds of rest
  • Barbell Back Squat
    3 sets | 5-10 repetitions | 60-120 seconds of rest
  • Barbell Romanian Deadlift
    3 sets | 5-10 repetitions | 60-120 seconds of rest

Speed, Agility, & Quickness (SAQ) Day

  • Acceleration Drill
    3 sprints of 10 meters | 30-60 seconds of rest
    3 sprints of 25 meters | 30-60 seconds of rest
  • Speed Drill
    4 sprints of 40 meters | 60-90 seconds of rest
    4 sprints of 60 meters | 60-90 seconds of rest
  • Agility Drill (5-10-5)
    4 times through | 60-90 seconds of rest
  • Squat Jumps – Split Jumps – Power Skips
    3 sets of 20 seconds each | 30-60 seconds of rest

Building Strength

Barbell Bench Press

3 sets | 5-10 repetitions | 60-120 seconds of rest

A staple in the NFL Combine used to test upper body pushing strength, the barbell bench press is a great exercise for developing pectoral, tricep, and deltoid muscles.

Barbell Bent-Over Row

3 sets | 5-10 repetitions | 60-120 seconds of rest

This exercise focuses on upper body pulling strength. Your lats and biceps do the majority of the lifting. Your core and grip are also activated, so expect improvements in those, too.

Barbell Back Squat

3 sets | 5-10 repetitions | 60-120 seconds of rest

This exercise is as basic and effective as it gets in the weight room. Athletes need to be proficient at generating force through their lower body, and the barbell back squat helps with just that. Your glutes and quadriceps do most of the work, but your core and the muscles in your back that help maintain posture will be put to the test as well.

Barbell Romanian Deadlift

3 sets | 5-10 repetitions | 60-120 seconds of rest

Hip extension strength is vital for improving your athleticism. The barbell Romanian deadlift is a hinging exercise that zeroes in on your hamstrings and glutes, and also challenges your back and grip.


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