Tips for Staying Fit in the Football Offseason

By Nan Werther , last updated January 4, 2012

Staying fit in the football off-season is crucial to coming back to the game 100 percent the following season. While you may not be exhausting your body and energy to the extent you do during competition and regular practices, it is important that you maintain commitment to a workout regimen. Regular workouts designed for football players will extend your endurance, keep your intensity at consistent and healthy levels, and continue to improve your strength and power even while you're away from the game. In order to come back better, check out these tips from seasoned pros.

Stick to a Workout Schedule

Unless you're swamped with training or injured, it's essential that you continue to build your strength while maintaining the level of peak physical fitness your body has grown accustomed to. Even in the off-season, players should commit to a regular schedule when it comes to hitting the weight room. While by no means do you need to adhere to the same workout intensity and duration during the off-season, you should follow a schedule somewhat similar to this one which recommends focusing on a different area of the body every day to lessen your risk of injury or over training. For instance, focus on your upper body Monday, your lower body Wednesday, and your back and abdominals on Friday. Devote Tuesday and Thursday to some intense cardiovascular activities and give yourself some time to rest over the weekend. Following this routine, you're sure to stay in shape.

Maintain Your Diet

Even in the off-season, ensuring that your body gets enough necessary nutrients is important. Don't let the off-season be your excuse to make bad dietary decisions. Not only will your body thank you come game time, but you'll spend less time losing the added weight once practice rolls around again. However, it's important to note that eating a well-balanced diet does not mean the same choices for everyone. Nor should you deprive yourself. Instead, focus on lean protein servings at every meal, such as turkey, tofu, beans, fish. Make sure to include plenty of leafy, green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, spinach, avocado, and squash that pack in plenty of essential vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, and b12. These nutrients and vitamins will help your body rebuild after an intense gym session. Remember, don't start the season off worse than you ended it.

Incorporate Pylometrics

Pylometric training exercises are a great way to boost your speed and agility in the off-season. These exercises combine explosive movement to generate a lot of force very quickly, making these highly adaptable exercises to bring onto the football field later. High Knees, Squats Jumps, Tuck Jumps, and Box Jumps are all excellent pylometric methods to help build these useful skills. Start at a comfortable level, and increase the intensity and number of reps as you grow more capable.

Train by Your Position

Each position on the field requires that the player consistently perform a specific skill above and beyond others on the team. The off-season is a good time to focus your workout and develop this body part. For instance, quarterbacks should emphasis shoulder exercises, wide receivers and linemen should work on developing power in their legs, and defensive backs should make sure they strengthen their entire body to prepare for vigorous collisions on the field.

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