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Football Conditioning – The Importance of Strengthening the Lower Body

If you think of all the things a football player does on a football field; running the ball, blocking, receiving, passing, tackling, hitting and kicking, the greatest and most significant component is the use of the lower body. Increasing strength in the legs and hips can turn a 10 yard gain into 25 yards, turn a good hit into a devastating hit, or turn a 15 yard reception into a 50 yard gain! Therefore, to become great, all football players must strengthen there lower body to enhance their ability to be a game changer.

The following information contains descriptions of the lifts you will be directed to do in your workouts. They will provide details on the technique how to execute each lift. It is imperative that you focus more on the technique of each lift, rather than increasing the weight. Remember, you will get stronger quicker if you do all lifts in good technique, rather than trying to lift too much with a lack of technique.

KEY REMINDER – ALWAYS HAVE A WORKOUT PARTNER TO SPOT YOU! (This will help prevent injuries, and help you focus on technique.)

Back Squat (With a Bar)

  • With a free weight rack, place and set the bar on the rack at approximately chest height.
  • When you have the necessary weight on the bar, stand underneath the bar, grip/place your hands in the same DLS league 2020 position you use when you bench press. Finally securely fit the bar right where your neck turns into your shoulders.
  • Lift the bar off the rack and take a tiny step away from the rack.
  • Place your feet shoulder width apart and slightly point your toes outward.
  • Slowly sit down as if into an imaginary chair.
  • Keep your eyes looking directly ahead, with your back straight and your knees pointed outward.
  • Go down until your hips are slightly below the level of your knees. (You are now in the bottom of your lift).
  • Finally, push off the bottom of your feet and stand up! Do not look down! Keep you back straight and do not lean forward!

Lunges (With a Bar or Dumbbells)

  • Set, grip, and place the bar on your shoulders the same manners as you would for a back squat.
  • Step back a good 2 -3 steps away from the rack.
  • With both feet shoulder width apart, step with your right foot forward in a good stride, not to short or long. You should step at least 4 lengths of the length of your right foot.
  • With your legs in a split, drop and barely touch your left knee on the ground. (Careful, if it touches too hard you will generate tendonitis in your knee cap!)
  • Push up off the ground using your right leg. Focus using the hips.
  • Step back with both feet shoulder width apart.
  • That completes 1 repetition for the right leg. You will do repetitions on both the right and left legs.

Split Squats

  • Set, grip, and place the bar on your shoulders the same manners as you would for a back squat.
  • Step back at least 2 steps away from the squat rack.
  • Spread your legs apart till your legs are twice the width of you shoulders. Not quite the splits but close.
  • Gradually bend your right knee and lean right until your hips are the same level as your right knee.
  • Push off your right foot and return to your split stance. Be sure to not lean forward. Keep your back straight and look straight ahead.
  • Switch and do the left leg. Once you do both legs you have completed 1 repetition.
  • You will fill a burn in your butt and groin when you perform this drill correctly.

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