American Football players generally fall into one of two camps when selecting exercises:

Camp 1) Thinks the only thing that matters is the squat, bench, and deadlift.

Camp 2) Focus’s on “specificity” at the expense of effectiveness.

Let’s find some middle-ground:

1. Sprint

You compete in a running based sport, run.

Speed kills.

 2. Bent-leg knee flexion

 i.e. Nordicsswiss ball hamstring curls, machine leg curls.

Reduce hamstring injuries, the most prevalent injury in contact sports.

3. Olympic Lifts (or loaded jumps)

 i.e. hang cleans, high pulls, trap-bar jumps.

Develops your ability to move load fast. Will make you power through tackles and crunch people in hits.

If you can’t do olympic lifts. Don’t stress. Do loaded jumps. They have a similar benefit.

4. Hinge

i.e. RDL, Good morning, deadlift.

Develops robust hamstrings and backs, whilst building the base of power – the posterior chain.

5. Direct Shank Work

i.e. weighted tibialis raisessingle-leg calf raises, balance work.

Ferraris don’t run on flat tires.

The stronger your lower limbs, the greater force you can put into the ground.

6. Squat

 i.e. front squat, back squatHatfield Split Squats

Enough said.

7. Direct Neck Work

i.e. plate neck flexion, isometric holds, rotational band work

Strong necks cash cheques.

For every 1% increase in neck strength, risk of concussion goes down 5%.

8. Carry

 i.e. Zercher, farmers, suitcase.

Develops “contact strength” like no other exercises.

9. Direct trunk work

i.e. standing roll-outsdragon flagsL-sits

Supplement a holistic programme. The foundation of great things.

10. Plyometrics

i.e. pogo jumps, lateral bounds, tuck jumps.

Different directions, different speeds. Develop elasticity for fast footwork.

11. Pull

i.e. Rowspull-upsinverted rows.

Armour building for the back of the body.

Greater armour = greater hit absorbing potential.

12. Push

 i.e. bench pressoverhead presslandmine press

Armour building for the front of the body.

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