Football is a contact sport. To absorb hit after hit, football players need to be in peak physical condition to withstand the contact. Football players will lift weights all year to maintain strength.
Football players will lift weights during the season and in the offseason to stay strong and prevent injuries. Football is a contact sport, so players need to absorb a season’s worth of contact with strong and flexible muscles.
This article will look at why football players lift weights year-round and what benefits it has.
Lifting Weights In The Off-Season
Football players will often spend their offseason lifting heavy weights and working on explosive movements. Squats, dead-lifts, and hang cleans are just some of the lifts thrown around by football players. Football players lift weights in the off-season for a few reasons:
- Build Muscle
- Increase speed
- Increase flexibility
- Weight Gain
These 4 main reasons will help football players on the field as they take on their opponents. Typically the bigger, faster, and stronger team is what dominates the football field come game time.
Especially if your offense is predicated on physically moving players out of the way, strength training will help develop a football player’s foundation and natural power.
We also want to note, lifting weights is not just for football players. Its benefits range from overall fitness as well to building strength for other sports.
Building Muscle In The Off Season
As mentioned above, the main goal is to get bigger, faster, and stronger in the offseason. Lifting weights for an extended period of time will help (6-7) months before the season starts, will help contribute to the player’s end goal of becoming more dynamic.
Football players will often do football-based, “explosive” lifts in the off-season. These are typical squats (full-body workout), deadlifts (which test how much force a player can generate off the ground), and hang cleans.
Hang cleans is a good testament to a player’s ability to use his hips to generate power from the ground into the bar. Players who can hang clean a good amount of weight are often players who hit the hardest and run the fastest.
Tight muscles “pull” and leave an athlete sidelined, nursing the injured muscle. As a player is building muscle, they must continue to stretch and keep the muscle flexible. Offseason flexibility will also help players stay healthy when they enter the season – as muscles can absorb impact and not pull or strain.
Daily stretching and maintaining a flexible and durable body is a key essential for a healthy season. Using resistance bands or foam rollers is a great way to maintain flexibility. Offseason flexibility will also help players stay healthy when they enter the season – as muscles can absorb impact and not pull or strain.
One thing we really want to emphasize, as we live in a technology-driven world, is posture. Poor posture will inhibit flexibility.
The picture above may seem normal, as 90% of gamers will play with this forward lean. This natural forward lean position, however, is terrible for the spine and shoulders.
For example, most athletes who play video games will often be stuck in this position for hours on end. Sitting in this position without moving off the couch or your gaming chair will often “lock” muscles up restrict movements.
There’s nothing wrong with gaming, but if you do it for an extended period of time, we always recommend the player gets up and does some stretching; that way, there are no muscle and flexibility limitations.
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Lifting Weights To Gain Weight
Muscle weighs more than fat. Lifting weights will help increase muscle mass which will outweigh the fat. Football players will lift in the off-season to pack on weight, proving beneficial for offensive and defensive linemen.
Why are weight gain benefits for both offensive and defensive linemen? Offensive and defensive linemen rely on strength and power to out-due their opponents. Once leverage has been established, bigger players will often rely on their power, generated from their muscles, to move smaller or same-size opponents.
Weight gain is also important for skill positions, to be able to run away from and through the opposing defense. Defensive players will also hit harder due to more mass being delivered with each hit.
If you don’t have a weight room to weight train, we recommend this workout kit that you can easily set up at home. Even if it’s not heavy dead-lifts, push-ups, sit-ups, or using that workout kit we’ve featured above is better than doing nothing.
Why Do Football Players Lift Weights During The Season
Football players often spend the majority of the year lifting weights to build strength and muscle. Muscle development helps players run faster, jump higher, and develop natural power.
Weight training must be consistent as muscle and definition typically start to go away after 2 weeks.
Therefore, if players work hard all off-season building muscle, they must work to maintain it. Teams who lift off-season and then don’t lift during the season are wasting muscle they gained in the off-season.
Consistent lifting and muscle building will help players’ bodies absorb contact and recover faster. Like how a golfer takes care of his golf clubs, a baseball player takes care of his glove; a football player must take care of his body.
Through consistent strength and conditioning, players will finish the whole season with a lower risk of injury.
Football players lift weights to build their bodies to maximum size ultimately. This will help with injury prevention, strength building, and ultimately displacing opponents.
There’s a reason why players train year-round for football, continuously waking up at 6 AM for lifts. While football requires discipline and dedication, it also requires attention to detail and learning how to push your body to the limit.
Weight lifting helps with all of the assets, as players must motivate and inspire each other to put in the necessary work to be successful off the field.