Focus on special teams: new conditioning moves to add to their workouts

February 15, 2019 / Football
{Sponsored} A coach must teach players to not only enjoy and excel at a sport, but also how to avoid injury while playing. Football players in particular are prone to a variety of injury types. During the offseason is an excellent time to work with your players on upping their strength and conditioning in order to stay off the disabled list next season. Based on players’ experience in the weight room, they may need more or less attention to ensure they’re using proper lifting techniques.

Work with your school’s strength and condition coach, if you have one, to develop plans for each special team and position. Obviously, a lineman and a quarterback will have totally different routines for strength and conditioning. Quarterbacks focus on agility, throwing mechanics, speed and footwork. They do not require the brute force strength that linemen need to be effective. However, both positions will require ankle stability.

So how do you create workouts that will be best for each player who might be on the field with special teams?

Your linemen will need to focus on several aspects primarily with a goal of strengthening the entire body. They’ll have to work on any available chest press at your weight room. They will also need to strengthen their hips, knees and ankles; these can be accomplished with weight machines but also need to include tire flips and lunges to properly and safely strengthen their legs in full extension.

Kickers and punters should focus on balance-related and coordination-improving exercises, plus lunges. An excellent option is to stand on a bosu ball with kicking leg extended, as if in the motion of kicking or punting. Punters especially should extend their arms as if they are holding the football. Hold for 15-20 seconds. For players newer to the position, this move can be done on a flat surface while the players work up to balancing on a bosu ball on one leg; after that, they should add the leg extension.

Up the ante on your players’ lunges by adding a pull-down aspect to it. Lunge with the back to the pulley machine and pull down the bar in front of your body. This will work the core as it would engage during a kick. Add a bridge with leg extension to full work the abdominals. These exercises are excellent complement to an existing circuit for these players.

© 2019 USA Football

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