Has football always inspired you to become fit? Do you want to attain football fitness to be able to become eligible to get into a proper course? Here, we will guide you with the kind of fitness training NFL players go through. Brett Fischer, the physical therapist of Arizona Cardinals told the media how it is done. We have taken cues from his fitness routine to tell you how you should shape yours.
How to attain football fitness to be as good as NFL players?
Every athletic fitness journey is different depending upon the kind of sport you wish to play. Find out how to play American football and how to become fit enough to start practice:
1. Physical aspects
The primary aspect of every athlete is to become healthy. All NFL players need football fitness and have to pass tests to prove that. They go through tests like X-ray, MRI, electrocardiogram, and more.
Every young athlete must start their practice only after being in their fittest self. Many people turn to personal physicians that conduct an exam of their heart, lungs, blood pressure, vision, medical history, genitals, abdomen, and nervous and musculoskeletal systems.
You primarily go through tests to prevent any catastrophic medical situation and also determine if you can participate in football.
2. Basic movement screening
There are many NFL players that get a complete movement analysis of their body. These screenings might help a doctor tell you the kind of exercise you need to do to correct and improve your body.
Two easy exercises for football fitness training you can do at home include:
- Wall pushups that exert pressure on knees and toes. You need to keep your body in a straight line from shoulders to ankles and perform the exercise. Make sure to not sag or arch the lower back area.
- Single leg squats that gently touch your buttocks onto a chair and return back to the original posture and standing position.
3. Warmups for flexibility
Stretching and warmup are essential for every athlete before they start football fitness workout. Stretching helps you gain more range of motion in muscles, while dynamic warmups intend to increase the core temperature of your muscles. It gets your muscles, nervous system, and joints ready for the upcoming physical training.
Before every NFL game, players go through a stretch routine and dynamic warmup. The key muscles targeted are hamstrings, calves, and hip flexors. Dynamic warmup consists of a chain of gradual movements and drills like jogging, shuffles, carioca, high knees running, and more.
4. Agility drills
NFL players prepare for the gaming season with five months of football fitness drills. It includes agility drills and progressive running. As a beginner, agility drills and running position specific sprints are important.
A typical game of American football averages with around 11 minutes of live action. Although it doesn’t sound like a lot, there is more to determine. In one game, a defensive back will run for around 1,400 yards at an average. We can break that down to 50-80 plays that last for four to five seconds.
The average yardage of every play is 17 yards of running. A lineman runs for an average of 400-600 yards per game. Thus, to improve performance, agility drills and running is essential and must match requirements of specific positions.
5. Football fitness training program
NFL players are extremely powerful athletes compared to many others in the world. This is what makes the NFL so popular yet farfetched for many aspirants. The players spend months to train their bodies to have power and strength.
Young athletes need to work on the core, legs, hips, and upper body muscles. Depending on where you get your fitness training, the cycle you follow will differ.
Many NFL players have six-pack abs and they’re constantly developing their core strength. Strength training for legs is also as important as the upper body.
To add the right kind of fuel to your body and to maintain football fitness training effect, you got to eat right. You need to have carb-based food from healthy edibles like veggies, fruits, bread, and pasta. You should not overeat high protein content and avoid fried food completely. Hydration is essential all the time – not just from water but also fluids like fruit juice and milk are essential.
7. Resting period
Football fitness needs ample amount of rest and players taper down extensive training and practice as a match approach. You need proper sleep to recharge your bodies and allow to work well during peak hours.
NFL players must sleep in a dark or low-lighted room and under cool temperature. They must have comfortable beds and alarm clock to prevent oversleeping. A few days before a game, they need to sleep 7-8 hours a day.
8. Mental preparation
Football fitness training also needs mental preparation along with physical efforts. You need to first be sure of the purpose of why you’re playing this game. You need to analyze what coaches and teammates will expect from you at the end of a season. Consider your goals to figure out how you want to work on them. Until you discover your passion completely, you will not feel competent enough.
9. Following rules
Every sport comes with a set of rules and regulations, and that shapes up a trainer’s plan to teach the athletes. You need to have a complete idea of the rules you need to follow to accustom yourself to the game.
Following rules not only helps you play the game right but also be aware of every move you make. When you train yourself by keeping the rules in mind, it helps you have a clear vision of how you want to take the game ahead.
10. Doing it with a team
Sports that depend on teamwork need the entire team to train together. You will lack in football fitness if you do it alone. You can exercise alone, but you cannot execute the game by yourself.
Doing it with a team makes things much easier for the game because members become well aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. When you try to work on things with more people, you stay motivated and have more chances to excel.