Power and explosiveness are the qualities that define a football player. This requires a strict training plan to pack on muscle, as well as working on your cardio to become a good all-round athlete. A football player’s body is completely different to a conventional bodybuilder. In this article we’ll be looking at how you would need to train to get a body like a football player.
Train Like A Football Player
Ultimately, when training you want to try exercises that can help you pack on muscle and develop your strength and power. This applies to your whole body, not just the legs as a strong throw requires a strong arm and back behind it. You’ll need to train for both speed and strength. Pay close attention to this workout routine to build a footballer’s body, even if you lack the skills on the field.
A football player’s upper body has to be strong and muscular to deal with the hits these guys take on a daily basis in training and on game day. This means they put hours and hours in each week in the weight room to put on lean muscle mass.
1. Barbell Bench Press
This really is the go-to move to get a big chest. It’s also the easiest measure of strength. How much do you bench bro? This seems to be the most common question when people speak about the gym and it is a really boost for your ego if you can bench more than the guy on the rack next to you. But there is a difference between ‘benching’ and benching properly with good form — and this will show in your physical results.
You’ll see plenty of guys in the gym pile the pounds on the bar and then complete a few ‘reps’, which aren’t even close to be being full reps. So, make sure you put weight on the bar you can manage for reps with good form.
4 sets, 12, 10, 8, 6 reps
2. Dumbbell Shrug
For building your traps — shrug, shrug and shrug some more. To shrug effectively you need to lift heavy, but make sure you maintain good posture — no slouching, chest up. This may sound stupid, but you should be moving your shoulders to lift the weight and not your head.
It can be tempting to overload the weight and what you’ll notice if you’re looking in a mirror is that instead of lifting your shoulders up towards your head, you start to pull your head down towards your shoulders. This means you’re not shrugging properly. When you shrug the weight you need to squeeze at the top of the movement and get your shoulders as high as you can.
3 sets, 12 reps
3. Incline Bench Press
The upper chest is often ignored by gym-goers who focus more on flat bench press. But working your upper chest is vitally important and it will also help you to look big. Be careful not to incline the bench too much that you take the weight off your chest and place it on your shoulders. The bench should not be inclined more than 45 degrees, and not less than 30 degrees.
4 sets, 12, 10, 8, 6 reps
4. Barbell Row
This exercise works your back muscles and it works them hard. Bend at the hips and try to get your torso as parallel to the floor as possible, but be careful not to place too much strain on your lower back. Make sure to brace your core and then take hold of the bar and pull the bar up towards your belly button. Squeeze and then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.
4 sets, 12, 10, 8, 6 reps
Leg strength is so important for a football player. It doesn’t matter how big your upper body is, if you don’t have the legs to help you utilize that power, you’re never going to be capable of tackling and running with the same power and explosiveness. So never ever skip leg day.
1. Barbell Squat
The squat is the best exercise you can do for your legs. Fact. It will work your quads predominantly, and will help to pack on some muscular size on your legs. The main thing to do is get your feet positioning right. Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and point your toes slightly outwards.
When you lower the weight make sure to keep your chest sticking out to prevent you from leaning forward under the weight, then push back up through your heels.
4 sets, 10, 8, 6, 4 reps
This is a great exercise for strengthening your lower back and your hamstrings. Take hold of the bar with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart. This is another exercise where you need to be careful with the weight as piling too much on the bar can lead to poor form and you can cause yourself a serious injury to your lower back.
4 sets of 6 reps
3. Leg Press
Getting on the leg press machine is a great way to finish off your legs so they’re burning when you leave the gym. Choose a weight where you can get at least 15 reps and then the aim is to go for failure every time. You will be training for hypertrophy on this one — you shouldn’t stop pressing until your legs give up. And then even when they do, try for 1 more rep!
Take Home Message
No one said training like a football player was going to be easy. They’re some of the most physically imposing athletes on the planet for a reason. They train hard and eat right everyday to keep themselves in top physical condition.