Plyometrics to Improve Explosive Football Power

August 8, 2013 | Jim Carpentier

Must See Football Videos

Regardless of which side of the ball you'll be on this football season, possessing explosive upper- and lower-body power will make you one of the more valuable players on the field. Upper-body explosiveness and speed are required for pushing away opponents at the line and sacking a quarterback or tackling a fullback. And lower-body power is essential for leaping to catch the ball, deflecting or intercepting a pass, eluding a defender, accelerating to the end zone after a catch, or blocking a field goal or extra point.

Plyometric training promotes explosiveness in the hips and legs. Kickers and punters also benefit from plyometric drills when developing leg and hip power for longer kicks and punts.

An On-Field Football Plyometric Workout

No need to do these drills in the weight room. Perform them before or after practice right on the field or in a gymnasium. Rest 30 to 60 seconds between exercises and 15 to 30 seconds between sets.

Equipment

  • Moderately heavy med ball
  • Three two-foot cones or cardboard boxes (about two feet high and one foot wide)

Standing Med Ball Overhead and Downward Throws

These exercises build explosive power in the shoulders, chest and arms, necessary for blocking or pushing away a defender.

  • Assume an athletic stance holding the med ball at chest level and rapidly throw the ball overhead with your arms extended
  • Catch the ball and immediately fire it up again
  • Do five reps without rest, then hold ball overhead and explosively throw it to the turf, catch it off the turf and immediately throw it down again
  • After five reps, rest 15-30 seconds and repeat sequence

Standing or Seated Partner Med Ball Throws

Pair up with a teammate for Standing or Seated Med Ball Throws.

  • For Standing Throws, face each other in an athletic stance five feet apart
  • Teammate holds the med ball at chest level and fires it to you at top speed
  • Catch the ball and immediately throws it back to your teammate
  • Perform 10 reps
  • Seated Throws are performed the same way, only while sitting
  • Perform two sets of either Standing or Seated Throws

Supine Overhead Throws

If you are exercising alone, this is a great alternative to Standing or Seated Partner Med Ball Throws.

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the field
  • Hold med ball on your chest
  • Fire med ball up above your chest, catch it and immediately throw it up again
  • Do two sets of five reps. Rest 15-30 seconds between sets and hydrate

Explosive Push-Ups/Burpees Combo

This combo boosts upper- and lower-body power.

  • Begin in a push-up position, hands shoulder-width apart on the turf
  • Perform five Explosive Push-Ups (hands leaving turf between reps)
  • Perform five Burpees (start in squat position with hands on the floor in front of you, jump your feet back to push-up position, bounce back to the squat position and jump as high as you can out of the squat)
  • Take 15-30 seconds to hydrate and do another combo set

Box or Cone Hurdles/Goalpost Crossbar Jumps Combo

This is an excellent plyometric combo to enhance leg and hip power.

  • Position three boxes or cones about two feet apart under the goalpost
  • Assume an athletic stance  to the right of the first box
  • Laterally hurdle each box or cone and immediately jump as high as possible
  • After hurdling the third box, attempt to touch the crossbar of the goalpost
  • Upon landing, immediately return to the start position by hurdling laterally left over each box
  • Rest for five seconds and repeat sequence four times to finish the set
  • Rest 15-30 seconds

For the second set, instead of lateral hurdles, perform forward hurdles over each box combined with crossbar jumps for five reps.

Read more:

Photo: Bodybuilding.com

Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier, CSCS, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist, and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as Associate Health and...
Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier, CSCS, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist, and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as Associate Health and...

Featured Videos

Tim Tebow's NFL Off-Season Workout Tim Tebow's NFL Off-Season Workout Views: 152,830
Path to the Pros 2015: Trae Waynes Path to the Pros 2015: Trae Waynes Views: 80,325
Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Views: 1,268,862
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 43,536,765
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 12,144,153
Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 896,437
Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,866,240
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,501,332

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
10-Minute Dynamic Warm-Up for Any Workout

10-Minute Dynamic Warm-Up for Any Workout

How do you warm up before a training session? Do you do a few static stretches and then jump right in to the workout? Maybe going with the traditional...

3 Simple Tips to Gain Muscle Mass

3 Simple Tips to Gain Muscle Mass

2015 Summer Training Guide: Wrestling

2015 Summer Training Guide: Wrestling

2015 Summer Training Guide: Basketball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Basketball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Track

2015 Summer Training Guide: Track

There Might Be a Good Reason Tim Tebow Looks This Ridiculous

There Might Be a Good Reason Tim Tebow Looks This Ridiculous

Build Lower-Body Power with This Squat Workout

Build Lower-Body Power with This Squat Workout

2015 Summer Training Guide: Volleyball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Volleyball

Build Elite Strength With This Training System

Build Elite Strength With This Training System

Marcus Mariota's Speed and Strength Workout

Marcus Mariota's Speed and Strength Workout

Why You Should Add Depth Jumps to Your Workouts

Why You Should Add Depth Jumps to Your Workouts

Heavy Rope Workout for Big Gains

Heavy Rope Workout for Big Gains

Go Against Traditional Workout Order for Bigger Gains

Go Against Traditional Workout Order for Bigger Gains

2015 Summer Training Guide: Baseball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Baseball

Fix 7 Common Problem Areas with Exercises From Todd Durkin

Fix 7 Common Problem Areas with Exercises From Todd Durkin

2015 Summer Training Guide: Softball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Softball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Lacrosse

2015 Summer Training Guide: Lacrosse

The Squat Variation That Torches Your Core

The Squat Variation That Torches Your Core

A Modern Twist to the Original Burpee

A Modern Twist to the Original Burpee

Build Powerful Muscles With Velocity-Based Training

Build Powerful Muscles With Velocity-Based Training

9 Ways to Improve Your Squat Technique

9 Ways to Improve Your Squat Technique

Why Reverse Lunges Are Better Than Forward Lunges

Why Reverse Lunges Are Better Than Forward Lunges

Are You Using the Right Weight for Every Exercise?

Are You Using the Right Weight for Every Exercise?

2015 Summer Training Guide: Football

2015 Summer Training Guide: Football

Why Single-Arm and Single-Leg Training is Better for Athletes

Why Single-Arm and Single-Leg Training is Better for Athletes

5 Things to Remember When You Wing Your Workout

5 Things to Remember When You Wing Your Workout

Building Brakes for More Speed

Building Brakes for More Speed

Full-Body Training: 4 Dumbbell Ring Training Exercises

Full-Body Training: 4 Dumbbell Ring Training Exercises

3 Bear Crawl Variations for Better Core Strength

3 Bear Crawl Variations for Better Core Strength

The 10-Minute Grip Strengthening Workout

The 10-Minute Grip Strengthening Workout

What Sport Coaches Need to Know About Strength and Conditioning

What Sport Coaches Need to Know About Strength and Conditioning

How to Build Strong Neck Muscles

How to Build Strong Neck Muscles

Use Single-Leg Strength to Enhance Soccer Performance

Use Single-Leg Strength to Enhance Soccer Performance

Strength Isn’t Just How Much You Can Lift on a Barbell

Strength Isn't Just How Much You Can Lift on a Barbell

Bulletproof Shoulders: A Shoulder Training Guide

Bulletproof Shoulders: A Shoulder Training Guide

Building Functional Balance for Figure Skaters

Building Functional Balance for Figure Skaters

Olympian Carrie Tollefson's Core Workout

Olympian Carrie Tollefson's Core Workout

Perfect Planks: How to Make this Classic Exercise More Effective

Perfect Planks: How to Make this Classic Exercise More Effective

Mix Up Your Workout With Unique Partner Exercises

Mix Up Your Workout With Unique Partner Exercises

Troubleshooting the Lunge: How to Fix Your Form

Troubleshooting the Lunge: How to Fix Your Form

2015 Summer Training Guide: Soccer

2015 Summer Training Guide: Soccer

YardBarker