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...
Must See
Why NFL Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson Counts His Blessings Why NFL Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson Counts His Blessings
Views: 6,468,061
Why You Should Never Doubt Colin Kaepernick Why You Should Never Doubt Colin Kaepernick
Views: 20,819,120
Michael Jordan: Mind of a Champion Michael Jordan: Mind of a Champion
Views: 546,592

Featured Videos

Real Workouts: Randall Cobb Real Workouts: Randall Cobb Views: 20,496
Greg Nixon's Full-Body Dumbbell Circuit Greg Nixon's Full-Body Dumbbell Circuit Views: 317,829
SEALFIT: Pushing the Limits of What Athletes Are Capable Of SEALFIT: Pushing the Limits of What Athletes Are Capable Of Views: 58,814
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

Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive
Views: 6,105,983
Allyson Felix Explains How To Choose a Coach Allyson Felix Explains How To Choose a Coach
Views: 8,690,942
Dustin Pedroia on Training Dustin Pedroia on Training
Views: 10,919,945
Charging Ground Balls With Skip Schumaker Charging Ground Balls With Skip Schumaker
Views: 29,938
Yoga for Athletes: Crow Pose Yoga for Athletes: Crow Pose
Views: 3,539,467

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Train Like a Pro: Baseball Strength Workout Program

Train Like a Pro: Baseball Strength Workout Program

Speed Drill of the Day: Weighted Arm Swings

Speed Drill of the Day: Weighted Arm Swings

3 Keys to a Solid Squat Setup

3 Keys to a Solid Squat Setup

Abby Wambach's Soccer Power Workout

Abby Wambach's Soccer Power Workout

Use Wave Loading to Take Your Strength to the Next Level

Use Wave Loading to Take Your Strength to the Next Level

Why Your Instagram Box Jump Isn't That Impressive

Why Your Instagram Box Jump Isn't That Impressive

Kevin Love's In-Season Workout

Kevin Love's In-Season Workout

Jump Higher After a Month With These 3 Exercises

Jump Higher After a Month With These 3 Exercises

Train Like a Pro: Henrik Zetterberg's Hockey Strength Workout

Train Like a Pro: Henrik Zetterberg's Hockey Strength Workout

Build Bulletproof Chest Strength With This Unconventional Method

Build Bulletproof Chest Strength With This Unconventional Method

Build Strong Legs with the Leg Press Lockdown Workout

Build Strong Legs with the Leg Press Lockdown Workout

Train Like a Pro: Los Angeles Lakers Strength Training Program

Train Like a Pro: Los Angeles Lakers Strength Training Program

Abby Wambach's Strength and Speed Workout

Abby Wambach's Strength and Speed Workout

German Volume Training: How to Pack on Muscle Mass

German Volume Training: How to Pack on Muscle Mass

The 4 Best and Worst Cable Machine Exercises

The 4 Best and Worst Cable Machine Exercises

3 Reasons Why You Should Do Full-Body Workouts

3 Reasons Why You Should Do Full-Body Workouts

How to Use the Pallof Press for an Iron Core

How to Use the Pallof Press for an Iron Core

Train Like a Pro: James Harden's Basketball Maintenance Workout

Train Like a Pro: James Harden's Basketball Maintenance Workout

Build a Strong Upper Body With These Landmine Exercises

Build a Strong Upper Body With These Landmine Exercises

Add Surprise Sets for a Great Workout Finisher

Add Surprise Sets for a Great Workout Finisher

Speed Drill of the Day: Reverse Lunges

Speed Drill of the Day: Reverse Lunges

5 Quick Workout Fixes for Faster Muscle Growth

5 Quick Workout Fixes for Faster Muscle Growth

Build Athletic Strength with the Playground Sandbag Workout

Build Athletic Strength with the Playground Sandbag Workout

Paul Rabil's Powerful Rotational Strength Workout

Paul Rabil's Powerful Rotational Strength Workout

Train Like a Pro: MLS Soccer Strength Program

Train Like a Pro: MLS Soccer Strength Program

Build Muscle With the 2-Second Pause Workout Program

Build Muscle With the 2-Second Pause Workout Program

8-Exercise Advanced Chest and Back Workout

8-Exercise Advanced Chest and Back Workout

Bicep Curl Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

Bicep Curl Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

Increase Athletic Strength with Rotational Bodyweight Training

Increase Athletic Strength with Rotational Bodyweight Training

Use Sled Pushes to Increase Speed, Strength and Power

Use Sled Pushes to Increase Speed, Strength and Power

Todd Durkin's Complete Football Strength Training Program

Todd Durkin's Complete Football Strength Training Program

Get Faster to Pitch Harder

Get Faster to Pitch Harder

How You Can Olympic Lift With an Injury

How You Can Olympic Lift With an Injury

3 Keys to Better Softball Workouts

3 Keys to Better Softball Workouts

4 Tips for Reducing Deadlift Back Pain

4 Tips for Reducing Deadlift Back Pain

3 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

3 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

Tobin Heath's Powerful Leg Workout

Tobin Heath's Powerful Leg Workout

2 Brutal 10-Minute Workouts That Deliver Serious Results

2 Brutal 10-Minute Workouts That Deliver Serious Results

Not Making Bench Press Gains? Try These Strategies

Not Making Bench Press Gains? Try These Strategies

Train Like a Pro: Julio Jones 3-Day Sandbag Strength Program

Train Like a Pro: Julio Jones 3-Day Sandbag Strength Program

Get Faster With This Weightlifting Technique

Get Faster With This Weightlifting Technique

How to Recover From a Soccer Game or Workout

How to Recover From a Soccer Game or Workout

Is It Too Soon for Olympic Lifts?

Is It Too Soon for Olympic Lifts?

The Un-Liftable Inch Dumbbell: Can You Handle Its Challenge?

The Un-Liftable Inch Dumbbell: Can You Handle Its Challenge?

The Top 10 Mistakes Athletes Make in the Weight Room

The Top 10 Mistakes Athletes Make in the Weight Room

YardBarker