Maryland Football's In-Season Strength Workout

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Here's an inside look at the in-season football workout from the University of Maryland, College Park.

"The big thing for us is just maintaining leg strength," says football assistant strength coach Michael Szemborski. "We don't want to lose everything we gain from the spring and summer, when the biggest gains are acquired."

The Terrapins perform similar lifts year-round, but during the season, they go heavier with the weight to withstand the rigors of practice and games. "We want to make sure that [the athletes] don't get any atrophy during the season," Szemborski says.

The Terps use the following program throughout the course of the season. For descriptions and Coaching Points on each exercise or lift, click on the link and watch videos of the Terps in action.

Maryland Football In-Season Strength

Exercise

Sets/Reps

Notes

Crunch  1x20-30
Bicycles  1x30-40
Scissor Crunch  1x20-25
Rocky Sit-Up  1x15-25
Power Clean  4x2-5
Squat  3x5-12
Bench Press  1x8 (warm-up) 5x6  Superset with Bent-Over Row
Bent-Over Row  4x8
Lat Pulldown  3x8  Superset with DB Shoulder Press
DB Shoulder Press  3x8

Key Program Points:
• Maryland believes the foundation for all athletic ability is the core. The players work their abdominals, lower back and pelvic region through a core warm-up every day.

• One of the most important lifts for a football player is the Power Clean, because it demands hip action, a big pull and rack. Maryland Cleans twice a week in-season and during the off-season.

• Maintaining upper body strength during the season is a must, so the Terps Bench Press to strengthen their pecs and deltoids and to improve shoulder stability.

• Since the Bench Press involves a "push" movement, the Terps are required to superset it with a "pull" action—the Bent-Over Row, which targets the lats and posterior delts.

• Similarly, they superset push/pull movements with the Lat Pulldown and Dumbbell Shoulder Press. Pulldowns work the latissimus dorsi, one of the bigger muscles in assisting core lifts. And since shoulder injuries are common among football players, they work on strengthening the muscles around the rotator cuff with the Shoulder Press.

• Remember: don't compromise form for weight. Adjusting form in order to pump more iron can lead to injury or future bad habits in the weight room. First get the form down for each lift; the heavier weight will follow.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock