Football summer training program by Ron McKeefery, formerly of the Cincinnati Bengals and the University of Tennessee, current head football strength coach at Eastern Michigan University.
What Matters Now
With just four weeks to go before two-a-days, you need to build muscle and improve your conditioning. Muscle will protect your body from the violent collisions during practices and games, surrounding your joints like a natural suit of armor. But this isn't huge lifts/long rest interval time. You'll be doing more reps (but fewer sets) of a wide variety of exercises. Keep up the pace and effort to dial in your conditioning.
What This Program Will Do for You
It's impossible to entirely prevent injuries, but this training plan will increase your durability so you're less susceptible to injury. Each workout focuses on compound movements performed with moderately heavy weight in the 10- to 12-rep range. That provides enough stimulation for your muscles to grow. Bonus: Many of the program's lifts are tested in camp, so you'll be strong enough to impress your coaches.
Key Tips for Success
Success comes with planning. Look at the workout before you hit the weight room so you know what equipment you need to access. You may need to make some adjustments on the fly, and that's okay. For example, if you don't have a squat rack, do a Deadlift. Certain exercises work better than others, but as long as you work the same movement patterns, you can choose the ones that work best for you.
Check out the full 2014 Summer Training Guide.
Featured Football Exercises
Barbell Hip Thrust
One of the best glute-building exercises, this move will increase your speed and tackling power.
Manual Neck Extension, Flexion, Lateral Flexion
A strong neck helps absorb force from tackles, which may reduce the risk or severity of a concussion.
Strengthens your triceps so you have the pushing power to battle with and drive opponents away from you.
STACK Football Summer Training Guide
More Football Exercises
Nordic Hamstring Lowering
Kneel on both knees and dig your toes into the ground. Have a partner hold your ankles. Lower your torso toward the ground as slowly as you can. Catch your body with your hands as if performing a Push-Up. Use your arms to propel your body to the starting position.
Banded Knee Extensions
Attach a resistance band to a pole in front of you at knee height. Loop the band around the backside of your knee. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and bend the banded knee to a 45-degree angle. There should be tension on the band. Straighten your knee to lengthen the band. Bend your knee slowly to the starting position.
Barbell Hip Thrust
Sit on the ground with your upper back resting against a bench, and a barbell resting across your hips. Bend your knees and position your feet flat on the ground. Squeeze your glutes to extend your hips to the ceiling to form a straight line between your shoulders and knees. Lower slowly to the start position.
4-Way Towel Neck
Wrap a towel around the back of your head and hold the two ends in front with one hand. Starting from a neutral position, extend your neck backwards, resisting the movement with your arm. Return to the starting position. Repeat in each direction.
Hold a plate with your arms extended in front of your chest for the specified duration.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a bar on your back. Keeping your back flat, hinge at your hips and sit your butt back to lean forward until your torso is at a 30- to 45-degree angle with the ground. Forcefully extend your hips to stand up straight.
Sledgehammer Finger Walks
Hold a sledgehammer in one hand. With your fingers, walk your hands up and down the length of the sledgehammer.
Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip width and your body positioned perpendicular to a cable machine. Grasp the cable handle with both hands directly in front of your chest. Keeping your core tight, extend your arms in front of your chest. Bring your hands to your chest to return to the starting position.
Lie with your back on a bench, holding dumbbells with your arms extended over your chest. Keeping your arms parallel to each other, bend your arms to a 90-degree angle. Lower the weights over your shoulders toward the ground as far as possible without discomfort. Drive your arms to elbows in one motion to return to the starting position.
Lie with your back on a bench and hold dumbbells slightly outside of your shoulders. Without moving your upper arms, bend your elbows and lower the dumbbells to the center of your chest. Straighten your arms to return to the starting position.
With your back to a cable machine, stand with your feet hip-width part. Hold the rope attachment in front of your hips with the cable traveling through your legs. Bend your waist and sit your hips back until your torso is at a 45-degree angle. Explosively extend your hips to stand up in the starting position.
Attach a resistance band to a pole a few inches off the ground. Stand with the band to your right and loop the bar around your right ankle. Balancing on your left leg, bring your right foot to your left foot.
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