Position-Specific Football Training

Linemen, wide receivers and defensive backs must train differently, not just to build strength but to improve their performance on the field.

Off-season football training is in full swing, and I am sure you have a solid plan in place. But take a good look at your program and ask yourself if you are training simply to gain strength or to actually improve your performance on the field. A 300-pound Bench is great, but if you plan on pushing people off you while you are lying on the ground, don't expect to play much.

It's time to take the next step: modify your plan to incorporate exercises that will transfer to better performance on the field. (Read Five Variables to Consider When Developing a Training Program.)

It is all about training each aspect of your performance. Balance, core stability and mobility are as essential to your performance as a 400-pound Squat. Increasing your body's efficiency in the movements you will use during games can pay huge dividends. Here are some suggestions to maximize your training for your position.

Lineman Strength Training

Focus on total-body strength and rate-of-force production through the horizontal plane, especially from your chest. And emphasize core rotational strength to help redirect force and resist rotation.

You must also develop a powerful triple extension of the hip, knee and ankle to build the explosive strength needed to overpower an opponent.

Skill Position Strength Training

Wide receivers have to change direction and jump off one leg, so it's important to develop single-leg strength and stability to power 360-degree performance.

Defensive backs commonly make the mistake of training the same as wide receivers. The problem is that DBs play much of their game backpedaling. With this in mind, they need to focus on the backside of the body.

Pro Training

Wide receivers and defensive backs: take a tip from Detroit Lions strength and conditioning coach Ted Rath. Train grip strength and hand-eye coordination. Here are two easy circuits you can add to your program.

Grip Circuit

Hand-Eye Circuit

Perform your dynamic core routine with a football thrown from different points. You will not only have to engage your stabilizing muscles, you will also have to train your body to track, locate and catch balls coming from random directions.

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