What does it take to play in the NFL? A lot of hard work, dedication, talent and a desire to always get better. A good training regimen helps, too.
This program, designed for athletes preparing for the NFL Combine, focuses on the strength, power, hip mobility and acceleration that the pros need.
Acceleration and Upper-Body Strength
The workout starts with a dynamic warm-up featuring basic movements: Hamstring Bridges, Prone Single-Leg Raises, Side Toe to Heel Raises, Forward and Reverse Hip Circles, Side Leg Raises and Prone Hurdles.
It’s not the exercises that are key, but the execution. Even though this is considered a warm-up by most, it is a crucial part of the workout. Do each exercise for 10 repetitions with attention to detail. Some movements are held for a second in the isometric phase. Do these exercises on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Next, move to the track to get primed for the acceleration portion. Before every sprint session, do a running progression to get your central nervous system ready for the dynamic movement to come.
First, quick steps for five seconds. Move your arms and legs as fast as possible with 1/4 length range of motion on both.
Next, increase the range of motion of your legs and arms with five sets of five seconds of Thigh Highs. Concentrate on speed of movement and getting your thighs parallel to the ground. Do five 10-yard marches with your hands behind your back, then five 10-yard marches with full arm action.
- 3 10-yard sprints, stance optional ( 2 , 3 or 4 point for all sprints), 1 minute rest between reps. Then 5 sets of 5 paused Bench Press
- 3 12-yard sprints followed by Incline Dumbbell Press for 10/10/8/8 reps
- 3 15-yard sprints followed by a 30-second push-up hold, 30 seconds of Push-Ups, then 22.5 seconds, then 15 seconds
- 3 17-yard sprints, followed by Front Raises and Side Raises, 3 sets of 10
- 3 20-yard sprints, followed by Triceps Extensions for 15/12/10 reps
Core Finisher: Around the Worlds, 3 sets of 60 seconds, performed from a Push-Up position, raising your right arm followed by left arm followed by left leg followed by right leg, each held for 5 seconds.
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Hip Mobility and Change of Direction
Warm-up starts with 3 sets of 10 Jumping Jacks, Seals and Flings, followed by Pojos for speed, Gate Swings and Wide-Outs, each for 3 sets of 10 seconds. Next are 25-yard Band Walks forward and back for two sets. Then Band Side Walks for 10 yards in both direction for two sets. This warm-up is also done on Thursday.
Set up three 4-inch hurdles 2 feet apart:
- Side High Knees, 2 sets of 12 seconds with a hold over the end hurdle.
- Side High Knees, 2 sets of 12 seconds, plant and go. Continuous motion.
- Two Foot Hops, 8 rounds of 10 seconds. 2 rounds each of side to side, forward and back, 3 square and 4 square.
- Speed Skaters With Resistance on slide board. 5 slides to each side for 3 rounds.
- Side High Knee Through Ladder Against Resistance, 4 rounds, 15 seconds down and back twice
- McGill Side Plank, 6 reps each side holding top position for 10 seconds
See Monday’s warm-up.
- 5 sets of 5 Pin Squats. Set the rack at about 2 inches above parallel, come to a complete stop on the rack, then fire up.
- 7 sets of 1 rep, Trap Bar Deadlift
- 4 sets of 10, KettleBell Swing to Overhead
- Prowler Push, high side down, low side back, 5 sets for 2 minutes as a 2-man relay
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- McGill Bird Dog, opposite arm, opposite leg, held for 10 seconds, 6 reps each side
Acceleration and Upper-Body Power
- Running progression (outlined in Monday’s workout)
- Knee Drive (wall drive). Each round is done for 10 seconds . Start with both hands against a wall and your body at a 50-degree angle. Right knee up and left leg extended with heel off the ground and on ball of foot. Switch legs. Do this for 10 seconds for 2 sets. The switches take place one second apart. Switch one for one. Then for a double, triple, and for four. Finish with one 5-second set, as fast as possible.
- Arm Action done similar to the Knee Drive in terms of sets and reps. Start with right arm up (thumb at chin height) and left arm back (thumb to back pocket), switch positions of arms. 10 seconds with a pause of one second between switches. Switch a double, triple, for four and final five seconds, as many as possible
- 3 x 10-yard Sprints
- 3 x -5 yard Sprints
- 3 x 20-yard Sprints
- Plyometric Push-Ups, 5 set of 5 coupled with 5 reps of Ball Chest Pass
- Incline Bench Press, 3 x 15/12/10
- DB Shoulder Press, 3 x 10
- Triceps Rolling Thunder, 3 x 10
- Slide Board Half Pike Push-Ups, 3 x 12
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- Box Squats, 5 x 3
- Trap Bar Deadlift, 5 rounds of 3 sets of 1, coupled with Hurdle Jumps to Box Jump.
- Set up 5 six-inch hurdles two feet apart, leading up to a 24-inch box. Go over each hurdle, then land on the box on the sixth jump. After each round, take a hurdle away and raise the height of the box.
- Resisted Side Jump over Hurdles, 4 rounds of down and back, sticking each landing.
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- Resisted Broad Jumps, 5 consecutive against resistance for 4 rounds.
- Ball Slam, 10 reps for 4 rounds. Ball over head on toes.