Plyometric Exercises for Football Players
Plyometric exercises for football players are one of the most productive ways to increase your vertical jump, speed, and reactive strength. Reactive strength is one of the top key measures of testing football players’ athleticism. It shows an athletes’ ability to quickly change from an eccentric to a concentric contraction and their ability to develop max forces in the shortest amount of time. When you work on increasing your reactive strength, you will run faster and move quicker with more power.
When you perform an explosive movement on the field, like tackling, cutting, or sprinting, it will benefit you to start incorporating plyometric exercises into your workout routine 1-2 times per week.
Football players need the ability to tackle, run fast, or jump for the ball. Football players are elite athletes who are in control of their bodies and have great balance. That’s why the elite football players include plyometric exercises in their workout training programs.
A plyometric workout is for every football player. Below are some of the main benefits that result after performing a plyometric workout.
- Increase strength and speed — Plyometric movements increase your speed and strength. Plyometric exercises for speed and strength increase your ability to rapidly contract your muscles after they have been partially stretched, in other words, the stretch-shortening cycle.
- Increased Endurance — Plyometric exercises can be used to improve power and endurance. When your stamina is improved, your legs will be able to go at a higher intensity for longer periods of time.
- Helps to improve reaction time — Plyometric training uses the stretch reflex mechanism in the muscle to increase the reaction time of the nervous system in that muscle, which results in increased force output.
- Bonus: You don’t need any equipment! When you want to get a plyometric workout in, all you are going to need is your body weight. You can get a workout in your backyard, the park, or in your basement.
In 2015, the Faculty of Physiotherapy, Dr.M.G.R.Educational and Research Institute University conducted a study on the benefits of plyometrics.
A total of 30 college football players were taken and randomized into two groups (Group A – Sprint Training & Group B – Plyometric Training). The study was conducted for six weeks (12 sessions) with both the Groups.
At the end of the sessions, the study showed plyometric training significantly improved vertical jump height, peak anaerobic power output, and 5-10-5 pro agility shuttle than just sprint training. Specifically, it was found that both sprint and plyometric training groups improved 40-yard dash to a similar extent.
The results supported the hypothesis concludes that there is a significant difference between the effects of sprint and plyometric training on anaerobic power & agility in college football players.
You can see the full results of the study here: "Plyometric Training Study" - Faculty of Physiotherapy, Dr.M.G.R.Educational and Research Institute University
Here are some of the best plyometric exercises to increase speed, explosiveness, and reactive strength.
Single-Leg Speed Line Jumps
Balance yourself on one foot and start jumping side to side over an imaginary line. Stay light on your foot and spend as little time on the ground as possible. Stay on the same leg for 10 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
Modification: If you are struggling on one foot, perform this plyometric exercise on both feet and focus on moving quickly and spending as little time on the ground as possible.
Perform a total of 3 sets for 10 seconds on each leg.
Start in a lunge position with your left leg back and right leg forward. Begin by jumping and switching your legs midair so that you land with your left leg forward and your right leg back into a lunge. Make sure to keep both knees at 90 degrees. Continue to perform the lunge jump while quickly exploding off the ground.
Perform 3 sets for 10 each leg.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and explode up and jump as high as you can, driving your knees to your chest. As you’re coming down, regain your balance, land softly on your toes, and immediately explode back up into a jump. Spend as little time on the ground as possible.
Perform 3 sets of 10 tuck jumps.
Pop Up to Tuck Jump
This is one of my favorite explosive exercises for football players. Start by kneeling on the floor with your knees caved slightly wider than your hips. Similar to performing a vertical jump, swing your arms back and explode them forward to Draw arms back, then forcefully swing them forward to give you the momentum to jump off the ground and into a squat position and immediately firing off the ground into a tuck jump.
When you are doing this plyometric exercise, focus on engaging your glutes and core to help you produce more power.
Perform 3 sets of 5 pop up to tuck jump.
Lateral Jump to Tuck Jump
Here’s a fun plyometric exercise that teaches your body to change directions rapidly. Stand with feet hip-width apart. Slightly bend your knees and jump laterally as far as possible to the left. As soon as you land, quickly explode into a tuck jump. Once again, as soon as you land, explode as far as possible to the right. Once you land, explode up into a tuck jump.
Perform 3 sets of 12 total jumps.
Triple Broad Jump
For this triple jump plyometrics exercise, stand with feet hip-width apart with your knees slightly bent. Swing your arms back and explode them forward while jumping forward as far as you can off both feet. You need to stick the landing and immediately spring into a second and third jump as far as you can.
Perform 4 sets, resting after each triple jump.
Plyometric Clap Pushups
One of the best plyometric exercises for your upper body. Begin by getting in a push-up position. As you push-up off the ground, explode your hands to leave the ground and clap before landing back to the floor.
Perform 3 sets of 8-12 push-ups.
Modification: Try practicing the plyometric push-up on your knees before getting into a push-up position.
There’s a lot of plyometric exercises you can do to help improve your explosiveness, speed, and power. Remember, you’re laying the foundation with your entire body to become an elite athlete.
It’s our goal at Gridiron Elite Training to help you get stronger, more explosive, and feel confident going into the season. Check out our Explosive Plyometric Program to help you maximize your overall explosiveness and athletic performance. Work with us in Chicago or San Diego or become a member of our Plyometric Program by clicking the link below to take your game to the next level.
Gridiron Elite Training is a family-based sports performance company helping athletes run faster, move quicker, become stronger, more confident, and injury resistant.