Aquatic Workouts for Football Players
It's not just about working hard in the weight room, doing long-distance runs and sprint workouts and hitting a blocking sled. Football players who want to train hard and get better at their job can train in the pool, too. Aquatic workouts can help a player run faster, jump higher; and can even help kickers get more height and distance on their kicks.
A football player can improve his speed by running in shallow water. Go to the area of the pool where the water is thigh-high. Spring 25 yards one way and then 25 yards back. Take a one-minute break, then repeat the drill. By the end of the second two-lap run, you will likely feel exhausted but do your best to maintain your speed.
Vertical Jump Workout
Stand in water that is waist-high. Bend your knees at a 45-degree angle, and jump up as high as you can. When you land, immediately repeat; jump like this 15 times. Take a one-minute break and then repeat the entire drill. The resistance provided by the water will help you build strength and explosive jumping power in your legs. This can help you get higher as a receiver, to catch the pass over a defender; or help you get high enough to knock the ball away from a receiver if you are a defender.
This is a great exercise for kickers and punters. Kicking the ball high and far is not just about explosive strength in your legs and hips. Much of a kicker's power comes from your abs and core muscles. Grab the underside of the starting blocks at the end of the pool. Pull yourself up so that your feet are off the bottom of the pool. Point your toes, then lift your legs so your body is forming the letter "L"; Hold this position for two seconds. Return to the starting position. Do this maneuver 15 times, take a one-minute break, then repeat the set.
Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.