How to Get a Body Like a Football Player
Football players, depending on their position, may be both muscular and also lean, fast and agile. The sport is very physical and features intense contact on every play. Building muscle, strength and agility helps you increase your physical presence on the field, making you more effective at blocking players, breaking tackles and struggling your way past the opponent. The process of building physical endurance is one that begins early in a football player's career, but the need to maintain this physical prowess continues.
Lift weights several times a week. Most football players place a strong focus on off-season lifting -- this is a period of time where they can try to add multiple pounds of muscle mass to help them in the next season. These lifts can include full-body lifts like the squat to muscle-specific lifts like the bench press, which works the arms, shoulders, back and pectorals. Do deadlifts, snatches, jump squats and power cleans to work out every muscle. Do all of your lifting on one day to allow for a day of rest on the next.
Use plyometric exercises to develop core strength and explosive power. Your core muscles, like the abdominals, are important to muscular power when delivering tackles or breaking them. Perform box jumps, long jumps, skipping and bounding. Exaggerate your movements. When you skip, drive your knee high. When you're bounding from foot to foot, hang above the ground as long as you can, bunching your muscles.
Practice agility and sprinting drills to develop speed and precision. Set cones at pre-determined distances and sprint from the starting line to the cones and back again. Use an agility ladder to practice coordination. Start off with a simple in-and-out ladder drill and work your way up to a complex maneuver that uses the spaces between the rungs and the outside of the ladder to help improve your reaction times.
Allow for rest periods, specifically on off days and at night. Exercise helps break your muscles down, but if you want to develop that muscle and become stronger and more muscular you need to provide the body with periods of recovery. It is during inactivity that the muscles heal from exercise and synthesize new muscle fibers. In addition to never lifting two days in a row, you should get plenty of sleep at night.
Increase the amount of protein consumed through your diet. Protein is the fuel your muscles need to generate new muscle mass. Try to increase protein consumption without limiting yourself from other food groups, which are also important to physical fitness and overall health.
Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.