5 Useful Strength and Conditioning Workouts for Football

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Strength and conditioning workouts for football

Football is a sport that requires a high level of athleticism and speed.

To improve your performance on the field, you need to focus on improving your strength and conditioning.

In this article, I will discuss 5 great strength and conditioning workouts for football players.

Along with tips for crafting your own football workouts.

What Is Football Strength and Conditioning?

Football Strength and conditioning is the process of developing strength, power, speed, agility, and endurance in order to improve an athlete’s performance.

Football players must be strong and powerful to make tackles and block opponents.

They need to be fast so they can run down the field and catch passes.

And they need to be agile so they can change direction quickly and avoid being tackled.

Endurance is also important for football players because the game is played in short bursts of activity followed by periods of rest.

This type of activity requires a high level of fitness so that players can recover quickly and be ready for the next burst of activity.

Strength and conditioning programs are designed to meet the specific needs of football players.

They are typically based on the principle of periodization, which involves dividing the training year into different phases.

Each phase has a specific goal, and the exercises and activities performed during that phase are designed to help the player reach that goal.

The off-season is typically divided into three phases:

  1. The first phase, known as the hypertrophy phase, is focused on increasing muscle mass.
    • This is accomplished by lifting moderately heavy weights and performing high-volume workouts.
  2. The second phase, known as the strength phase, is focused on increasing strength.
    • This is accomplished by lifting heavy free weights and performing low-volume workouts.
  3. The third phase, known as the power phase, is focused on increasing power.
    • This is conducted by performing explosive exercises such as plyometrics and Olympic lifts.

The in-season is typically divided into two phases:

  1. The first phase, known as the maintenance phase, is focused on central nervous system recovery while maintaining the gains made during the off-season.
    • This is set up by performing moderate-intensity workouts and lifting lighter weights.
  2. The second phase, known as the peaking phase, is focused on peak performance.
    • This is completed by performing high-intensity workouts and tapering the volume of training as the season goes on.

Benefits of Strength and Conditioning Workouts for Football Players

Some of the benefits of strength and conditioning programs for football players include:

  • Increased Strength: Football players need to be strong in order to be successful on the field. A strength program can help them build the muscle mass and strength they need to be powerful on the field.
  • Improved Power: Football players also need to be powerful. This can help them develop the explosiveness they need to make big plays on the field.
  • Increased Speed: Speed training is an important attribute for any football player. Strength and conditioning workouts can help players increase their speed so they can get to the ball before their opponents.
  • Improved Agility: Agility is another important attribute for football players so they can make quick cuts on the field.
  • Reduced Risk of Injury: Football is a physical sport and injuries are common. However, strength and conditioning workouts can help reduce the risk of injuries by helping players build strong muscles and joints.

5 Workouts You Can Use To Improve Your Strength and Conditioning

Now we will provide you with 5 practice workouts to help prepare you for the upcoming football season.

If you’re unsure of how to perform a movement there are plenty of YouTube videos that teach how.

Make sure to warm up before beginning each football workout.

A good warm-up should include dynamic stretching and light cardio.

Off-season Phases

1. Hypertrophy Phase

The hypertrophy phase of football workouts should be four days per week with an additional free day of coach or athlete choice.

Sports coaches should make sure their athletes use heavy enough weights so that they can complete the desired number of repetitions with good form.


  • Sled Push: 4×30 yards
  • Barbell back squat: 3×8-12
  • Lunges: 3×8-12
  • Barbell reverse deadlift: 3×8-12
  • Hanging leg raises: 2×20


  • Battle rope: 4×30 seconds
  • Conventional or sumo deadlift: 3×8-12
  • Lat pull down: 3×8-12
  • Pull-ups: 3×8-12
  • Barbell bicep curls: 3×8-12


  • Additional strength and conditioning drills of coaches or athletes choosing
  • Some examples might be cone and sprint drills


  • Sprint: 4×40 yards
  • Flat bench press: 3×8-12
  • Standing overhead press: 3×8-12
  • Side lateral raises: 3×8-12
  • Push-up: 3×8-12
  • Close grip bench press: 3×8-12


  • Hill sprint: 4×20 yards
  • Trap bar deadlift: 3×8-12
  • Kettlebell swings: 3×8-12
  • Good mornings: 3×8-12
  • Plank: 2×60 seconds
  • Side plank: 2×60 seconds on each side

If you want to see the greatest gains in muscle mass during the hypertrophy phase, make sure to eat a diet that is high in protein and calories.

This will help your body to build new muscle tissue.

After several weeks of following this workout routine, you should start to see an increase in your muscle size.

Remember to keep pushing yourself by increasing the weight you use and the number of repetitions you perform.

This will help to ensure that you continue making progress.

2. Strength Phase

The goal of the strength phase is to increase your strength by 20% on compound lifts.

So if you are currently bench-pressing 200 pounds, your goal would be to be benching 240 pounds by the end of the six weeks.

Of course, you’ll still be doing some conditioning work during this phase.

But it will be less intense than in the previous phase, and you’ll be doing it on days when you’re not in the weight room.


  • Barbell back squat: 4×4-6
  • Leg press: 3×8-10
  • Bulgarian split squat: 3×8-10
  • Good mornings: 3×8-10


  • Conventional or sumo deadlift: 4×4-6
  • Dumbbell bent-over row: 3×8-10
  • Pull-ups: 3×10-12
  • Hammer curls: 3×10-12


Conditioning drills

  • High knees: 4×20 yards
  • Lateral cone drill: 2×20 yards
  • Sprints: 2×20 yards
  • Hanging leg raises: 2×20


  • Flat bench press: 4×4-6
  • Standing Overhead press: 3×4-6
  • Decline dumbbell press: 3×8-10
  • Push-up: 3×10-12
  • Close grip bench press: 3×4-6


  • Trap bar deadlift: 4×4-6
  • Front squats: 3×4-6
  • Barbell reverse deadlift: 3×6-10

So there you have it – a quick overview of what a strength phase football workout looks like.

Now get out there and start getting stronger!

3. Power Phase

To create a power phase football workout, you will need to perform explosive exercises such as plyometrics and Olympic lifts.

Some good examples of plyometric exercises are box jumps, jumping lunges, and tuck jumps.

Olympic lifts that can be used in a power phase football workout include the snatch and the clean and jerk.

Make sure to warm up before beginning each football workout.

A good warm-up should include dynamic stretching and light cardio.

Start with the plyometric exercises.

After the plyometric exercises, move on to the Olympic lifts.


  • Light warm-up of choice
  • Box jump: 4×10
  • Clean and jerk: 3×5
  • Front squat: 3×8-10
  • Hip thrust: 3×10-12


  • Light warm-up of choice
  • Med ball chest pass: 4×10
  • Snatch: 3×5
  • Push-press: 3×8-10
  • Barbell reverse deadlift: 3×8-10


  • Conditioning practice of coaches or athlete’s choice


  • Light warm-up of choice
  • Jumping lunges: 4×10
  • Low hang clean: 3×5
  • Landmine Press: 3×8-10
  • Barbell bent-over row: 3×8-10


  • Light warm-up of choice
  • Tuck jumps: 4×10
  • Power clean: 3×5
  • Goblet squat: 3×8-10
  • Pull-ups: 3×10-12

Finish your power phase football workout with a cool-down.

This should include static stretching and light cardio.

In-season Phases

1. Maintenance Phase

A Maintenance phase football workout should consist of moderate-intensity workouts.

Along with lifting lighter weights in order to maintain the gains made during the off-season.


  • Jogging: 30 minutes
  • Back or Front Squats: 3×10-12
  • Lunges: 3×10-12


  • Swimming: 4 laps of 50 yards
  • Pull-ups: 3×10-12
  • Dumbbell curls: 3×10-12


  • Stationary biking: 30 minutes
  • Push-up: 3×10-12
  • Tricep kickback: 3×10-12


  • Elliptical machine: 30 minutes
  • Sit-ups: 3×15-20
  • Squats: 3×10-12
  • Calf raises: 3×10-12


  • Choice of cardio for 30 minutes
  • Pull-ups: 3×10-15
  • Push-ups: 3×10-15
  • Sit-ups: 3×10-15

2. Peaking Phase

A Peaking phase football workout could involve short, high-intensity intervals to improve performance.

For example, you could run sprints of 30 seconds with a minute of rest in between.

As the season goes on, you would taper the volume of training so that your body is at its peak for game day.

This type of workout would be beneficial for improving speed, agility, and explosiveness.

Monday: Conditioning Program

  • Hill sprints: Find a semi-steep hill and perform 4 sets of 30-yard sprints. If you don’t have a hill set a treadmill to its highest incline.
  • Lateral cone drill: This drill works on your lateral movement and footwork.
    • Set up five cones in a line, with each cone about six yards apart.
    • Starting at the front cone, run laterally to the next cone, and then back to the start.
    • Repeat for 4 sets

Tuesday: Strength training

  • Sprints: 2×30 seconds
  • Squat: 3×6-10
  • Trap bar deadlift: 3×6-10
  • Lunges: 3×10-12

Wednesday: Conditioning program

  • Shuttle run: This drill helps with your speed and agility.
    • Set up five cones in a line, with each cone about 10 yards apart.
    • Starting at the front cone, run to the next cone and back, then to the next cone and back, until you’ve gone to all the cones and back.
    • Repeat for 4 sets.
  • Slalom: Set up six cones in a line, with each cone about three yards apart.
    • Starting at the front cone, run through the cones, weaving in and out.
    • Repeat for 4 sets

Thursday: Strength training

  • Sprints: 2×30 seconds
  • Bench press: 3×6-10
  • Standing overhead press: 3×6-10
  • Dips: 3×10-12
  • Push-up: 3×10-15

Friday: Conditioning program

  • Sprints: 6×25 yards
  • Figure 8s: This drill helps with your ball-handling skills.
    • Set up four cones in a square shape, with each cone about three yards apart.
    • Start at one cone and make a figure 8 pattern around the cones, making sure to touch each cone with the ball.
    • Repeat for 4 sets

When performing these exercises, it is important to focus on quality over quantity.

This means that you should perform each exercise with maximal effort in order to get the most benefit from it.

Peaking phase workouts should be performed a few weeks before the start of the season in order to ensure that your body is at its best for the first football game.

Football Player Rest Time and Recovery Techniques

There are a few good rest and recovery techniques for athletes that can help them get back on the football field quickly.

By using these methods, players can reduce muscle soreness and improve their overall performance.

  • Light exercises: Light exercises can help improve blood circulation and increase the amount of oxygen and nutrients delivered to the muscles.
    • This can help speed up the recovery process.
    • Additionally, they can help improve flexibility and reduce stiffness.
  • Massage therapy: Massage therapy is often used to help people recover from injuries.
    • It can help reduce inflammation, promote healing, and ease pain.
  • Hot/cold therapy: Some of the main hot/cold therapy benefits include reducing inflammation, relieving pain, and improving healing time.
    • When using cold therapy, you should use a gel pack or ice for 20 minutes at a time.
    • You should also wrap the area in a towel to protect your skin.
    • When using hot therapy, you should use a heating pad on the lowest setting or take a hot bath.
    • You should only use hot therapy for 15-20 minutes at a time.
    • It is important to alternate between hot and cold therapy to get the most out of it.
  • Sleep: Sleep is the number one rest time activity for athletes, as it allows the body to recuperate after strenuous physical activity.
    • Football players in particular should aim to get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep per night, as this will help them recover both physically and mentally.
  • Proper nutrition: Players need plenty of protein, carbohydrates, and fats to help rebuild muscles and energy stores, as well as essential vitamins and minerals to help repair tissue damage.

FAQs About Strength and Conditioning for Football Players

How Often Should Football Players Train in the Off-Season?

Players will likely need to vary their training depending on their position on the field, as well as their age and experience.

Generally speaking, younger players may need to train more often than more experienced players.

Additionally, football players who play in a specific position group (such as linemen or receivers) may need to train differently than players who play other positions (such as quarterbacks or running backs).

Some football experts recommend that players train three to five times per week during the off-season.

Others suggest that players should focus on quality over quantity, and only train two to three times per week.

Ultimately, point to the individual player to determine how often they should train, based on their specific needs and goals.

What Are Some Common Weightlifting Exercises for Football Players?

Ranked in the top 3% of online strength and conditioning coaches for providing the best exercises to improve a strength and conditioning program.

  • Squats: The squat is an excellent movement to improve your strength and conditioning. It works your quads, hamstrings, glutes, core, and lower back.
  • Deadlifts: The deadlift is another great exercise for improving your strength and conditioning. It works your hamstrings, glutes, back, and core.
  • Bench Press: The bench press is a great activity for strengthening your chest, shoulders, and triceps.
  • Pull-Ups: The pull-up is an excellent exercise for strengthening your back and biceps.
  • Overhead Press: The overhead press is a great exercise for strengthening your shoulders, triceps, and core.
  • Clean and Jerk: The clean and jerk is an ideal exercise for improving your strength and conditioning. It works your quads, hamstrings, glutes, back, shoulders, and core.
  • Snatch: The snatch is another great exercise for improving your strength and conditioning. It works your quads, hamstrings, glutes, back, shoulders, and core.
  • Kettlebell Swings: Kettlebell swings are a great exercise for strengthening your posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings, and lower back).
  • Sled Pushes: Sled pushes are a great drill for enhancing your strength and conditioning. They work your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core.
  • Hill Sprints: Hill sprints are a great way to improve your speed, agility, and conditioning. They also work your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core.

Common Mistakes When Doing Strength and Conditioning Programs

  • Overdoing it in the beginning: Too much too soon is a mistake a lot of people make when starting a strength and conditioning program.
    • They think they need to go all out from the start in order to see results, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
    • In fact, starting off too strong can actually lead to injuries and set you back further in your progress.
    • It’s important to ease into things and gradually increase the intensity and volume of your workouts over time.
  • Not monitoring progression: Another common mistake people make is not monitoring their progression.
    • They don’t keep track of how much weight they’re lifting, or how many reps and sets they’re doing, and as a result, they don’t know if they’re making any progress at all.
    • This can be extremely frustrating and can lead to people quitting their program altogether.
    • It’s important to keep track of your progression so you can see the results of your hard work and stay motivated to keep going.
  • Not having a plan: A lot of people go into their strength and conditioning program with no real plan or goal in mind.
    • They just start lifting weights and doing exercises without any real direction or purpose.
    • This is a recipe for disaster and will likely lead to very little progress being made.
    • It’s important to have a plan and a goal for your program so you can focus your efforts and make the most of your time.
  • Not being consistent: One of the biggest mistakes people make when doing a strength and conditioning program is not being consistent with it.
    • They might go to the gym regularly for a few weeks or even months, but then they’ll stop going altogether.
    • This inconsistency will make it very difficult to see any real progress or results.
    • It’s important to be consistent with your program in order to see the best results.
  • Not listening to your body: Finally, a lot of people make the mistake of not listening to their bodies when doing a strength and conditioning program.
    • They push themselves too hard, ignore pain and injuries, and as a result, they end up getting injured or burning out.
    • It’s important to listen to your body and take things at a pace that is comfortable for you.
    • If you’re feeling pain or discomfort, be sure to rest and recover properly.

How To Create a Strength and Conditioning Program

There are a few key things to consider when creating a strength and conditioning program for football.

  1. The first is the time of year.
    • Programs should be tailored to the time of year, with different emphases depending on the season.
    • In the off-season, for example, athletes should focus on developing strength and muscle mass.
    • During the season, programs should emphasize maintenance and injury prevention.
  2. The second key factor is the individual athlete.
    • Every athlete is different, so it’s important to tailor programs to fit each football player’s needs.
    • Some athletes may need to focus on developing power, while others may need to focus on improving endurance.
    • The best programs address the specific needs of each athlete.
  3. Finally, it’s important to consider the specific demands of football.
    • The game requires a combination of speed, strength, power, and agility.
    • Programs should therefore include exercises that develop all of these qualities.
    • Plyometric training, for example, is an excellent way to develop power and agility.
    • Strength training, meanwhile, is essential for developing the strength and muscle mass needed to excel on the football field.

Tips for Maintaining Your Strength and Conditioning Program

  1. Make sure to schedule your workouts ahead of time. This will help you stay on track and ensure that you’re able to fit into your routine.
  2. Try to vary your routine as much as possible. This will help keep athletes from getting bored and prevent muscles from getting used to the stimulation.
  3. Make sure to focus on quality over quantity. Rather than trying to do too many reps, focus on doing each rep with proper form.
  4. Always warm up before your workout and cool down afterward. This will help prevent injuries and help your body recover more quickly.
  5. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially before and after your workouts. This will help keep your body hydrated and prevent cramping.

Put Your Best Foot Forward!

Whether you’re a coach, high school, or college football player, getting the team in shape for the upcoming season is extremely important.

The off-season is a time to concentrate on improving your team’s ability so that they can hit the ground running when games start.

In this article, I’ve provided five useful strength and conditioning workouts for football players.

By incorporating these activities into your training regimen, you’ll be better prepared for the rigors of the football season.

Eric De Cremer
Eric De Cremer

Eric is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and competitively trained powerlifter. Feel free to contact him anytime at edecremer@wildnswole.com!