Aquatic Workouts for Football Players
There was a time when football players improved only on the gridiron, but it’s not that way anymore. Players now have fully detailed workouts that are designed to improve strength, coordination and speed while limiting the possibility for injury. And in what may seem like a surprise, there are a great deal of these workouts that are done in the water.
For football players trying to improve their speed, the pool is a great place to get better. The water provides natural resistance so that as players are training, they must focus more on each step and movement. This also provides the same resistance that is used when players train with parachutes on their back on land. Players should start on one end of the pool and begin sprinting to the other. They should focus on making sure each foot lands, plants and explodes forward as they sprint. The goal should not just to run fast in the water but to focus on the mechanics of sprinting.
For football players who want to improve their strength and explosiveness while reducing the risk for injury, there is no better place than the water. Everything from squats using resistance bands to lifting free weights can be improved by using the water as both a resistance tool and a stabilizer. Players can use the stability assistance from the water to help them correctly keep form while lifting and at the same time the water provides extra resistance which keeps players from using momentum to lift the weights. Players should still use a spotter even while in water to ensure their safety. A typical leg strength exercise that doesn’t require weights is for players to squat down in the water and explode up into a full jump. Over time, players may even be able to jump out of the pool as their strength improves, though this is something done only by professional-level athletes.
Some aquatic workouts don’t necessarily even have to start in the water. For example, wide receivers often have the task of catching a ball while keeping their feet on the ground and in-bounds. A lot of times, this requires them to reach out as far as possible, keeping their eye on the ball and catching it, all while focusing on not moving their feet. For this workout, receivers stand at the end of a diving board, over the deep end of a pool. The quarterback or coach throws a pass out to them that forces them to fully extend but allows them to keep their feet on the board. Players should focus on keeping their feet down and in contact with the diving board as long as possible, keeping contact until they have caught the football.