The offseason is a chance for athletes to recover physically and psychologically and to work on improving their performance. The structure of your offseason football workouts plays a big role in reaching your strength goals.
The main goal of an offseason football program is to increase the body’s ability to stabilize and remain in a controlled posture. As the season progresses, muscular imbalances can occur from injuries or from continually cutting in the same direction. This can lead to weakness in underused areas of the body and injury.
The stability and endurance phase focuses on flexibility, core strength, balance, and reactive & resistance training to correct imbalances and provide the base of strength you need to progress through the program. Think of it as laying the foundation for a house. You must increase functional strength, core stabilization, and flexibility to prepare your body for the heavy loads it will face later in the training.
In this initial phase, bodyweight and core engagement exercises will comprise the majority of your training. Intensity (percent of max) will be low and reps will be high. Each workout will feature full-body exercises, which are necessary to correct imbalances and prepare you for more advanced lifts.
Phase 1: Stability and Endurance Training Variables
- Reps: 12-15
- Sets: 1-3
- Percent of Max: 50-70 percent
- Frequency: 2 to 4 times per week
- Duration: 3 weeks
- Physioball Dumbbell Press
- Single-Leg Bent-Over Row
- Dumbbell Push Press
- Single –Leg Band Face Pulls
- Pull Ups or Chin Ups
- Glute Bridge
- Single-Leg Squat With Toe Touch
- Bodyweight Squat
- Plank Kick Throughs
- Knee-to-Elbow Plank
- Tuck Jumps (two-second hold on landing)
- Physioball Pushups
- Inverted Row
- Dumbbell Step Ups With Shoulder Press
- Physioball Dumbbell Pullovers
- Dumbbell Single-Leg RDL
- Pistol Squat
- Power Clean
- Standing Resistance Band Core Rotations
- Single-Arm, Single-Leg Plank
- Single-Leg Mini Hurdle Hops
- Physioball Dumbbell Incline
- Single-Leg Resistance Band Row (pull for four seconds)
- Seated Physioball Shoulder Press
- Neutral-Grip Pull-Ups (slowly lower for two to three seconds)
- Single-Leg Physioball Hamstring Curl
- Dumbbell Bulgarian Split-Squat
- Physioball Leg Rotations
- Physioball Back Extensions
- Broad Jumps (two-second hold on landing)
This is part one of a four-part series from Robert Pomazak
Sources: Clark, Micheal, Scott Lucett, and Donald T. Kirkendall. Nasm’s Essentials of Sports Performance Training. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010.
Robert Pomazak, MS, PES, SES, is a NASM-certified performance enhancement and speed specialist. He currently serves as strength and conditioning coordinator at Elk Grove High School (Elk Grove Village, Ill.), where he has taught physical education and coached varsity football and baseball for the past 10 years. Pomazak focuses on sport-specific program development and performance training for high school athletes.