There is no doubt that overall strength is important in the game of football. Often you will hear talk of Bench Press and Squat records of football players. Without a doubt, Bench Press is a great measure of pushing ability, and Squats are a great way to build strength on the lower body; But much more goes into strength and conditioning for the football game. You can bench, squat and dead lift all day and still lack the ability to apply that strength in the field. You’ve probably seen it before, the biggest and strongest guy in the weight that is worthless on the court. Okay, that's not nice ... not "worthless" good for taking a seat on the bench or the bus in transit for an away game. What's the problem? He is not able to apply his weight room strength to his game on the court. Now, some people are not overly athletic; however, with the right training, they can become more. What's more is that those who are athletic like you can increase your athleticism by improving your athletic strength.

Are you competitive? Do you want to be the best ball player you can? If you're like me, there's only one answer ... HELL YEAH! I played from elementary school through college and Semi-Pro ranks and know what it takes to be your absolute best. I also know the burning desire to win at every snap. Looking back on fifteen years of football player experience and many years of training athletes, I now see several ways to improve your chances of achieving your best possible game. Putting weight in college was something I really enjoyed striving for and was proud of when I achieved; however, when the blocks reach the 50 yard line, Bench Press and Power Clean Records are not necessarily equal in size. Not being strong and powerful is not important ... but using that strength and power in the game is what matters.

As you become stronger for your sport, build your standard strength with the traditional exercises and then improve your ability to apply that strength to real sports situations. The question you are likely to ask yourself is, "How do I apply that strength?" If you have read some of my other articles, you may know that I have previously challenged the term "functional strength". The reason is that most of what I read out there regarding "functional training" is not functional at all ... it is instead CIRCUIT TRAINING! "What I want to discuss with you is real functional training. Real" Functional training "remembers the function you are trying to improve and develops strength building exercises around these functions / movements. In other words ... functional strength training must on some way look or mimic the true movement you want to improve.

When you want to develop and perform exercises related to football or your sport, you will notice that traditional weights do not always provide the necessary flexibility to move in a sport-like way with resistance. What this is saying is that if you have to be on your feet and your hands are running down and over your body (like avoiding a chopping block), you will have resistance working against the movement. This means you need a pulley system to place the resistor where you need it. The resistance should push against the direction of your movement. If you just kept dumbbells, the weight would help the movement because we can not change the direction of gravity. But with training ingenuity and pulley / cable placement, we can replicate the movement where we want to increase strength and perform the movement against resistance. You become stronger through a series of movements. Keep in mind, however, that there are several factors to consider in your strength and conditioning program.

Training pace is important to keep in mind when working on your strength and conditioning for your sport. The pace of your game will determine the pace of your training. Let us e.g. Use football, American football. In the football match you will notice that playing a game usually lasts for 5-10 seconds. You might think this means a set should last for 5-10 seconds ... even if it would be okay, I prefer to train to be conditioned beyond the length of the game, but still train within the same energy system . Basically, this means that football and many other sports are anaerobic activities. This means that your body runs on fuel in your muscles and is not so dependent on aerobic capacity. You need to get between games / sets quickly and be able to operate a full anaerobic capacity for the next game / set.

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In other words ... functional strength training must on some way look or mimic the true movement you want to improve.