Cardio Workouts For Football Players


Many people tend to think about football as a game of strength and force. This is understandable since there is indeed a lot of force involved in the game. However, football is also a game of endurance. When you see the players tackling each other, it is easy to forget all the running that most likely preceded the hit. Because football players spend most of the game running, cardio is of the utmost importance. In this article, we will focus on six of the best cardio exercises for football players so that you can construct a workout that is perfect for you.

Best Cardio Exercises For Football Players:

We will leave it to the reader to determine the exact number of reps and sets that should be done for each exercise. Every person has different capabilities, and your workout should reflect both where you are and where you want to be. In other words; Focus on the areas where you are weak, and maintain the areas where you are strong.

1. Stair/Hill Running

We all remember that scene from “Rocky,” in which he is seen running up and down the stairs of a stadium. If you happen to have access to a stadium, then, by all means, go ahead and do it like that. If not, you still have plenty of options. The simplest of these options is to find a reasonably steep hill and practice walking up and down repeatedly. If you have a staircase in your home, it will probably work just fine. If it gets too easy, add more reps or start carrying some weight in your hands.

2. Jumping Rope

Jumping rope is a time-honored way to hone your agility and timing. It also helps you to be able to jump higher. There are certainly times when you need to make a quick jump to avoid being tackled. There are also times when a quick jump can help you to cover the distance a little faster. If we take a look at this study, we can see that a plyometric warm-up program (including lots of rope jumping) is effective for improving a person’s vertical jump.

3. Russian Twists

The Russian twist is an exercise that helps to tone our obliques (side torso muscles) and strengthen your core. You start by sitting on the floor and raising your legs from the ground. Both legs should be slightly bent. Now, twist your torso enough to touch the floor with both hands on the right side of your body. Now twist the other way, touching the floor with both hands on the left side of the body. Repeat the motion until you have had enough.

4. Ladder Drills

You probably did these in high school. You will need a ladder or something much like one. Lay it out on the floor and use it to practice a variety of footwork drills. Footwork is often neglected in football and many other sports. However, that’s all the more reason for you to train this skill. You can do all kinds of agility-step drills with this thing. Consult this video for a few good ideas.

5. Ladder Sprints

Despite the name, this exercise does not require a ladder. It is a type of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) because it involves short bursts of exercise with short rests in between. Here is the whole thing in a step-by-step format:

  • 2 sprints, 10 yards each
    Rest 10 seconds between sprints
  • 2 sprints, 20 yards each
    Rest 20 seconds between sprints
  • 2 sprints, 30 yards each
    Rest 30 seconds between sprints
  • 2 sprints, 40 yards each
    Rest 45 seconds between sprints
  • 2 sprints, 30 yards each
    Rest 30 seconds between sprints
  • 2 sprints, 20 seconds each
    rest 20 seconds between sprints
  • 2 sprints, 10 seconds each
    rest 10 seconds between sprints

6. Four-Quarter Sprints

This is a sprinting routine that is meant to simulate the conditions of a four-quarter game. Since there are four quarters, you do four mini-workouts. Take a rest after each one, and make it about the same amount of time that you would normally get between quarters in a real game. For each quarter, you do 4 reps for each of the following:

  • 10-yard sprints (10-second rest between sets)
  • 20-yard sprints (20-second rest between sets)
  • 30-yard sprints (30-second rest between sets)
  • 20-yard sprints and strides (alternating with a 30-second rest between sets)

Some degree of variation is acceptable here, but we would advise that you refrain from changing this particular exercise.


These exercises do not necessarily have to be performed in the order given here. In fact, there is no reason that you cannot modify this list in any way that you find practical. We want you to think of these seven exercises as tools in your toolbox or paints on your palette. Mix and modify them in whatever way you see fit. We hope that we have given you a good start and that you are able to attain complete and total victory on the gridiron. If you think we have succeeded in that, please follow us on Facebook using the link below.

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