The Importance Of Core Strength
Everyone knows that a football player must have a strong tackle, a fast running speed, and a powerful build. However, a lot of people don’t consider the nuts and bolts of that last part. In today’s article, we will attempt to do just that.
A football player needs to have total-body strength, because of all the different kinds of movement that might be required of them. Since most movement begins at the core, it’s no surprise that these muscles play such a crucial role in football performance. You don’t take our word for it, though: We did find some proof of this fact.
The Six Best Ab Exercises For Football Players
Since the abdominals are some of the most important core muscles, you will need to find the best ways of strengthening them. There are tons of different exercises out there, and we certainly don’t have time to cover them all. So, here are the six ab exercises recommended by the National Football League.
1. Inverted Sit-Ups
We’re going to start with a difficult one: Sit-ups that are performed while hanging upside down! You will need an inversion bar or something similar, and you will need to begin by hanging your legs over the bar. Lean back and hang on your knees, placing your hands behind your head. Now, perform some sit-ups as normal. You will find that these are much harder than normal sit-ups, but that is the point. Remember to control your momentum so that you don’t end up swinging like a pendulum. Once that happens, gravity and momentum are doing some of the work for you, and that is cheating!
2. Sprint Sit-Ups
These are a specialized kind of sit-up that is meant to simulate the motion of running. Lay flat on your back with your hands on the ground. Raise one leg, keeping it bent as if you were taking a step. At the same time, raise your torso so that it becomes a crunch. One arm should be forward while the other arm is behind you. Keep going, alternating sides to simulate the motion of a brisk walk. The arm that is swung forward should always be the opposite of the leg that is raised. In other words: When you raise your right leg, your left arm swings forward and vice versa.
3. Seated Overhead Medicine Ball Toss
This is yet another sit-up variation, and it’s a good one. You lay back and get in a ready position, except that you are holding a medicine ball over your head. As you raise your body and do the crunch, throw the ball against the wall. If no wall is present, you did not prepare properly. Try again! After the ball hits the wall, it should bounce back, and you should catch it so that the exercise can be repeated. A lot of people find this exercise to be both effective and fun. You might say that this exercise is really “balls to the wall!”
4. Sit-Up With A Punch
There is no need to explain what a sit-up is, so let’s just skip that part. This exercise is just like any other sit-up, except for one thing. When you reach the peak of the exercise, you stop and perform two punches. This will usually take the form of a 1-2 combination, alternating between hands. One important thing to remember is the need to keep your knees together. They don’t have to touch, but they should be pretty close. Resist the urge to spread the knees apart as you come up from the ground, as this makes the exercise too easy and defeats its entire purpose.
5. Hanging Leg Lifts
This one also requires a pull-up bar (or some reasonable substitute). Start by taking hold of the bar with both hands. You can use an overhanded grip or an underhanded grip, as both will give you a good ab burn. You want your arms to be kind of wide, wider than shoulder-width at least. Hang from both hands and bring your knees up to your chest. That’s one rep, so keep going. This is one of the very best ab exercises around, but it’s not for the faint of heart. Make sure you keep your feet together at all times, or else the pressure on your abs will be reduced.
6. Burpee Pull-Up
This is one of the most clever and exerting combination exercises that we have ever seen. You combine a burpee and a pull-up so that you get the benefits of both. You start by doing as you normally would when performing a burpee. Drop down to a push-up position, do a push-up, and use that upward motion to propel yourself back to your feet. The final step of the burpee is a quick vertical jump. This time, however, you need to grab your pull-up bar at the height of the jump and turn the motion into a pull-up. A little hard to perfect, but a wonderful exercise for full-body strength and coordination.
It’s hard to argue with the NFL when it comes to football, so we tend to think that these six exercises are going to be your best bet. However, it should be remembered that most destinations have more than one road. You don’t necessarily need to stick to the routine above 100%, but you would be foolish to discount these excellent exercises.
You may have noticed that we did not recommend a specific range of sets or reps. We feel that this matter should be decided by the individual, based on their level of personal development. Each of these exercises is just one ingredient that can be used to create a workout blend that is perfect for you. In the end, results are all that matter. If you agree, and if you have enjoyed this article, please follow us on Facebook using the link below.