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Marsh column: Strength workouts for football players

Q. Getting ready for football season, should a receiver have the same strength workout as a linebacker?
A. Absolutely not. When you develop a strength program for your athletes, you look at the purpose of your strength workout. For example: The main need for your running backs, receivers, cornerbacks, and safetys is strength and speed. The purpose for your offensive and defensive lineman, tight ends, linebackers and half backs is mainly strength and power.
I was talking to one of our Salisbury Speedsters sprinters who is also getting ready for football season (by the way, look for awesome results from AAU State championships and the USATF Jim Law invitational of our Salisbury Speedsters coming soon!).
He started a program which is completely geared toward strength and power, meaning short bursts of strength and power. Continuing this workout would actually defeat the purpose of him creating more strength and speed as a receiver but also as a Salisbury Speedster 100m and 200m track star! If I were working with a football team in a pre-season strength workout, this is what I would do:
For strength and speed:
No less than 10 reps per exercise, preferable 12-15 reps for 3 sets no more than 1 minute rest in between.
Squats
Lunges
Leg extensions
Leg curls
Knee ups (for hip flexors)
Calf raises
Bench press
Incline d-bell press
Cable row
Lat pull
Shoulder press
Front lateral raises
Hammer curls
Triceps push down with rope
Crunches, 4 sets of 25 reps
Obliques, 4 sets of 20 reps (each side)
Leg raises 4 sets of 20 reps
I would hit the weights with them two or three times a week, preferably full body with at least one day in between. Other days, I would work on cardio drills, push- ups, plyometrics.
Now our “big” boys:
No more than 8 reps per exercise focusing on 4-6 reps per exercise, 4-5 sets. Three to five minutes, rest in between. Split body parts example can be: Legs and shoulders, chest and triceps, Back and biceps, core each day
Day one
Squats
Hack squats
Thrusts
Lunge squats
Leg extensions
Leg curls
Calf raises
Barbell shoulder press
Side lateral raises
Front lateral raises
Bent over flies
Day two
Dead lifts
Clean and press
T-bar rows
Lat pull
D-bell rows
Barbell curls
D-bell curls
Seated concentration curls
Day three
Bench press
Incline bench press shoulder width grip
D-bell flies
Cable cross over
Chest expanders (also called pull-overs)
Reversed grip shoulder width bench press
Triceps “skull crushers”
Triceps push down
Core added each day, every other day add neck strengthening exercises. Put LOTS of emphasis on flexibility (yes, even your big power guys). It will help prevent injuries.

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