Football Exercises

10 Best Cutting-Edge Football Exercises for Youth

Today most successful players in youth football are getting bigger, faster, and quicker than before. But you may be surprised by knowing how these players spend their time on their core exercises.

When players hit the gym, they are no longer focused on building pounds of muscles during their off-season workout; instead, their focus has shifted from building muscles to football athleticism and enhance speed during football workouts.

Sport, like football, requires sheer speed and raw collisions. It demands explosiveness, cutting ability, and agility to quickly transition between acceleration and deceleration. That’s why plyometric core exercises for beginners are so crucial in football.

The most important thing for all the players is the ability to make themselves play all the 16 seasons being fit for the match, and for that, players have to work out smarter, not harder.

And plyometric core exercises help defend the player’s body from getting an injury on the field with the ability to withstand the rapid loads and muscle breaking that occur during the workout for football players.

That doesn’t mean that youth football players are going soft during an offseason workout; the only difference among players is, now they are wiser in regards to their training program, and they are working smarter.

In this blog, I will share the 10 best cutting-edge exercises that will bring excessive change in your ease in-game and help you develop better skills during an offseason workout.

#1 Uphill Speed Ladder.

One great way to take advantage of the sunny days of summer is to use the outdoors and integrate your training with hill workout. Exercise on a hill dramatically increases your workout’s intensity and can do wonders for your overall conditioning workout and helps you with speed, acceleration, and lower body strength.

Many football players are working out on a hill, including players like Jerry rice and San Antonio Spurs. You can try out these three exercises if you want to take your game to the next level.

  • Uphill Sprints.

Uphill sprints are one of the popular hill-based exercises for athletes, they’re simple, but they are super useful because they force you to increase your leg and shorten your stride to climb the hill.

  • Downhills Run.

Running downhill is the most fun way of workout; this is simple and doesn’t strain your body much, but it has many benefits in running faster and overall conditioning.

Your muscles elongate to help you control your speed, and your body gets used to proper running technique at maximum velocity.

  • Uphill Speed Ladder.

Performing the same speed ladder drill during your workout session would turn your training stale. In such cases placing a speed ladder on an uphill becomes more fun and challenging, which helps you with footwork and coordination with lower body strength.

#2 Jump Rope.

Jumping rope is a great way to isolate those fast-twitch muscle fibers that give you the ability to fire off the ball when snapped. This helps with speed and agility training and helps stabilize knees and ankles to avoid injuries during the season.

#3 Squat Jumps 

The squat jump is again a prevalent classic strength-building move, and you are probably maxing out in your team’s weigh room every week, but this is a little different than what you often do during your workout session. This variation of using the only bodyweight helps you build your quads, glutes, and back; along with this, it increases the vertical jumping capabilities, increasing muscle stamina that will give you an advantage over other players during the challenging game. If you want to challenge yourself more, you can include burpee with the squat jump for a more intense workout.

#4 Resisted High Knees.

In speed training, the aim is to move your body weight as fast as possible that will help in activating fast-twitch muscle fibers causing them to contract quicker. The faster the contact, the more quickly you move; make sure that you are maintaining a suitable sprinting mechanism.

In resisted high knees, you are going to use speed bands, and it feels as if the muscles in your hip flexors, quad, glutes, and hamstring are holding back and when the speed bands are removed, your muscles would be explosive because they would feel light, and able to produce a blast of speeds.

Tips for the resisted high knees.

  1. Keep the back upright.
  2. Drive the knees up as fast as possible.
  3. Work at maximum intensity for 12-15 seconds burst.

Overall resisted high knees would help to improve sprint technique and stride length.

#5 Dumbbell Bench Press.

Using a dumbbell bench press allows a more excellent range of motion than using a barbell, and this means you can work more on your pec muscles and your triceps.

Opting for dumbbells also trains each side in isolation, so you can make sure one arm is just as strong as the other.

Lie back on a bench holding a dumbbell in each hand beside your shoulders, as shown in the picture. Your palm should be facing your feet while holding the dumbbells in the starting position.

Press the weight above your chest by extending your elbows until your arms are straight, slowly bringing back the value down, and continuing with multiple reps.

Superset the exercise with dumbbells rows to get a full upper body workout.

#6 Chain push up.

Chain push up is again another cutting-edge exercise that you can do during your offseason workout.

It is a free weight exercise that primarily targets the chest and also targets the abs, lower back, shoulders, and triceps.

While doing chain push up, it not only adds up more weight to the movement, it forces to engage his core muscles throughout the set. And as he pushed up, more of the chain lifts off the ground, increasing the resistance at a point where he is the strongest.

Assume a push-up position with extra heavyweights of the chain across your lower back. Perform a controlled push up for as many numbers as possible, depending on your capability.

#7 Upright Rows.

The upright row is an exercise that targets the shoulder when you pull a dumbbell vertically to shoulder height in front of the body.

It is a critical exercise to conditioning because it will work out your arms ultimately, starting from lats to wrists. In the beginning, make sure to warm with little weight to ensure proper form, before increasing weight resistance to build and maintain total arm strength.

To perform an upright row, hold a barbell or dumbbell in front of your body, pull the weight vertically to your neck height, and lower the weight.

The upright row is one of the efficient exercises to maintain fundamental strength for workouts football players experience.

#8 Box Blast

Box blast helps improve explosive power in your hips and legs, which is especially essential when creating separation from the opponent on the field.

To follow 

  • Start with left foot on the box and right foot on the floor
  • Drive right knee up to the chest while left leg pushes force through the box
  • Lower right leg slowly

Stand with one foot flat on a low box in about 6 to 12 feet in size, arms bent to 90 degrees and cocked back. Jump vertically by exploding through the front leg, extending the hip, knee, and ankle. Land in the starting position, land on both feet but with slightly more weight on the box foot and, without pausing, immediately take off the same foot, repeating the jump for ten reps. Repeat with the other leg.

Overall, maintain a locked back, keep abs and core tight, and ensure the driving’s legs ankle passes the opposite knee’s height when driving up.

#9 Kettlebell Lateral Lunge.

The kettlebell lateral lunge will add an extra dimension to your training and is excellent for hip movement and functional strength. 

This exercise targets the muscles of quads.

The kettlebell used during kettlebell lateral lunge places the weight in front of the body to allow for equal weight distribution and an upright torso during the exercise. 

It strengthens the activated muscles while working out and is forced to change the direction of executing a move like a jump cut.  

  • Stand with your slightly bent knees and feet shoulder-width apart while holding a kettlebell with both hands in front of you.
  • Clean the kettlebells to a front rack position.
  • Step laterally with your trail leg extended and descend until the thigh is parallel with the floor.
  • Drive through the weight-bearing portion and extend the knee as you push back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.


#10 Glute Ham Raise.

The glute-ham raise is an effective posterior chain exercise to develop strength, hypertrophy, and muscular endurance in the hamstring, glutes, and lower back. It helps prevent hamstring pull, often when the quads are overcompensating because the hamstring is weak.

Power, strength, and fitness athletes, all place a high value on those muscle groups for performance and injury prevention, making the glute, ham, raise a vital component to a well-rounded accessory program.

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