The Complete Off-Season Football Workout Plan

Off-Season Football Workout Plan

Phase 1: Stability and Endurance

Goal:  Correct muscle imbalances caused by injuries sustained during a grueling season, and build a foundation for heavy lifting and more advanced exercises.

Overview:  Focuses primarily on bodyweight and core stability exercises that improve flexibility, core strength and balance, and eliminate imbalances. Intensity (percent of your max) is low and reps are high. Although the weight used may seem easy, remember that the goal is to set the stage for subsequent phases.

Off-Season Football Workouts, Part 1: How to Begin Your Program

Football Off-Season Workout

 Even before the helmets are collected and the uniforms washed, high school football players are thinking about the off-season—their opportunity to recover physically and psychologically and to work on improving their performance.

How you structure your off-season football workouts can be a huge factor in reaching your strength goals. In a series of five articles, I will comment on each phase of off-season training. In Part 1, I talk about the Stabilization and Endurance Phase.

The main goal of an off-season football program is to increase the body’s ability to stabilize and remain in a controlled posture. As a season progresses, muscular imbalances can occur from injuries—or even from continually cutting in the same direction. This can lead to weaknesses in underused areas of the body, risking potential injury and raising performance issues.

The Stabilization and Endurance Phase focuses on flexibility, core strength, balance, and reactive & resistance training to correct imbalances and provide the base of strength you need to progress through the program. Think of it as laying the foundation for a house. You must increase functional strength, core stabilization and flexibility to prepare your body for the heavy loads it will be taking on later in the training.

In this initial phase, bodyweight and core engagement exercises will comprise the majority of your training. Intensity (percent of max) will be low and reps will be high. Each workout will feature full body exercises, which are necessary to correct imbalances and prepare you for more advanced lifts.

Phase 1: Stability and Endurance Training Variables

  • Reps: 12-15
  • Sets: 1-3
  • Percent of Max: 50-70 percent
  • Frequency: 2 to 4 times per week
  • Duration: 3 weeks

Day 1

  • Physioball Dumbbell Press
  • Single-Leg Bent-Over Row
  • Single-Leg Biceps Curl to Overhead Press
  • Assisted Pull-Ups
  • Glute Bridge
  • Single-Leg Squat With Toe Touch
  • Bodyweight Squat
  • Plank Kick Throughs
  • Knee-to-Elbow Plank
  • Tuck Jumps (two-second hold on landing)

Day 2

  • Physioball Push-Ups
  • Inverted Row
  • Dumbbell Step-Ups With Shoulder Press
  • Physioball Dumbbell Pullovers
  • Dumbbell Single-Leg RDL
  • Pistol Squat
  • Power Clean
  • Standing Resistance Band Core Rotations
  • Single-Arm, Single-Leg Plank
  • Single-Leg Mini Hurdle Hops

Day 3

  • Physioball Dumbbell Incline
  • Single-Leg Resistance Band Row (pull for four seconds)
  • Seated Physioball Shoulder Press
  • Neutral-Grip Pull-Ups (slowly lower for two to three seconds)
  • Single-Leg Physioball Hamstring Curl
  • Dumbbell Bulgarian Split-Squat
  • Deadlift
  • Physioball Leg Rotations
  • Physioball Back Extensions
  • Broad Jumps (two-second hold on landing)

Off-Season Football Workouts, Part 2: Building Strength and Endurance

Football Weight Lifting

After performing Phase 1 of this off-season football workout, you will have built up the core stability and overall strength you need to add weightlifting exercises to your program. The next step is to start building on your solid foundation by adding strength work.

Phase 2 workouts are structured into supersets, each consisting of a strength movement followed by a stabilization exercise. Their volume and intensity will increase your strength and muscular endurance. This is the next level up in terms of difficulty, and it will further prepare your body for the more challenging and demanding workouts in later phases of the program.

In this phase, all sets, reps and weight levels are moderate. However, just because you are not maxing out doesn’t mean it won’t be challenging. Also, since this is the first time in the off-season that you’ll be lifting weight, do not sacrifice your technique to make maximum gains. This will help you stay injury-free.

Phase 2: Strength and Endurance Training

  • Reps: 8-12 (Decrease by 2 reps per week)
  • Sets: 2-4
  • Percent of Max: 70-80 percent (increase by 3-5 pounds per week on each exercise)
  • Frequency: 2 to 4 times per week
  • Duration: 3 weeks
  • Exercise Selection: Superset strength (S) and endurance exercises (E)

Day 1

  • (S) Barbell or Dumbbell Bench
  • (E) Physioball Push-Up
  • (S) Dumbbell Push Press
  • (E) Single-Leg Resistance Band Face Pulls (four-second count on negative)
  • (S) Dumbbell Plank Rows
  • (E) Pull-Ups or Chin-Ups
  • Single-Leg Physioball Glute Bridge
  • Balance Single-Leg Skater Squat
  • Barbell Squat
  • Med Ball Cork Screws
  • Plank Walk Up With Dumbbell Pull
  • Seated Box Jumps (hold landing for one second)

Day 2

  • (S) Dumbbell Close-Grip Bench
  • (E) Single-Arm Resistance Band Chest Press (four-second count on negative)
  • (S) Dumbbell Bent-Over Rows
  • (E) Single-Arm Band Rows (four-second count on negative)
  • (S) Dumbbell Lateral Step-Up and Shoulder Press
  • (E) Alternating-Grip Pull-Ups
  • (S) Single-Leg Good Mornings
  • (E) Dumbbell Side Lunges
  • Power Clean
  • Med Ball Chops
  • Side Plank Holds (hold for two seconds and switch sides)
  • Single-Leg Lateral Mini Hurdle Hops

Day 3

  • (S) Barbell or Dumbbell Incline Bench
  • (E) Close-Grip Push-Ups
  • (S) Single-Arm Dumbbell Snatch
  • (E) Resistance Band Reverse Flies (four-second count on negative)
  • (S) Single-Arm Dumbbell Rows
  • (E) Pull-Ups (four-second count on negative)
  • (S) Single-Leg Physioball Hamstring Curls
  • (E) Dumbbell Lunges
  • Deadlift
  • Med Ball Russian Twists
  • Single-Arm, Single-Leg Plank
  • Seated Broad Jumps (hold landing for one second)

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