10 College Football Workouts to Help You Get in Shape This Summer
College football fans get a little break for the summer, but the players do not (or at least, they don't take one if they want to win a lot). If a team is going to contend on the national level, top physical condition is a must.
For the football fan, shape is less of a necessity, but it should definitely be a concern. Staying in shape is the one thing that you can do to improve your quality of life that you have complete control over. (Unless you grow your own food, of course.)
If you want to check out the full Michigan State workout program, this video is a great start.
Honorable Mention: Stadium Stairs
There are millions of possibilities to augment the Stadium Stairs workout. You could add in abdominal workouts at the bottom (or the top), you can have your players run around the perimeter of the stadium and alternate going up and down each flight of stairs they encounter or any number of things to make it more fat-burning.
This makes the honorable mention category for a simple reason: Most people can't just walk into a stadium and say "I wanna work out". Feel free to use a local mountain or a staircase in your house to do the workout, but don't expect stadium access if you're not a member (or close friend) of the team it hosts.
10. Jump Rope
Jumping rope is a simple exercise, and it can be utilized in many ways. Of course, the easiest way to do things is simply to jump rope for agility and use it as a station in your workout regimen.
The other way to use it is in between sets on the other nine exercises. If you're lifting weights or doing some other strength training, use the jump rope to keep your heart rate in the fat-burning zone.
The rope is an excellent go-between to put you in the cardio zone even when strength training.
9. Russian Twist
The Russian twist is an excellent core workout, which will help you burn fat and become more explosive. Whether you're playing neighborhood basketball or simply trying to get in shape for the sake of your health, this one's a winner.
You can do this anywhere, and it takes little room to do it. In fact, this would be a good little exercise to break out any time you get tired. It will get the blood flowing and give you a bit of energy.
Whatever exercises may be on this list, a strong core is the foundation of a healthy athlete. This exercise is an easy way to build that foundation, although it does ignore most of your back half.
The Superman is exactly how to focus on the back half of your body that the Russian Twist neglected. When you're finished twisting, flip over on your stomach and take off.
This works the entire length of the back of your body. Calves, hamstrings, glutes, back, neck and arms. Go for height and maximum lift off the ground. Don't start shooting to touch your toes backwards.
You can seriously overstress yourself that way. You're working out, not making an audition video for Cirque du Soleil.
7. Sand Pit
We will cover more exercises that you can do in the sand pit (ladder drills are depicted in the video), but think of the pit as a multiplier for anything you do.
It has basically the same effect as adding resistance bands to any of the drills. If you've ever walked or run for distance on a beach, you know the feeling in your calves when you're done.
It's roughly equivalent to backpacking. It will make any workout you do that much more productive in the fat-burning and muscle-building categories. Not to mention the fact that you'll be quicker on grass at whatever you're doing in the pit.
If you don't want to buy a ton of sand, find a local beach volleyball court. Just be sure to bring a rake and smooth the surface when you're finished.
6. Ladder Drills
The featured video is of future Syracuse walk-on Joey Stanard doing ladder drills. For deeper explanation, here is an instructional video for many drills you can do with the laid-out rope ladder. These workouts will burn fat while building your agility.
Quick-twitch muscle is valuable in all walks of life (reflexes are always a good safeguard against office pranks), and the ladder is one of the fastest ways to build it. Plus, it's incredibly versatile. You can use these drills as guidelines, but there are infinite variations on this theme.
If you don't want to go buy a ladder, feel free to take some steel-cut oats of flour and lay out the ladder pattern in your yard (or some sand from your sand pit). You'll be able to tell when you've stepped on the line, and you won't do anything to hurt your grass.
5. Upright Row
The point of the row is to build a base set of muscles that you don't necessarily think about when you set out to get in shape. This works both arms completely from the deltoids down to the wrists.
If you're looking for a less expensive way to do this exercise, a sandbag will do the trick. If you don't have access to weights, it makes for a perfect substitute. Also, this is the exact workout you need to build up to the one on the next slide.
You do need something stiffer than a sandbag for the next two, though.
4. Hang Clean
LSU's strength and conditioning coach, Tommy Moffitt, explains the proper technique for the Hang Clean. Before you jump all over him for not teaching the correct Olympic technique, remember that he's not teaching the move for technical perfection.
He's teaching it as a way to get the most explosiveness out of his football players. This works out in the reader's favor, because getting in shape doesn't mean targeting a gold medal. It simply means getting the most benefit out of the station.
This exercise also ends in the start position for the next one. Should you happen to want to combine them, go for it. FYI: The combination is known as the Clean and Jerk.
3. Split Jerk
This is called the Split Jerk. As discussed briefly in the previous slide, the Hang Clean is combined with the Split Jerk to form the Clean and Jerk.
Since this is literally a move that's split from the normal combo, it's called the Split Jerk when it stands alone. Separating the moves is wise if you're a beginner, because they come from completely different starting points.
Until you get the Hang Clean down pat, it's definitely better to start the jerk separately. Once you get them both well in hand, the combination Clean and Jerk is an obviously more efficient way to go about your business.
If you're just starting out, use the Hang Clean first. Also, avoid the Split Jerk if you're alone and inexperienced. It's clearly less safe to have all the weight over your head if you don't have someone to assist you in an emergency.
Bounding is a combination of strength training and cardio, depending on how you work it into your plan. It seems rather easy when you start with the two-legged version, but it gains intensity as you isolate each leg.
Bounding forces your body to concentrate on the action of actually pushing it off the ground, building the muscles that give you speed. When you just run, your body is working on pushing off the ground, maintaining balance while moving forward, and of course, moving forward.
When you bound, your body is less concerned with anything other than the act of pushing you off the ground. As you get more strength in that manner, your body gains the necessary strength to move you forward more easily.
That's how you gain speed.
Gassers are four trips from sideline to sideline. So, you run from Point A to B, back to A, back to B, then finally back to A. In other words, it's two round trips to the other side of the field.
If you don't have access to a soccer or football field, then simply use your yard. If you don't have one of those either, find an open space to do the running. If you don't have an open space, disregard this slide and get a treadmill.
Now, the gassers are already difficult enough, but if you feel invincible when you wake up, combine them with the bounding exercises.
Bound to one side of the field, one-leg it back to start, other-leg it back to the other side, then simply sprint back to the start/finish point.
Yes, that's an extremely advanced variation, but it would absolutely torch calories and build speed at the same time.
Apologies in advance if anyone's coach reads this and decides to have his kids do "Bounding Gassers."