I’m currently a senior in high school and I play on the football team. I weigh about 210 pounds and I’m 6’4″ tall. My position is linebacker and I really would like to increase my skills in order to have a chance to be recruited by a big college. However, in order to play at the college level I really need to be about 20-30 pounds heavier and I also need to be faster in the 40 yard sprint test for overall speed. What are the best exercises you recommend for getting bigger, faster and stronger for football?
This is a common question we receive from high school athletes who are very good at the high school level but need to step it up a notch if they want to play at the collegiate level. The speed and size of the players increases dramatically between high school and college and many very good athletes simply can’t compete at the next level.
One great thing is that you are already blessed with the height (6 foot 4 inches) needed to play linebacker at the collegiate level. You just need to fill out your big frame and pack on some mass in order to get up to about 230-240 pounds to be a solid candidate for the starting position on your college team. The key to adding this additional 20-30 pounds is to make sure it comes primarily from lean muscle tissue and not body fat. Many players will totally go out of control with their diets in order to gain the additional weight needed to play and they end up getting so fat that they can barely run 40 yards without being completely winded. So, the key is to pack on solid muscle while keeping your fat levels the same or even decreasing them lower to be super lean and quick.
Best Mass Building Exercises and Speed Training Workouts:
This is one of the core movements you need to include for building a massive base for explosive speed and power. You absolutely need powerful legs at the college level in order to explode to the ball as a linebacker and play your position to the fullest. Squats build up your quadriceps, hamstrings and glute (butt) muscles which allow you to have a strong base for any position.
This is the king mass building exercises for your back. It actually works your entire body (legs, back, shoulders, arms) but the main reason for adding this exercise into your routine is for overall mass building and power. Heavy deadlifts will benefit you in all aspects of your position as a linebacker.
This is a great exercise that increases your explosive pushing power in your shoulders when you are taking on burly offensive guards and other opponents on the field. It also really helps with the power in your legs since you are pushing the weight up with the help of your quadriceps as you explode upwards and push the weight above your head.
Barbell Bench Press
This is the best mass building exercise for your chest and is one of the greatest movements for all over pushing power. It develops thickness in your chest, shoulders and triceps to provide explosive power and strength on the field.
Speed Parachute Sprints
This is a great exercise to include to increase your speed, quickness and explosiveness. You basically attach a parachute on your back and you do sprints which can range from 40, 60, 80 and 100 yards in length. The parachute creates a great deal of resistance as you run and it trains you to become much faster on the field.
Weighted Sled Sprints
This consists of a sled with weight plates placed on top of it. You can adjust the weights to meet your needs. You hold onto the handles and then push the heavily weighted sled as you sprint for a specified length which is usually around 20-40 yards. These become very difficult when you add a significant amount of weight to the sled and they do a fantastic job building explosive power in your legs. The great thing about weighted sled sprints is that you are actually building muscle in your legs as you do the sprints since there is a great deal of resistance. This exercise is one of the best for increasing your overall power, speed and quickness.
If you are currently in-season and playing, then you need to focus on implementing these exercises and workouts after the football season is over. It’s just too much stress on your body to work on building the mass needed when you are exerting the high level of intensity and activity while playing during the football season. Doing these exercises after the season is over allows you a few solid months to really train hard and pack on the muscle needed to be in the college ranks!