How NFL Players Train to Prepare for the Long Season | Fueled by Sports
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How NFL Players Train to Prepare for the Long Season

The top NFL players excel in most physical facets, from speed and strength to general coordination. Although the regular season only spans about four months of the year, players must remain in excellent condition throughout the year, especially since training camp starts in July. Even before that, many players participate in offseason workout programs that begin in early spring.

NFL players train year-round due to the extremely physical nature of the sport. Failing to work out regularly can make players less accustomed to the physical exertion of an NFL game, opening them up to the risk of severe injury and disappointing performance. As a result, a year-round, intense training program is a must for athletes in the NFL.

Every player has their unique personal workout calendar and areas of focus, though several training methods and regimens are notable for their intensity and results.

Competitive Conditioning

A sense of competition is something that all professional athletes have. These athletes have been competing their entire life against the best of the best, reaching the top of their sport for a reason. As a result, competition is often used as a motivational tool when conditioning. For example, NFL trainers often have multiple players do shuttle at a time to create competition. Since football is a team sport, it makes sense to have teammates push one another to improve.

The Thousand-Yard Gauntlet

Intense conditioning and the thousand-yard gauntlet go hand-in-hand for NFL players. The workout involves a series of exercises, using cones at distances of 25 yards. Players complete six sets of 150-yard shuttle runs, running 25 yards down and back three times. Their goal is to finish in less than 30 seconds. After 90 seconds of rest between each set, they strive to beat their previous time, every run.

Premium Exercise Trampolines 

Sure, trampolines are a fun backyard toy for kids, but in the NFL, they’re better known as an essential conditioning tool. Players use premium exercise trampolines to improve their balance and coordination, with additional trampoline usage benefits including immune system bolstering, strengthened skeletal system and increased bone mass

Medicine Balls, Weight Plates and More

Beyond general cardiovascular conditioning, NFL players are very familiar with medicine balls, weight plates and farmer carries. All essentially involve picking items up and carrying them, helping build lung and muscle strength in addition to mental fortitude. During a game, players who feel exhausted but are in an intense, game-defining situation can refer to rigorous carrying exercises to remind themselves that they can get it done.

In addition to carrying a medicine ball and kettlebell, players also push a sled that weighs at least 100 pounds up and down the field while keeping their upper body low and core tight. The act of pushing, pulling and picking up large and bulky objects is familiar to NFL players.

NFL players do plenty of running, lifting and even trampoline jumping when training throughout the offseason and regular season. For a sport as physical as the NFL, they need the intensity and commitment these exercises require.

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