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American football fitness training

Asking how you train for American Football is like asking Ben & Jerry's what type of ice cream they make - there are dozens of choices.

However, if there is one characteristic that is more important than any other in American Football, it is speed. If all your other physical attributes are at least average, speed will give you an edge over your opponents.

Of course speed alone is not enough - other critical factors include reaction time, vertical jumping ability, and upper body strength.

Watching American Football it's also hard to escape the conclusion that size is an advantage - in general, all other things being equal, a larger player will have an advantage over a smaller one.

That means that training needs to focus on quickness and strength. When looking at speed training, the key factor is the ability to accelerate quickly - this means that speed training should focus on short sprints from a standing start, with longer recovery periods.

Developing strength means heading to the gym. Of the hundreds of exercises you could do, the most important are those that develop the core muscles. This would include exercises such as squats, dead lifts, leg presses, abdominal curls, and leg raises.

The upper body will be developed by classic exercise such as bench presses, and military presses.

When you combine a good strength base from the weight room with the technical ability to execute a skilled movement at high speed, you have the essential component of high speed contact sports - power.

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