Are you tired of the same old workout routines? Looking to infuse some excitement and dynamism into your fitness regime? Well, look no further than the National Football League (NFL) for inspiration. The training drills NFL players use are not only for football players; they can be an excellent addition to anyone’s overall health and fitness. Continue reading to discover how NFL drills are the perfect way for beginners and fitness fanatics wanting to achieve their fitness goals.

The 2023 NFL season is only a few weeks old, and the players are in peak physical condition. While football fans spent the offseason planning the best bets for the NFL season, players were being put through their paces in intense training camps, increasing strength and stability, improving agility, and going through stamina-building conditioning drills. Some of those high-intensity workouts included the following exercises.

Shuttle Runs

Shuttle runs are a staple workout of most athletes’ training regimes, but especially so in the NFL world. Shuttle runs improve agility, speed, and cardiovascular endurance. To perform this drill, set up a marker 10, 20, or 30 yards away from your starting point, sprint to the marker, touch it with your hand, then quickly turn and spring back to your starting point. Repeat this movement as fast as you can for a set duration or a number of repetitions.

Shuttle runs can be incorporated as part of your warm-up or a high-intensity interval training session. They enhance your lateral quickness, improve your change of direction, and send your heart rate soaring.

Box Jumps

Box jumps are perfect for boosting your lower body strength and explosive power. NFL players frequently jump to catch passes and evade defenders. Find a sturdy box or platform that can support your weight, start with your feet hip-width apart, bend your knees, and jump onto the box, landing with your knees slightly bent. Step down and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Incorporating box jumps helps develop muscular legs, improve your vertical jump, and increase your overall athleticism. Of course, start with a lower box height and gradually work your way up to more challenging heights.

Cone Drills

Any sport that requires players to have high levels of lateral movement, good reaction times, and spatial awareness uses cone drills in their training programs. Create a course laid out by cones that require you to twist, turn, and quickly change direction. You then run around the layout as rapidly as possible without touching the markers or missing any turns. Cone drills help you become more agile and responsive on your feet.

Medicine Ball Throws

Medicine ball throws are a simple yet effective way to build core strength, upper body power, and explosiveness. You only require a medicine ball and either a partner or a wall. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold the ball at chest height, and explosively throw it to a partner or against a wall. Catch the ball, and repeat for the desired number of reps.

You can add variety to this workout by performing different throw types, including overhead, underarm, and rotational throws.

The 40-Yard Dash

The 40-yard dash is one of the metrics NFL teams use when scouting for fresh talent from the college football pool. It measures a player’s acceleration and top-end speed, two things crucial to NFL players regardless of their playing position.

All you need for this exercise is a flat, straight area at least 40 yards long. Mark a starting point and place a cone 40 yards away. Start in a sprinter’s stance and explode into a sprint, reaching the 40-yard marker as quickly as possible. Forty yards does not seem overly far, but sprinting this distance is enough to see you reach your top speed and send your heart rate to peak levels.

Resistance Band Drills

Most modern gyms have resistance band machines, although you can purchase sets of such bands for use in the home. This training method is excellent for improving flexibility, stability, and strength. Different muscle groups are targeted depending on how you exercise with the resistance bands.

Strengthen your upper back and shoulders with band pull-aparts. Perform these by holding a resistance band in front of you with both hands and arms extended. Pull the band apart by moving your hands away from each other and squeezing your shoulder blades together.

Placing the band around your ankles and assuming a slight squat position allows you to perform lateral band walks. While in a slight squat, step laterally, maintaining the band’s tension. This energy-sapping drill targets your hip muscles, which helps to improve your lateral quickness and stability.

Want to improve your sprinting power and acceleration further? Consider band-resisted sprints. Attach a resistance band to a sturdy anchor and secure it around your waist. Spring forward while the band provides resistance; it is as simple as that.

It is crucial to start with bands with less resistance and gradually build up as your fitness and strength increase and improve. Starting with a too-high resistance is a surefire way to injure yourself, thus preventing you from training while you recover.


When you think about it, it makes perfect sense to incorporate NFL drills into your training regime. The players in American Football’s elite-level competition must be supremely strong, agile, and explode into action at a moment’s notice. Remember to start at your own pace and gradually increase the intensity and complexity of the drills as you progress. Consulting with a fitness professional is worthwhile to ensure you’re using the proper form and technique, maximizing the benefits while minimizing the risk of injury.

Why stick with the same old boring workouts when you can train like an NFL athlete? Elevate your fitness to new heights and achieve your health aspirations.

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