As we near the final Week 16 of the present NFL season, we forget to think about all the hard work players put in during pre-season games and the off-season period. In order to be ready for every upcoming season, NFL players train hard, often more than their coaches tell them to or in home and communal gyms. The drive for top athleticism doesn’t stop just because the season is over so here are a couple of NFL pros’ tips on off-season football training practices.

Maxing out at the bench press

There are several positions NFL players play at, which means their training schedules are going to differ. However, every player does bench presses; the only thing that varies is the weight they lift. Offensive and defensive linemen are particularly keen on maxing out their lifting power.

The trick to becoming big like them is to focus on the weight, rather than on the number of reps. Even top players aren’t afraid to admit they do a single rep of a weight that is unimaginable for us ordinary folk. We are not suggesting you go for the half a tone record in the bench press but merely to gradually increase the load while bench pressing.

Strengthening the core through kickboxing

Not to say that NFL players spend the entire off-season in a stuffy gym, they actually engage in another sport. One such example is kickboxing that is excellent for core strengthening, especially important for running backs. Some five rounds lasting up to three minutes over the course of two mounts (thrice weekly) is enough to stay in shape.

The short bursts of boxing actually imitate the short, physically intensive periods when NFL players actually play during a drive. Furthermore, it is fun and entertaining to play another sport, which comes in handy when you spend a long time running up and down a green field.

Running, twisting, and turning

Football is a demanding sport in the sense that not only do you have to be physically fit, strong, and fast, but you require agility and explosiveness to run. That’s why you see pros wear best of running gear (if you wish more info on particular cleats, find it on Runnerclick website) because they badly want to avoid an ankle injury, for instance.

In fact, lower body strength is essential for most NFL players. Step-ups, lunges, power cleans, and squats in the weight room all ensure a player is able to stretch and flex to the max. Bigger is better is the NFL but unless you can twist and turn in sharp angles while running at top speed, then all those muscles become nothing but dead weight.

No single machine

While inside the gym (and outside it), a truly dedicated NFL player will never opt to use a single machine. In fact, a typical workout session of a football brute resembles more of a cross-fit training session for ladies you might see advertised at your local gym.

Namely, from the Physio ball (which can be used to a total body workout) to Olympic lifts, you should really try out everything offered to you. Such tactics are not uncorroborated because the more versatile your training session is, the better you will isolate muscle groups you want to work out in particular.

Perhaps the best metaphor for how hard NFL players exercise during the off-season is the sport of football itself. Namely, reaching top levels of athleticism is an uphill rush in which you gain ground one yard at a time. Like every coach and defensive coordinator can tell you, this requires a lot of focus, hard work, and definitely not giving up.