5 NFL drills you can try at home

Determined to be as good as possible at football? Then you may want to put in some extra training on your own. The good news is that there’s plenty that you can do at home, which means you can easily increase your fitness and skills without having a full team to run drills with. We’re going to suggest some drills that can either be completed solo or with just one friend, that can give you the edge next time you have a game.

Something else that you can do at home is to watch the NFL picks show on television, and study those who play in the same position as you. Watching the ways in which the pros approach the sport can definitely be of benefit to your own game, but it isn’t a “drill” per se. Instead, try out the drills below to get yourself into peak condition.

Push-ups

Yes, really! We’re starting with just about the simplest drill you could possibly imagine: the push-up.

Push-ups can help you to increase the strength in your arms, core, and your whole upper body. It’s such an easy way to sharpen the tools you need to improve your performance on the football field.

We all think we know how to do push-ups, but you’d be amazed at how many people get it wrong. It is vital that you do your push-ups with the correct technique. Keep your elbows close, and be sure not to arch your back.

Start off slowly and build up your strength. You might get to the stage where you want to try adding a weighted vest to really boost your workout.

You might not think of push-ups as a “drill” but it is something that most NFL players will do regularly. There are other strength drills you can work on using dumbbells and other home equipment, but you’d be amazed at how effective the good, old-fashioned push-up can be.

Hex jumps

This is an exercise that you can do at home all by yourself, and it can help with balance, agility, and footwork.

First, you need to lay out your hexagon on the floor. If you are working on a concrete surface you can use chalk to draw your hexagon, or otherwise you can use tape. Each side of the hexagon should measure roughly one foot.

You start the exercise by standing in the middle of your hexagon with your knees bent and in a stance as if you are ready to sprint. Then jump over the line in front of you and immediately jump back into the middle. Then jump over the next line in the hexagon, and so on, until you have gone all the way around.

You can start off going in either direction (clockwise or counter-clockwise). After you’ve rotated all the way around the hexagon in one direction, do it again, but this time go around the hexagon in the other direction.

This is a great drill for improving not only your cardio fitness, but also your footwork and other skills you need for playing sports such as football.

One-leg squats

The one-leg squat is a simple and effective way to build strength and power in your legs, which you will certainly need if you are going to play football to any decent standard. You can do this exercise with or without a chair.

If you are using a chair, make sure it is sturdy. Stand on one leg in front of the chair, then slowly lower your hips down to the seat. Your hips should briefly touch the chair before you rise back up to your original starting position.

This is such a simple exercise, but it is surprisingly effective for boosting your leg strength.

Throwing and catching

This sounds incredibly basic, but throwing and catching are foundational skills of football. If you go to any football training session you will see that there is an awful lot of throwing and catching going on. It’s the most basic of football skills, but if you want to be a successful football player, it’s crucial that you keep your throwing and catching skills sharp.

If you are a quarterback then throwing drills are even more essential. You can ask a friend to help you, or you can set up targets on a wall or even buckets to aim at. This allows you to improve the accuracy of your throwing.

In most scenarios, throwing and catching drills are all about getting to the stage where you are super comfortable with the ball and not afraid to be the one either making or receiving the passes. Even if your position doesn’t require regular throwing or catching, it doesn’t hurt to have the reflexes and capacity to catch, intercept, throw, and generally be comfortable on the ball.

Speed ladder drills

One of the most useful tools that can help you work on your footwork in your own yard or at a local park, is a speed ladder. This is a cheap item that is really effective and versatile. It helps you by giving you a guideline for where your feet should go.

There are many different drills you can use with the speed ladder. You can sprint in and out of alternate “rungs” of the ladder. You can dip your feet in and out of the path of the ladder as you run, simulating the ducking and weaving you will likely be doing on the football field. You can even get a great upper-body and core workout by starting off in a push-up position and using your hands to go in and out of each rung of the ladder.

Summary

A lot of people assume there is not much you can do on your own to improve your football skills, but as we’ve shown, this is not the case. It’s much easier than you might think to build up your strength, work on your footwork, and even get better at throwing, without needing to have teammates there with you.

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