Exercises by Willie Wilson, HAC Master Personal Trainer
Ask any football fan what their favorite day of the week is, and you’ll get the same response each time: Football Sunday. Watching the game from home generates a lot of buzz – why not channel that energy towards something that will better you, too? To help offset all the beer, nachos, and other game day eats, add this fun workout to your Sunday shenanigans. The exercises you do are dependent on the events of the game you are watching, so you’re in for a different workout with every game and every team.
Here are the common football occurrences to look out for and the exercise you’ll be doing for each:
To complete your crossbody moves and thrusters, you’ll need a weighted object – this could be a couch cushion (also comes in handy for muffling your screams when your team misses a play), a backpack with books inside, a small child or grandchild (but be careful!), or anything you have that can be safely lifted above your head. Use a heavier object for a more intense workout.
- Turnover: when the offensive team loses control of the ball during an interception or a fumble
Exercise: 10 Knee-to-Face Crossbody Moves (per side)
Start by shifting your weight onto your right leg. Use both hands to raise your object (for this tutorial, we’ll be using a cushion) overhead and lined up with your right shoulder. Bending the elbows in as you move, bring your cushion down across your body toward the outside of your left thigh; in the same motion, bring your left knee up toward the center of your chest. Reverse this motion to return to your start position. Repeat 10 times on each side.
- Touchdown: when a team scores points by successfully carrying or passing the ball into the end zone
Exercise: 10 Floor-to-Sky Toe Touches
For this exercise, you can choose whether or not you’d like to incorporate your cushion. Start standing tall with feet slightly wider than shoulder width. Bending at the knees, squat down and bring your hands or cushion down to touch the floor in front of you. Be sure not to round your back as you come down. As you exit the squat, explode back up into a standing position and raise your arms overhead. For an added challenge, add in a jump as your arms come up. Repeat 10 times.
- Field Goal: when the team in control of the ball scores points by place kicking or drop kicking the ball through the goal.
Exercise: 10 Squat Kicks (per side)
Here’s another exercise where you can choose to keep your cushion in-hand or go hands-free. Start standing with feet slightly wider than shoulder width. Bending at the knees, squat down as low as you feel comfortable, keeping your hands/cushion tucked closely to your chest. You’ll want to shift your weight onto your left leg as you exit the squat position. As you rise, raise your right leg off the ground and kick into the air in front of you. Lower right back into your squat position and repeat the movement on the opposite time. Repeat this 10 times, alternating your kicking leg with each squat.
- Sack: when the quarterback or other passing player is tackled behind the line of scrimmage before he is able to throw a forward pass.
Exercise: 10 Supermans
Lie face-down on the floor (grab a mat if you’re working on hard floors). Rest your legs on the ground straight behind you and your arms outstretched in front, aligned with the shoulders. Without bending your knees or elbows, brace through the core and lift your legs and chest, elevating your feet and hands. Avoid raising your chin up as you do this; try to keep your head in a neutral position. Return to start and repeat for 10 reps.
- Pick 6: when a player from the defensive team intercepts a throw by the offensive quarterback and scores by running the ball through the end zone.
Exercise: 10 Thrusters
This motion is very similar to the Floor-to-Sky Toe Touches, – just remove the toe touch. Adding your cushion or other weight and moving rapidly through your 10 reps will give you a great burst of cardio.