AFL players must maintain peak physical condition during the off-season. If they’re going to have any chance of being selected throughout the coming season, they have to follow a rigorous summer training routine that ensures their bodies and minds are ready to go when that first bounce is slammed into the field.
If you want to maintain such a level of fitness in time for next season, grab the best AFL merchandise online and follow this exercise routine:
Agility is key to your aptitude, which means you have to be able to sprint easily and efficiently. Therefore, sprint training is an important off-season exercise and the perfect place to commence training like a true footy player.
The best place to start with sprint training is as follows:
- Mark out a 20 metre range;
- Stretch & warmup before sprint training;
- Run a 40 metre sprint by running to the 20 metre mark and back;
- Do this for eight repetitions with a 30 second break in between repetitions;
- Eight sprints makes one set – complete two or three sets.
Explosive power training
Aussie rules players put a lot of work into explosive power training. These motions are essentially about transitioning from a place of rest to optimal power in the shortest possible time frame, training your fast-twitch muscle fibres in the process.
It’s hard work, but it’s incredible for improving your Aussie rules athleticism. Your workout coach or personal trainer will work with you on the following:
- Improving knee, hip and ankle power with Olympic lifting exercises;
- Running with the use of sprint power bands that provide optimised resistance to your efforts;
- Plyometrics that have you perform an explosive motion from a still position with or without resistance.
Our fundamental strength comes from our centre, and so the core is there to assist you in quickly changing directions, stopping and beginning sprints, as well as providing optimised force in explosive movements.
Enlisting core workouts to develop like a footy player is another great off-season option. Exercises using kettlebells (like the above-mentioned) are ideal for strengthening the core whilst also pushing your extremities to the limit.
Other core-strengthening exercises, such as isolated core exercises and heavy strength training, are ideal for building that all-important strength to take you across the line as a top quality layer.
Sprinting and endurance work together in a footy game, and so the ability to maintain that sprinting force across a full match is imperative. There are longer intervals to target high speeds and this is essential to any player’s fitness level. So, give long-interval running a go, as this will work your endurance levels and have you ready to withstand a full two hours on the field.
Strength & power training
Obviously, footy is a highly physical game, and one that demands players be at their full strength. The barbell is the best place to start with footy strength and power training, as they aid in development and strength, work capacity and, of course, power.
Here are some great Aussie rules strength exercises:
- Bench presses
- Hip thrusts
- Bench pulls
- Back squats
- Romanian deadlifts
- Hang high-pulls
These exercises are best completed with a strength and conditioning coach (if available) or a personal trainer as they can help you develop the right technique.
This, and remembering to stretch and rest as much as possible between high velocity workouts, is a great way to ensure your body and mind will be at peak conditioning come the start of a new sport season!