Players Lifting Weights

Do Football Players Need to Lift Weights?

If you want to save yourself some time – yes. Football players need to lift weights. If this has persuaded you, then off you go to lift some weights, but if you want to see why you should lift weights if you’re a football player, stick around.

You already know you need to be agile, speedy, and you need a lot of skill to make it as a football player, but let’s not kid ourselves; you also need strength. Your mind is now probably picturing a lot of muscle, but that’s not it. You want the right kind of strength and the muscles are only a cool side-effect.

Leave that jersey aside, grab some weightlifting shoes, and let’s start!

The Role of Strength Training in Football

If you’re a football player and you don’t really lift, you’re probably worried about getting bulky and slow. That misconception is so common it’s almost tragic, but that’s what you get in a world where anyone can say anything and it spreads like wildfire. A person getting so bulky they become slow is a myth and if that was the only thing holding you back, then you need to head to the gym right away and start lifting.

Weightlifting can be transformational and it can boost your speed, power, and endurance. If you train correctly, you won’t bulk up – instead, you’ll fine-tune your body and make it faster, more explosive, and able to keep up the pace throughout the game.

Benefits of Strength Training for Football Players

When you step onto that football field, you’ll need more than fancy footwork and strategic plays. If you’re not physically prepared for what the game demands, you’re in trouble, but that’s where strength training can help you. There are a lot of resources out there, one of the best being books, about how many benefits weightlifting has, so let’s see how it can help football players.

Explosive Power

Strength training will improve your explosive power, which is important for quick sprints, agile movements, and forceful tackles. When you do exercises like squats and cleans, you’ll be able to get rapid bursts of energy, which will give you an edge on the field.

Improved Speed

All of those people who don’t lift because they’re afraid of muscles slowing them down should know that weightlifting will actually help you get faster. When you strengthen the muscles and improve neuromuscular coordination, you’ll accelerate faster and maintain higher velocities during the game.

Preventing Injuries

When you build strength, it doesn’t influence just your performance, it can also prevent injuries. When you strengthen your body, your joints, ligaments, and tendons are better supported, so you’re at less risk of common football injuries.

Boosted Endurance

Football games will test your endurance and you’ll need peak performance for extended periods. Weightlifting will increase your stamina, so you’ll sustain your energy levels throughout the game and your performance will be consistent.

Weightlifting Routines – Off-Season vs. In-Season

Your training needs to be adjusted according to your needs and goals, of course, but you also need to have an off-season and in-season routine. The off-season is all about growth and building power, while the in-season shifts towards maintaining strength and flexibility.

During the off-season, your goal should be to build muscle and increase your strength. This period is great for intense, focused weightlifting sessions that will improve your physical capabilities. Think of the off-season as a time for laying the groundwork for the challenges of the upcoming season.

As the season kicks off, your goal shifts from building to maintaining. You need a balance between maintaining that muscle mass you got and promoting flexibility. The game will need you to stay agile and responsive, so flexibility should be a key component of your training regimen. Your weightlifting exercises should include some dynamic stretches, bodyweight movements, and lighter resistance training that will support your strength without causing fatigue.

Do both compound and functional exercises – lunges, medicine ball throws, and agility drills. You’ll maintain your strength and improve specific movements that are relevant to football. You can lower the intensity during the off-season, but you should still focus on targeted exercises so you’re ready when the game comes.


How often do football players need to lift weights during the season?

That varies and usually depends on the team’s schedule, your position, and overall workload. Ideally, you should lift 2 to 3 times a week because that will be a balance between maintaining strength and preventing fatigue.

Can weightlifting improve my speed?

Absolutely! Weightlifting has a big role in improving a player’s speed because it helps develop explosive power and strength, so you’ll be able to generate rapid bursts of energy. Another great thing is that you’ll be able to accelerate faster because you’ll improve muscle coordination.


If you didn’t think football and weightlifting could be besties, you’ve probably changed your mind now. Football players absolutely need weightlifting in their routine, but they need to do it smartly. Hitting the weights won’t turn you into a slow giant because the key is balance – getting strong without compromising speed. Don’t forget to adjust your training according to whether it’s off-season or not and stay consistent.

What’s your go-to weightlifting exercise? Did you notice it gives you an edge on the football field? Have you ever stumbled upon the misconceptions about weightlifting and football?

We look forward to reading your thoughts, suggestions, and answering your questions!

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