Weight Vest Training for Football Players
By Sam Dowd
Weight vest training is becoming more common as football athletes and strength coaches see the advantages. As many football coaches have looked to provide their programs with innovative resistance training regimens, certain athletic institutions have turned to expensive, bulky, and ultimately worthless machines built to work select muscle groups through non-functional movement patterns. Conversely, more astute football programs throughout the country have turned to a central Texas company for simple, affordable, and versatile training tools designed to take their game to the next level.
Hyperwear, with their signature SandBell and Hyper Vest PRO weight vest products, has transformed football strength and conditioning programs for the better. While it is beyond the scope of this blog to discuss all the possible training applications for football, some practical and easily applied techniques are warranted to fully appreciate the impact that the SandBell and weight vest can have on a football training program.
Many players and coaches have used weight vests to burn more calories and seamlessly add additional weight when doing any type of strength or cardio exercise. Incorporate the Hyper Vest PRO into your sprint training to develop powerful speed gains. Utilizing a weight vest during training can mean the difference in your speed when it counts during a game. You can also wear the PRO vest during work on any kind of incline to further tax the lower body muscles and prepare the cardiovascular system for the rigors it will endure during a game.
Additionally, you can use the added resistance in a multiplanar plyometric regimen to activate hip muscles responsible for explosive movements or quick changes in direction. An easy entry into plyometric training with a weight vest is a simple vertical leap. Bring yourself into a deep squat, and power through your hips to explode into a jump. Land with soft knees and repeat. Upon completing the vertical leaps with the weight vest, you can transition into bi or uni-lateral leaps in any number of planes. Sagittal weighted plane leaps will activate a greater number of fibers in the gluteus maximus. Frontal weighted plane leaps will activate additional fibers in the gluteus medius, allowing for quick cuts and greater hip stability in lateral movements. Transverse weighted plane leaps will serve to fire the piriformis and additional deep hip muscles responsible for keeping the hips stable in any rotational movements. In terms of resistance for any of these exercise progressions, the Hyper Vest PRO can be tailored to provide varied weight levels, so you can find a size and weight that works for you.
Using the SandBell in conjunction with weight vest training will undoubtedly lead to monumental gains in lower body and abdominal strength that are vital to the success of any football player. While the football training possibilities are endless with a tool as versatile as the SandBell, a brief outline of the potential training applications is warranted to appreciate the impact this product can have on your football resistance training program.
A great way to introduce yourself to SandBell training is to incorporate the tool into squats or lunges. Starting here is a reasonable means by which your abdominals and hips can become accustomed to the dynamic resistance that is inherent in the SandBell.
Once you master SandBell squats and lunges in the sagittal plane, try incorporating multiplanar SandBell moves with your basic lifts in order to activate additional muscles. A squat or lunge with a SandBell rotation will engage the muscles through the midsection that are responsible for rotational movements common in football. Through training with the SandBell, the hips and abdominals are required to work in an integrated and sequential fashion, and in turn create more explosive power that translates to the field more readily than any other piece of strength training equipment on the market today.
And of course, no Hyperwear blog on football training is complete without mentioning the acclaimed SandBell Slam! As previously stated, two of the primary goals when training in any football context is to develop additional power through the hips and strengthen the abdominals. By incorporating the SandBell Slam into your football training, you are priming your body to build explosive hip and core strength from the top down, while utilizing the SandBell’s dynamic resistance, as well as ground reaction forces, to tax your muscles in a way that is not possible using conventional, static strength training equipment. While it is best to start with a slam in a base stance through the sagittal plane to master the movement pattern, incorporating multiplanar slams and slams coupled with movements such as lunges will continue to build strength through the hips and core in a three dimensional fashion, and will translate to significant performance increases on the field.
About Sam Dowd
Sam Dowd is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and currently a personal trainer at Mecca Gym and Spa and the Four Seasons residences. Sam’s skill lies in his ability to work with and transform every type of client, regardless of their health and fitness goals. While Sam works with any client regardless of their health background, his passion is working with clients to help them move more efficiently by implementing movement patterns that serve to realign the kinetic chain.
Sam is a certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Through those associations, and his continued involvement with Hyperwear, Sam is able to bring his clients a synthesis of all the most current and functional strength training science in an accessible and accommodating format.