Using The Whole Body When Tackling, Blocking, Or Running
Football is all about explosive power and coordination. The best athletes excel in both of these arenas, however, they don't come by it all naturally. Instead, explosiveness and coordination are things that can be drilled and therefore are things we can get better at. One fantastic drill is the Kbands resistance bands jump turns. In this exercise you will engage the core and power muscles through the legs while maintaining control and coordination through the air. Let’s check out what this looks like.
Kbands Resistance Bands Jump Turns
Set up for this exercise is easy, all that’s needed is a set of Kbands and something roughly knee-high you can jump over. Make sure this is not something that's going to injure you when landed on. Begin by standing near the hurdle facing away in an athletic stance with the left leg forward crouching slightly. Have your Kbands strapped on just above the knee. This is position one. Next, explosively leap over the obstacle and land facing away once again, this time with the left leg nearest the obstacle.
This is position two and counts as one rep. Maintain a steady rhythm jumping back-and-forth over the obstacle for 20 repetitions. Make sure to include arms in the motion so as to maintain complete control of the body through the air. By shifting the arms as a sprinter would on take-off we can tighten the core and orient the shoulders into the correct direction. Ideally the shoulders and head will be in alignment before the hips and legs rotate around for the landing.
After 20 repetitions take a one and a half minute rest set. We want maximum effort and power each time we attempt this drill so don't go into it gassed. After the rest set begin again and complete five total sets, alternating the leg that begins forward each time. After the five sets with the Kbands on, remove the bands and begin two sets with the Kbands off. These will still include the one and a half minute rest sets between them.
It is important to note: even when the Kbands are off for these last two sets, control must be maintained through the air. Without resistance from the bands it becomes easy to jump further away from the obstacle into position two, and therefore makes it harder to keep control when leaping back to position one. Combat this by keeping your head high and focusing on a tight core throughout the back and forth movements.
Wide Receivers and Running Backs
Proper juking means maintaining control of your weight and the direction which power is applied to the ground. A drill like the Kbands resistance bands jump turns will help develop a sense of control though the air as well as create muscle memory for explosive movements. By using the Kbands, muscle fibers are trained to fire off at closer to 100% incorporation every time. This is important when trying to gain the edge over the defender. The more muscle fibers that can be incorporated in an explosive movement the more explosive that movement can be.
This is the difference between an elite running back and a pretty good one, the difference between a receiver that can sell a fake to the corner and instead cut back mid-field without his defender and one that always seems covered. Without control and explosiveness every juke ends up missing it's pop, and every planted foot becomes a missed opportunity to change directions and open up the field.
The Kbands Edge
So what is it the Kbands are doing to make this drill that much more effective? It all boils down to resistance and effort. When simply using bodyweight, the drill lacks punch and instead becomes a cardio drill where the limiter is muscle fatigue due to volume of movement. The body will naturally take the path of least resistance and so without the bands each jump lacks pop. By adding Kbands we add resistance and force the muscle to explode. The body can no longer gently leap from side to side and must instead explode off the ground. Likewise the Kbands force the core and legs to engage while in the air. Instead of lazily drifting from one position to the other, the Kbands force an intentional turn and reorientation for landing. In short Kbands help every rep count for more.
Football Drills and Exercises
For more drills like the Kbands Resistance Bands Jump Turns, head over to the football section of our site. There you will find more drills designed specifically for athletes trying to maximize their football workouts. We also have a section completely devoted to speed and agility which is essential for the mobile athlete. There you can find exercises and drills that will increase foot speed and neuromuscular engagement.