Kicking Your Way To The Top
The kicker on a football team can often be overlooked as an essential component to the team. It can actually be argued that the football kicker is one of the most important positions on the team. A good football kicker can be as important as the quarterback or a strong defense. While that may be stretching it a bit just ask the Alabama Crimson Tide if a kicker would have won them the Iron Bowl in 2014.
In order for one to be an exceptional kicker, it requires athleticism combined with a work ethic to learn, practice and refine skills. Part of becoming a first-rate kicker has a lot to do with the weight training routine that one works through.
Weight training combined with functional training and dynamic flexibility can help add distance and consistency to:
- Field goals
It really works in the favor of the kicker to train hard with weights. This not only helps get your body in tip-top shape but it can also drastically increase your game, something that will be beneficial to both you and your teammates.
Let’s dive into some of the key areas and exercises that one should focus on in order to become a better football kicker.
Functional Core Training
Typically kickers frequently make strength and speed gains in the weight room, but when it comes to delivering these on the field, there is not much improvement in their kick.
In order to see an improvement, it’s necessary for one to do some functional training that can dynamically increase flexibility. These types of exercises can help with the core, balance, rhythm and dynamic movements in multiple planes.
In any sport core is the centerpiece of power. Specifically, kickers use their abdominal, hip flexors and their hips to perform a successful kick. By adding in some functional core strength, a kicker can add massive power to their kicks.
An example of a functional based balance exercise: Stand on one leg — close your eyes and touch the ground with both hands lightly. Stand back up to a standing position, but continue to keep one foot off the ground. Repeat. Do 10 – 15 reps per side.
After the exercise is complete, you will find out it isn’t all that easy. In this exercise you use the core of the body and the balance works the smaller intrinsic muscles of your ankle and foot. These elements are neglected in a regular strength program.
As kickers know, locking your ankle on impact is an essential part of a successful kick. As such, you need to have strong ankles.
Strengthen Lower Body
The lower body is key to being a successful football kicker. This is just common sense since the energy used to kick the football comes from the foot, which is attached to the leg.
Strengthening your lower body and core is essential for improved kicking power, leg speed and balance. Single-leg squats and stability ball exercises for core strength and stability are key regimens.
One should also incorporate additional exercises that strengthen the quadriceps and hip flexors. These muscles are the most important for kicking distance.
Hip & Hamstring
Much of the key to a successful football kick comes from hip and hamstring flexibility. With a consistent stretch and mobility routine, hip and hamstring flexibility can be improved.
Taking 10 to 15 minutes during every practice and strength training session to perform a variety of leg exercises can simply achieve this. By improving the mobility of the hips and legs, your leg will swing more freely during every kick.
With a good number of exercises specifically designed to help football kickers, all it takes is for one to put in the time, energy and hard work. Strengthening your core and lower body will help you kick your way to the top. Once you’ve put in the time at the gym, give your new kick a try. Hopefully you will notice the weight training helped produce better, stronger kicks that will be sure to go the distance!
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