Top "Get Your Heart-Pumping" Football Endurance Drills

Year-Round Conditioning Drills for Gridiron Players

American football team doing push ups on sport field, Virginia, USA
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Here are three lung-challenging drills to keep football players in top condition, with no need for a football.

For Goodness, Snakes!

The snake drill combines full speed forward, shuffle, and full speed back pedal drills.

  1. Players line up at the sideline of the goal line.
  2. Players will run forward the width of the field.
  3. When reaching for far sideline, players will shuffle to the five-yard line.
  4. At the five-yard line, players will back pedal width of the field.
  5. Players repeat these steps until reaching the far end zone.

Drums Along the Mohawk

Just like the famous chase scene from the 1939 movie with Henry Fonda, this drill will keep players changing running speeds.

  1. Align players in groups of seven.
  2. On a track, or using the perimeter of the field, have them start running at 50-percent.
  3. At the sound of the whistle, the last player in line will sprint full speed to overtake the first player in line.
  4. Every 20 yards, the last player runs full speed to take the lead.
  5. Continue the rotation until the players reach the starting point.

Commando Kelly

This multiple-function drill includes sprints, up-downs, push-ups, and sit-ups, which would bring a smile to the face of any special-ops drill instructor.

  1. Align players across the goal line.
  2. On the whistle, the players high knee run-in-place.
  3. On the next whistle, the players perform up-downs (falling to the ground flat, stomach and chest first).
  4. On the next whistle, the players run 10-yards and continue to run in place.
  5. On the next whistle, the players drop and do push-ups.
  6. On the next whistle, the players run down field 10-yards and continue to run-in-place.
  7. On the next whistle, the players drop to the ground and do sit-ups.
  8. On the next whistle, the players run 30-yards to midfield and continue to run-in-place.
  9. The sequence is repeated until the players reach the other goal line.

Coaching Points

  1. Modify these drills in response to the age of and physical condition of players.
  2. Use common sense when starting these conditioning drills, starting slowly and building up as the players get into better shape.
  3. Shake up a lethargic practice by running the Commando Kelly drill.