When training in the off-season, you can’t just train like any other time of the season… You need to follow specific football workouts for linebackers.

Football is one of those sports where people often wonder what age you should start training for youth athletes. 

My recommendation is to wait for any kind of specialization until you are nearing or at the college level. Any age before that, you’ll actually benefit from playing multiple sports.

However, once you are at that point you linebackers should be turning up the heat during your off-season with specific football workouts.

This means following a strict regimen that progresses you specifically as a line-backer during the little bit of off-season you have.

Linebackers are some of the most intense players in football, and with all the new schemes today – athletes are coming in all different shapes and sizes. What we know is that as a linebacker you need to be strong as hell, fast as hell, and mean as hell.

In the off-season, every football workout should be position specific.

There are two elements I like to focus on throughout the off-season with linebackers.

Let’s break down an actual football workout that a linebacker will need to follow for the off-season…

Strength Workouts For Football Players

Football player squats

Linebacker strength is constantly being put to the test, no matter what technique you play.

Think of taking on lead blockers and shedding them immediately…

This takes an extremely powerful lower body foundation, a stable core, and a strong upper body.

While it’s important to have the size so that you can stop an oncoming run, building strength will also be give you the athleticism to play every pass.

Not to mention, your strength is often times what can save you in this sport. It’s important to have good structural integrity within your entire body so that you can withstand constant hits and tackle after tackle.

Best Lifts for Football Workouts

Athlete Performs Conventional Deadlift

When it comes to lifting for football, there’s two lifts I always come back to:

Squats and Deadlifts.

These two movements need to be stapes in your training, and should be progressed over the course of your off-season with varying sets and rep ranges. Over this training period, the intensity should progressively increase while the volume decreases.

Working towards heavier lifts with longer rest period proves difficult for your nervous system which is good news: the more you stress the body, the more it adapts and grows stronger to overcome new efforts.

Some other lifts you can add to your training are power cleans, snatches, jerks, and heavy overhead/bench presses.

All of these drills are perfect for football workouts since they force you to develop explosiveness in the hips and the strength to toss around running backs.

Football Speed

Football Athlete Performs Speed Training

Football workouts for speed can be tricky for linebackers because many do not know how to train this…

The key movements for a linebacker will be your lateral burst and your forward burst. Rarely will you be running a 100 yard dash, so why would you focus your linebacker drills on that?

The gym should be where you perfect skills that you want to feel natural in competition.

A 40 time is much more accurate, since you make that play in a game. Linebackers are ever-evolving, but what’s remained consistent is the need to be both shifty and explosive.

This is where your speed taps into your strength. The more efficient your lower body is at producing power, the faster you’ll be.

How Linebackers Should Train For Speed

Athlete performs broad jump

I like to have linebackers focus on short, high-intensity sprints. 

A few of my favorite drills to use for football speed workouts are using box formations where you’re constantly working on cutting at full speed.

Another great drill has you move forward/ in reverse and side to side going off a simple command. Have a friend use their finger to point you in the right direction.

This will allow you to read a teammate and react, exactly what a linebackers job is.

To build on an explosive first step, I always love to have my football workouts include some type of vertical jump training for overall power.

Set up a series of hurdles or some plyo boxes and work on your high box jumps, which train hip extension/flexion.

The Ultimate Football Workout

Football Player Performs Med Ball Twist

Overtime, putting an emphasis on your strength and speed training with make a huge difference in your game.

What I can promise you, is the way you train these two elements will make an even bigger difference…

That’s why I recommend not leaving these things up to chance. Your football workouts during the off-season are what make or break a great season.

As a linebacker, your training needs should match your game and a carefully thought out routine will give you the strength, speed, and power to take on championships.

Take a look at my best-selling Football Workout – Training Program: Gridiron Domination

Inside I take you through a football specific training program that focuses on hypertrophy training, speed mechanics, and agility training so that you can…

  • Put on up to 20lbs of MASS
  • Become the Real Life Flash
  • Makes clean cuts that break ankles

If you’re ready to train hard, then you’re ready to take on this program and start your strongest football season yet.



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Chris Barnard
Chris Barnard

Chris Barnard is a strength and conditioning coach at Strength Camp, a hardcore athlete training facility in St. Petersburg, Florida, as well as author of multiple performance programs. He has worked with athletes at all levels and from many different sports to produce the highest level of performance in each. He currently resides in St Petersburg, Florida and continues to pursuit breakthroughs in athletic performance.