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Football on field
Fitness
Published Thursday Jan 30, 2020 by Mindbody Team

The Game Day Workout: How to Train Like a Pro Athlete

Fitness
Motivation
Expert Advice

The Big Game is coming up in just a few days—and if you’ve ever looked out on the field and been awe-struck by those football muscles, you’re not alone. It’s hard not to be impressed by these giants, who often weigh in at over 250 lbs. but can still run a 40-yard dash in under 5 seconds.

But no matter your fitness level, you can work to develop a pro-athlete-level workout routine. We did the research—here’s how to build a gridiron-inspired workout to get you looking like Jimmy G in no time (we like to aim high).

Start with stretching and dynamic warm-ups.

If you’ve ever been to a game well before kickoff, you’ve probably noticed the athletes warming up on the sidelines. They’re preparing their bodies for the rigors of an extremely intense 2-3-hour game. You should do the same before your workout. 

We can’t emphasize enough the importance of warming up before your workout. To start, you should know there are two basic types—static and dynamic. 

Static stretches are the standard ones you’re probably familiar with (like touching your toes or doing the flamingo). Depending on the body parts you’re targeting with your workout, you should work through a series of a few of these bad boys to limber up and prepare for intense exercise.

Dynamic stretches are ones that involve movement (a little self-explanatory)—you won’t be standing still during this routine. Dynamic stretching includes things like high knees, lunges, backpedal jogging, jogging in place—anything that gets you moving and warms up your muscles.

A combination of dynamic and static stretches targeting your preferred muscles before your workout will have you limbered up and ready for action!

1
Start with stretching and dynamic warm-ups.

If you’ve ever been to a game well before kickoff, you’ve probably noticed the athletes warming up on the sidelines. They’re preparing their bodies for the rigors of an extremely intense 2-3-hour game. You should do the same before your workout. 

We can’t emphasize enough the importance of warming up before your workout. To start, you should know there are two basic types—static and dynamic. 

Static stretches are the standard ones you’re probably familiar with (like touching your toes or doing the flamingo). Depending on the body parts you’re targeting with your workout, you should work through a series of a few of these bad boys to limber up and prepare for intense exercise.

Dynamic stretches are ones that involve movement (a little self-explanatory)—you won’t be standing still during this routine. Dynamic stretching includes things like high knees, lunges, backpedal jogging, jogging in place—anything that gets you moving and warms up your muscles.

A combination of dynamic and static stretches targeting your preferred muscles before your workout will have you limbered up and ready for action!

Boost your cardiovascular capacity.

Every football game includes periods of 10-20 seconds of incredibly intense action, accompanied by some downtime when the players plan their next play. To prepare for this type of high-intensity, short-term activity, NFL athletes use bootcamp-style High-Intensity Interval Training (AKA HIIT). This type of training is exactly what it sounds like—performing high-intensity workouts (like sprinting or battling ropes) for about 20-40 seconds. After that, you’ll take a rest period equal to the time you spent exercising. You can perform any activity you like, as long as you near maximal exertion. Bike sprints, jumping rope, burpees, jump squats—the choice is yours. 

Compared to moderate, prolonged exercise, HIIT has been shown to burn calories more quickly, and helps enhance your aerobic and cardiovascular fitness. If you’re not sure where to start, many studios offer guided HIIT classes, find one near you!

2
Boost your cardiovascular capacity.

Every football game includes periods of 10-20 seconds of incredibly intense action, accompanied by some downtime when the players plan their next play. To prepare for this type of high-intensity, short-term activity, NFL athletes use bootcamp-style High-Intensity Interval Training (AKA HIIT). This type of training is exactly what it sounds like—performing high-intensity workouts (like sprinting or battling ropes) for about 20-40 seconds. After that, you’ll take a rest period equal to the time you spent exercising. You can perform any activity you like, as long as you near maximal exertion. Bike sprints, jumping rope, burpees, jump squats—the choice is yours. 

Compared to moderate, prolonged exercise, HIIT has been shown to burn calories more quickly, and helps enhance your aerobic and cardiovascular fitness. If you’re not sure where to start, many studios offer guided HIIT classes, find one near you!

Focus on your core.

A strong core is key for NFL players. Your core connects your upper and lower bodies and lets them function as a unit, so don’t neglect it during your workouts! Some of the best core exercises that are popular among football players include:

●    Planks (hold for 1 minute straight, and you’ll be
      approaching NFL-level fitness!)

●    Hanging or lying leg raises
●    Crunches
●    Supermans 
●    Bridges

Hint: make sure to focus on both your abs and your back—a strong core requires balanced strength in both of these muscles.

3
Focus on your core.

A strong core is key for NFL players. Your core connects your upper and lower bodies and lets them function as a unit, so don’t neglect it during your workouts! Some of the best core exercises that are popular among football players include:

●    Planks (hold for 1 minute straight, and you’ll be
      approaching NFL-level fitness!)

●    Hanging or lying leg raises
●    Crunches
●    Supermans 
●    Bridges

Hint: make sure to focus on both your abs and your back—a strong core requires balanced strength in both of these muscles.

Strength train your lower half.

You may notice mostly the giant arms and shoulders on NFL players, but most of their speed and explosiveness comes from their lower body. If you want to build yourself to a similar level of fitness, you’ll definitely want to make sure you focus on your lower body during strength training.

Lower body strength exercises like kettlebell swings, squats, weighted lunges, deadlifts, and box step-ups/jumps are key for building up powerful glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves—and allowing you to develop power and intensity throughout the rest of your workout. 

4
Strength train your lower half.

You may notice mostly the giant arms and shoulders on NFL players, but most of their speed and explosiveness comes from their lower body. If you want to build yourself to a similar level of fitness, you’ll definitely want to make sure you focus on your lower body during strength training.

Lower body strength exercises like kettlebell swings, squats, weighted lunges, deadlifts, and box step-ups/jumps are key for building up powerful glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves—and allowing you to develop power and intensity throughout the rest of your workout. 

Don't work one muscle at a time.

One final thing NFL players usually incorporate into their routine is compound lifts during strength training. A compound exercise is one that involves a large number of different muscle groups, rather than just a single muscle (isolation exercise). A squat, for example, is a compound exercise. It involves your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and even your calves. Using a leg press machine, in contrast, is an isolation exercise—it mostly just works your quads. 

Focusing on compound exercises increases the efficiency of your workout and also provides you with more functional strength. In real life, no muscle ever works alone. They’re all connected—so focusing on exercises that bring together complementary muscles will help you improve your overall strength! 

If you want to work out like an NFL athlete, follow these steps to boost your fitness and feel like a champ when your workout is over. Can’t do it at home? Download the MINDBODY app to find the perfect studio to help you fulfill your football fitness goals!

Interested in how SF compares to KC in wellness? Check out our MINDBODY Wellness Index Big Game Matchup 2020.

5
Don't work one muscle at a time.

One final thing NFL players usually incorporate into their routine is compound lifts during strength training. A compound exercise is one that involves a large number of different muscle groups, rather than just a single muscle (isolation exercise). A squat, for example, is a compound exercise. It involves your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and even your calves. Using a leg press machine, in contrast, is an isolation exercise—it mostly just works your quads. 

Focusing on compound exercises increases the efficiency of your workout and also provides you with more functional strength. In real life, no muscle ever works alone. They’re all connected—so focusing on exercises that bring together complementary muscles will help you improve your overall strength! 

If you want to work out like an NFL athlete, follow these steps to boost your fitness and feel like a champ when your workout is over. Can’t do it at home? Download the MINDBODY app to find the perfect studio to help you fulfill your football fitness goals!

Interested in how SF compares to KC in wellness? Check out our MINDBODY Wellness Index Big Game Matchup 2020.

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Written by
Mindbody Team
Editors & Educators
About the author
We're here to provide you with the latest and greatest, tried and true wellness experiences and advice to help you live life to the fullest. From nourishing recipes and travel tips to finding the perfect sweat routine or wellness regimen—we cover it all. And if we haven't yet, it's definitely on the way.
what is wellness
Wellness
Published Wednesday Oct 06, 2021 by Denise Prichard

What is Wellness?

Expert Advice
Wellness

To say the last year and a half was tough would be an understatement. In fact, it will probably go down as one of the most difficult times for our modern generation. In one of the many social polls we conducted during the pandemic, some of you described this time as a sheer “dumpster fire” or “like stepping on a Lego.” And to be honest, I couldn’t agree more.

Luckily, we’ve been able to get back to some form of normalcy in our lives and wellness routines over the last several months. As vaccines became available to the public, wellness businesses welcomed fitness fanatics, haircut seekers, and massage lovers back to in-person wellness experiences. And thank goodness for that—my roots and horrible posture from working from my bed were both getting wildly out of control. This girl needed a good massage and cupping session stat.

If there’s one thing we learned from the pandemic, it’s that our wellness routines are as personal as they are important. During shelter-at-home, those routines looked a bit different. For many, it meant taking a new approach to the “typical” wellness services we count on—I’m looking at you DIY haircuts, at-home waxing sessions (ouch!), and virtual swerking classes.

Now that we can leave our humble abodes to take advantage of in-person experiences again, the word “wellness” has seemingly taken on a new meaning.

Recently, we conducted another one of our famous social polls to see what wellness means to you, our Mindbody community, now that we're slowly but surely getting back to our regularly scheduled programming. We also tapped some of our most influential Mindbody business owners about the ever-evolving wellness landscape.

Here’s what you all had to say.

Wellness is more important to you than ever

According to our annual Mindbody Wellness Index, 60% of Americans say they’re more focused on their health and wellness since COVID. Consumers are now realizing they need to take greater care of themselves to optimize and preserve their health. When we asked you on Instagram how important wellness is, a whopping 98% said it was more important than ever. When it comes to how you’re practicing wellness, though, the answers were all over the board. Many of you pointed to journaling, practicing breathwork, and daily workout routines (cycling and yoga topped the list) as being the activities that help you keep your chill throughout the week.

I’m also happy to report that over 50% said you tend to feel more blessed than stressed on a daily basis—which is more than likely a big improvement. Let’s be honest, a year ago I would’ve bet a billion dollars that 99.9% of us knew no other feeling than anxiety—am I right? But even with the stress in our lives dwindling, many of you are still experiencing burnout at the end of a long work week (guilty!). But instead of succumbing to a bottle of wine for relief (please, that was so 2020), you’re unwinding by going to your favorite workout classes—with hot yoga, barre, and Pilates as your faves.

What wellness means to the pros

Let’s be honest, we should credit the business owners in this space for helping us reignite our spark when it comes to our wellness routines, right? Thanks to them, we’ve been inspired to prioritize the activities that help us feel our best. In turn, we thought it’d be interesting to learn what wellness means to them—and how that definition has changed over the past eighteen months.

Here’s what they had to say.

“Wellness is living in balance—mind, body, spirit. Highs and lows. It all ebbs and flows and we can navigate it a bit better when we take time to move, breath and remember who we are, and how we are connected to this big, beautiful world.” - Jess Pierno, Founder, Owner, and Chief Inspiration Officer of Yoga Heights

“Wellness is a true balancing of the mental, physical, and spiritual. It has definitely evolved over the years for me—from something that I just thought was about exercising and eating a healthy diet—to also incorporating balancing and healing internally and spiritually.” - Stefanie Patterson, Owner, Indianapolis Salt Cave and Halotherapy Center

“My sense of wellness has evolved from staying healthy and motivated, mind/body/spirit... to being more gentle with myself, less demanding. Accepting my limitations, taking time for resting, and gaining real clarity about what's important. I care less about what people think of me—difficult as a performer and as a business owner with so many demands on me—and more about getting quiet and tapping into the divine source inside of me that helps me discern my next move. In this way, I know my motives are as pure as possible and I'm not getting distracted—not that I don't make mistakes! Those are necessary, that's how we learn!” - Johanna Krynytzky, Owner, Hip Expressions Belly Dance Studio

“My studio name reminds us that we are constantly evolving. The past 18 months have certainly shown us that! Wellness to me means doing your best on any given day to make sure that you are taking care of yourself as best you can. It leads to resilience. Diet, exercise, sleep, a sense of community, and some form of faith. It all matters. Setbacks happen all the time, and every day is a chance to start again. We strive to be 'cheerleaders' for our clients when we sense that things are coming out of balance in their lives. So many have been with us for 18 years and are friends—they are our community and we all watch out for each other.” - Mo Wolfe, Owner and Founder, Evolution Pilates

Putting wellness into action

I think we can all agree that there isn’t one true definition of wellness anymore. To some of us, it means getting that hot yoga sesh in daily, and to others, it means carving out time to treat ourselves to a massage or manicure. As long as you’re actively pursuing wellness—whatever that means to you—you're on the right track.

Our MO has always been about connecting the world to wellness—a term that's seen a lot of change lately. Whether you’re fully embracing the in-person experience or still delighted by the convenience of practicing at-home wellness, the Mindbody app makes it easy for you to book experiences that help you feel like YOU again.

denise prichard
Written by
Denise Prichard
Senior Marketing Content Specialist
About the author
Denise Prichard is a certified yoga instructor (RYT-200) and an experienced content marketing professional with a penchant for writing compelling copy within the health, wellness and beauty industries. When she isn't writing or editing, you can find her teaching yoga classes, at a spin class or hanging out with her rescue pups.