5 Creative Football Player Conditioning Ideas for Christmas Break
It's Christmastime, and though fun can be easily found, football player fitness can just as easily get lost. With a reduction in tangible football team obligations, an increase in calories due to delicious—though not always nutritious—holiday meals, and more time at home leading to natural urges to kick back and play video games or hangout, it's common for football players to lose their conditioning gains over Christmas break.
With no coaches or staff in their ear, Christmastime becomes a true test of how motivated players are to coach themselves up and maintain the high fitness levels they've earned over fall.
But since this is a fun time of the year, and players deserve a break from the grind of high-intensity workouts and collisions, we've put together five creative conditioning ideas to keep your football fitness level where it should be. Plus, you might pick up some new skills and movements along the way that can translate to better performance on the field. Let's get after it.
Creative & Effective Christmastime Conditioning Ideas for Football Players
1. Burst-Style Conditioning with Basketball
Hoops is great for the heart rate. With quick, multi-directional action, angles, and movements, basketball is about as close as football players can get to the speed and shifts needed on the football field. And since basketball is driven by constant start-and-stop motions—even more so than football—there are major opportunities for football players to improve conditioning levels, not just maintain them.
Every football player who has played basketball also knows it’s also an awesome avenue to prove your athletic versatility and showcase your competitive spirit. It’s also fun to play and bond with your teammates in a more relaxed, lower-stakes setting.
But make no mistake, if you run full-court and take the games seriously (play defense like Jalen Ramsey), your football conditioning is going to greatly benefit. So with that said, scoop up your pair of swaggy Battle Shorts and a premium Performance Tee, and go dominate your pickup hoops games while playing with high energy.
2. Beast-Level Boxing Conditioning
Every football player who has ever boxed knows boxing is a cardio and conditioning beast. From keeping your hands up to exploding from your feet all the way through your body to throwing quick combinations and power punches, boxing can majorly boost conditioning levels.
Boxing also provides a productive opportunity to strike and release aggression, which is something many football players miss when winter break hits. And though we never condone throwing punches on the field, boxing can also be a confidence booster for players wanting to feel stronger and more confident when they’re legally striking on the field. This includes everyone from wide receivers and cornerbacks hand-checking at the line, offensive and defensive linemen battling in the trenches, and any other players looking to feed that inner beast on the field.
Get your mind right, grab a pair of boxing gloves, snag a Battle Sleeveless Hoodie and Training Shorts, and head to a local boxing gym or regular gym that has a heavy bag, speed bag, or both. And if you don’t have one at home, find a friend, family member, or teammate who has a boxing bag in their basement or garage. Your football conditioning, cardio, and inner-dawg will thank you.
3. Classic Calisthenics Conditioning
As classic as Retro Battle Apparel, calisthenics is a strength and conditioning mainstay for a reason. Bodyweight exercises might not be as fun as the other creative conditioning ideas we’ve included on this list, but they’re proven techniques that elite football players have used for decades to get stronger, more cut, and better conditioned.
And since calisthenics require no equipment, they’re extra convenient during Christmastime when you might not have access to gym equipment and free weights. Just like high-intensity weight training improves conditioning, so can these bodyweight exercises below. And even better, you’ll enjoy some added benefits of muscle building and improved movement.
Pull-Ups: Whether you already have a pull-up bar at home, can place a quick curbside pickup order, or find a set of monkey bars at your local park, pull-ups are a phenomenal upper body workout and conditioning enhancer.
Multi-Angle Lunges: Intermix front, side, and backward lunges to activate different muscle groups, improve your movement across different angles, and elevate your heart rate.
Push-Ups to Jumping Jacks: For the most committed conditioning kings out there, try exploding up from a push-up to a jumping jack. Yes, they will burn like up-downs, but that means your strength and conditioning are on their way up. Of all these three exercises, please stay attuned to your body and don’t overdo it with this one.
4. Diversify your Conditioning with Skiing or Snowboarding
If you live or are traveling to somewhere that’s near a ski resort, consider skiing or snowboarding as part of your Christmas break football conditioning. If you haven’t been before, you’ll find that the balancing and body-shifting movements that both skiing and snowboarding require create quite the total body workout.
Additionally, the balance needed to stay upright can be beneficial to football players at all positions. And don’t sleep on the quad, hamstring, and, if you ski, tricep activations you’ll feel during your time on the slopes. All in all, skiing and snowboarding are fun ways to improve your balance, burn calories, improve your conditioning, and activate key muscle groups that are needed for optimal football performance.
5. Take Your Speed and Ball Skills Up a Notch with Tennis
Though pickleball is sweeping the nation, we left it off for a reason. Football players are used to sprinting across the field at maximum speed, and pickleball is simply not designed for that. Fortunately, tennis does need speed. And some level of distance.
Though you won’t cover as much ground as a deep route, tennis provides endless opportunities for quick start-and-stop movements and full sprints to chase down the ball. Plus, like ball tracking in an actual football game, those sprints to the ball are breezier than traditional wind sprints because your mind is focused on getting to the ball.
If you live in a location with warm winter temperatures, grab your Battle Athlete Shirt (you are a multi-sport athlete, after all) and find your nearest outdoor tennis court. Similar to basketball, if your area is cold around Christmas, look for your nearest indoor tennis facility. And if you don’t want to pay an hourly rate—or know someone who can get you in as a guest—consider tapping into your gridiron warrior mindset and playing arctic tennis with a Battle Face Mask Hoodie, Football Joggers, and Football Gloves that will allow you to keep your hands warm while also gripping the racket. Plus, it’s almost a guarantee you’ll have the court to yourself.
Internalize the Importance of Football Conditioning Over Christmas Break
Conditioning is a slippery slope during Christmastime. We absolutely endorse taking time to decompress from the fall football season and spending quality time with friends and family. But most football players know how those winter workouts and conditioning drills feel when you’ve spent too much time relaxing over Christmas break and not enough time conditioning.
Break up the football conditioning monotony and enjoy the unique elements of each of the five football player conditioning ideas above. Take those new skills, movements, and gains back to the football field and training program to start the new year. Those players who can coach themselves up to condition during Christmas time are destined to shine.