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BOOST YOUR FOOTBALL PERFORMANCE AT THE GYM

09th July 2018

Millions have people have been loving the world cup this year. It’s a sport we particularly love as a nation, whether that being watching it in the pub or taking part in a Friday night 5-a-side.

Football is a diverse sport, meaning that that simple speed and skill is not all that is needed to succeed. Learning how to quickly change and develop your technique is just as important.

A football fitness program should be built around developing a good aerobic base. Several studies into the physiological demands of football players have shown that outfield players can travel up to 8 miles during a 90-minute game. This places an important demand on the athlete’s cardiovascular system and muscular system.

HIIT TRAINING

HIIT training such as sprints on a treadmill or indoor bike are useful in order to build up endurance and balance. Being able to sprint and tackle the ball from your opponent’s needs the ability to be change direction quickly.

Interval training is what you’ll find most professional players do to help with their VO2 max (the maximum rate at which someone’s body can consume oxygen during exercise).

Try: 4 minutes jogging followed by 4 minutes sprinting, repeated 4 times.

STRENGTH TRAINING

Strength is an important component of fitness that can benefit footballers. Strength forms the basis for power and speed important for a game. Benefits of strength training can include:

  • Power, speed and energy
  • Injury resistance
  • Faster metabolism
  • Leaner body composition
  • Improved balance, stability and agility
  • Faster recovery

Your strength training should include compound, functional exercises such as squats, lunges, step ups, push ups, dips and chin-ups. Exercises such as these all have huge positive effects when it comes to things like explosive power, overall speed, agility and core stability.

The majority of your strength training should be using body weight or free weights as resistance and involve full body movement.

Try: 5 sets of 6 reps of deadlifts, squats and lunges.

CORE WORKOUT

Core work is key to increasing power, speed and multi-directional agility within footballers. Core strength is enormously important for a footballer as every action engages the core.

A strong core allows for more balance and less arm crossover when running at high speeds. Then for actions such as shooting, the core is a transfer of forces from the upper to the lower extremity, meaning that the stronger the player, the better the shooting action will be.

Try: A circuit of core exercises including mountain climbers, burpees, crunches, sit ups and planks, 30 seconds each, repeated 3 times.