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5 great exercises to include into your football training

When it comes to football, a few of the main physical components to focus on in training are: Physical strength, muscular endurance, stamina, power, speed and explosiveness.

o Physical strength will allow you to be strong on and off the ball, help with ball retention and also with winning the ball back. Having a strong & conditioned body will also help reduce risk of injury.

o Muscular endurance allows you to be explosiveness throughout the duration of the match whilst reducing the speed of muscular fatigue.

o Stamina is crucial for training and matches as it allows you to continue performing at the best of your abilities.

o Speed is a beneficial trait to have as a player as it allows you to get an advantage on your opposition as you will be able to get to balls quicker, dribble past players and/or intercept passes.

o Explosiveness is important as it can aid your acceleration, jumping and change of direction throughout the game. This is extremely important for defenders and goalkeepers.

Below are a few exercises that you can incorporate into your training sessions to help develop your muscular strength, muscular endurance, explosiveness and core stability.

1. Runners lunges

Purpose of the exercise = This exercise allows you to develop your balance / core stability, strength and muscular endurance, unilaterally (one side at a time).

Training points = Hinge at your hip, bend at your knee (in a lunging motion), keep your chest up and face forwards at all times and drive that knee forwards and up.

Repeat this exercise 4 times on each leg for 8 – 12 reps

2. Crab walks / side steps

Purpose of the exercise = This exercise will primarily develop your muscular strength and endurance of your lower body muscles but will also help develop core strength and stability.

Resistance band placement = If you have the band around your ankles, you will find this exercise more challenging than if you are to place the bands just above your knees.

Training points = Put yourself in a slightly squatted position (the lower you go, the harder it will become), keep your chest up and facing forwards, knees and feet facing forwards and take a large, controlled step to your side. Do not let your knees fall inwards.

Repeat this exercise 4 times, taking 3 – 5 steps one way before going back on yourself.

Work for 30 to 45 seconds

3. Medicine ball press ups

Purpose of the exercise = This exercise is great to develop your upper body strength and the use of the medicine ball simply adds a new variation to the exercise making it a little bit more challenging. Standard press ups can be done instead, however you should try to build up to new variations.

Training tips = Squeeze your core and your glutes to help ensure you start and remain in a strong, solid, flat body position. You do not want your back to be arching or your hips too high. The wider the stance you take with your legs, the more stability you will have.

Repeat this exercise 4 times and perform either 10 – 12 reps or work for 30 – 45 seconds

4. Jumping squats

Purpose of the exercise = This exercise is great for developing muscular strength, muscular endurance and explosive strength. All three of these components will really help you with jumping/jump height, sprinting and acceleration and also overall stamina within a game.

Training tips = Ensure you have a soft and controlled landing, then push off as hard as you can in every jump keeping your chest up at all times.

Repeat this exercise 4 times and perform either 10 – 12 reps or work for 30 – 45 seconds

5. Skater jumps

Purpose of the exercise = This is another great exercise to develop muscular strength, endurance, core stability, balance and explosive strength. Incorporating this exercise into your workout plan will help you on the pitch as it helps improve your jumping for the ball, any quick change of direction and your acceleration when sprinting.

Training tips = Aim to take as big of a jump as possible, however, make sure you are within your comfort zone as it is important to land in a safe and controlled manner every time. Keep your chest up at all times and land softly by going into a controlled single leg lunge position on landing.

Repeat this exercise 4 times and perform either 10 – 12 reps or work for 30 – 45 seconds

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