Football / Soccer Fitness Training

Soccer / Football players will require high levels of fitness that enable them to run long durations with small rapid sprints throughout a 90 minute period or even longer in match finals if extra time awarded.



The following pages will provide you with advice for speed work - strength training both upper and lower body and also some foot drills, all designed to improve your football fitness.

Speed Work

Look at the plyometric circuit to developing explosive power, aim to do this circuit no more than once a week, and certainly not on days before a match, as this type of circuit takes a few days to recover from.

Shuttle sprints, most sprints last for between 6 and 15 metres in a match, so look at this distance for your training. Work your sprints in the following form, standing start, lying flat on your stomach start, running start, sprint forward with run back and then repeat all with a ball. Aim to have a minimum of 3 markers to turn around, not necessarily in a straight line.

Muscular Endurance Use this circuit once a week to develop muscular endurance, best performed alongside a skill session or on a day after a match.
 

DISTANCE
SPEED
DRILL / NOTES
2 X LAPS
LIGHT RUN
WARM UP & STRETCH
3 X LAPS
JOG / RUN
PACE YOURSELF
3 X 1/2 LAPS
AS ABOVE
DO DRILL WITH FOOTBALL
1 X LAP
RUN PACE
HK - SS - HTB -SS *
4 X 1/2 LAPS
FAST RUN
LEG CIRCUIT AFTER EACH 1/2 LAP 
4 X 1/2 LAPS
FAST RUN
AS ABOVE PLUS UPPER BODY CIRCUIT 
4 X 1/2 LAPS
FAST RUN
AS ABOVE PLUS ABS CIRCUIT
4 X LAPS
SPRINT / JOG
SPRINT ONE SIDE THEN JOG BACKWARDS *
4 X 1/2 LAPS
FAST A
DO DRILL WITH FOOTBALL
5 X LAPS
FAST RUN
LEG CIRCUIT AFTER EACH LAP
2 X LAPS
LIGHT RUN
COOL DOWN & STRETCH

HK = HIGH KNEE RUNNING SS = SIDE STEPPING HTB = HEEL TO BUM
 

  • AIM TO SPRINT THE WIDTH OF THE PITCH, THEN JOG BACKWARDS ALONG THE LENGTH BEFORE SPRINTING AGAIN.
     
  • ONCE YOU GET FITTER, YOU CAN THEN SPRINT THE LENGTH AND JOG ON THE WIDTH.
  • Perform 8-15 of each exercise as fast as possible, remember first time around to perform just the leg circuit, then the leg and upper body and finally all three. Make sure that you do the lap run after each circuit.
LEG CIRCUIT

 

 

Two footed squat thrusts - aim for a 12 inch jump.
Walking lunge forward - changing lead leg.
Alternate leg squat thrusts - count reps on 1 leg only.


UPPER BODY CIRCUIT
Wide arm press-up. Take elbows out to your sides.
Normal press ups, aim to keep a straight line through your back.
Close Hand - Aim to keep your thumbs touching each other.


ABDOMINAL CIRCUIT

 

 

Normal sit ups, keep your chin off your chest.
Alternate elbows to knees - count reps on one side only.
Alternate hand to foot - count reps one side.


Along with this session you can do straightforward cardiovascular training in the form of running, rowing and steppers. Aim to build up to doing sessions that last a minimum of 45 minutes either 2-3 times a week. You can also do your weight training after your C.V. workouts, in order to give your body a chance to rest and recover for key matches.

The following pages will give you advice on strength training - foot drills - and other areas to improve your football fitness.

Strength Training

Read the notes on strength training on the site, concentrate on adjusting your workouts to allow for your body to recover, avoid training sore muscles. Train at low intensity if you are new to weights, working on your legs for power and your arms in order to hold off players.
 

Seated leg extension machine Quads. Keeping your back firmly into machine, place your feet under the foot pad, about shoulder width apart, just above your ankle level.

As you develop your leg strength, aim to work for 3 sets of 10 - 12 reps, followed by 1 - 2 sets of 50% weight, using 1 leg for 4 - 8 reps.

Calf machine. Most modern gyms will have a calf machine, if not that use either a Smith Machine or Barbell across your shoulders.

Stand straight with the balls of your feet on the platform, with the shoulder weight cushions comfortably placed on your shoulders, - avoid being bent up, or straining to reach the supports.

Lift and lower slowly for 2 - 3 sets of 10 - 12 reps working for a full range.

Cable adductor and abductor pulls, Inner / Outer Thighs. Aim for 2 sets 0f 10 - 12 reps with a suitable weight. Work one leg, then simply turn around to face the other way, in order to work the abductors.

Repeat on the other leg. Count the number of reps that you can do, in order to gauge the difference if any in strength in each leg.

Leg Press Quadriceps. There are a number of foot positions you can use to work the different muscles of your quadriceps, you can have your feet close together - wide or shoulder width apart.

Work for 3 sets of 10-12 reps, for first set work with your feet close, then normal and finally wide, with toes pointing outwards.

Hamstring Curl Machine. Use a suitable weight and perform smooth reps. Avoid pushing yourself on this exercise, as most peoples hamstrings will tend to be tight, and can easily be damaged.

Aim for 2 - 3 sets of 10 - 12 reps, using a light weight for your first set.

Gluts / Hip Flexor Cable Pull Connect a foot strap around a leg, just above the ankle joint, and attach this to a low cable pulley.

Aim to keep your legs and back straight throughout the exercise, to help isolate the gluts, holding a secure object for balance.

Work for 2 sets of 10 - 12 reps, on each leg - facing forward (gluts) and rearward (hip flexors).

Complete Lower Body. A combination of either front or rear lunges can be performed using a Smith Machine, however always make sure that you perform with a lightweight, enabling your leg muscles to get use to the movement prior to increasing the weight.

Aim for 2 sets of 10 - 15 reps each leg, using a light weight, however aim for a full range of movement.

Adductor Machine. Aim to keep your legs and back in contact with the machine at all times. Some machines will have a combination of settings, allowing the legs to be taken wider, avoid taking your legs out too far, especially for beginners.

It may be useful to warm up your muscles with a lightweight prior to your training weight.

Aim for 2 sets 0f 10 - 12 reps with a suitable weight.



The following page is a useful upper body circuit, that will give you a better ability to sprint faster, jump higher and keep oposing players away from you.

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