Different sports have different fitness techniques attached to them, and many of them lead to different-looking bodies. If you’re into boxing or wrestling, you’ll end up with a lot of muscle mass, but you might not necessarily have much in the way of speed or agility. If you spend all your time swimming you’ll have a lot of stamina, but you’ll have less in the way of muscle mass. Depending on what your ultimate fitness goal is, that might not be what you’re looking for.
Soccer is one of the most well-rounded sports in terms of exercise and the effect it has on your body. Soccer players are toned but don’t carry so much muscle that it slows them down or affects their flexibility. Soccer players have endless stamina and excellent cardiovascular conditioning. If you want a great body without looking like you’re warming up for a bodybuilding contest, soccer training is a great way to help you get there. Not everyone who does it will end up looking like Cristiano Ronaldo with his out-of-this-world physique, but it can get you in great general shape!
We appreciate that not everyone wants to go outside and play soccer, and nor does everyone have access to facilities that would allow them to do so. Don’t let that stop you from training like a soccer player, though. Here are five fitness drills that soccer players use – none of which involve kicking a ball!
Running For Stamina
This might sound like a basic and obvious tip, but when we say ‘running,’ we don’t mean going out for a long jog. That’s not how soccer players do it. It might not even be how joggers ought to be doing it, as there’s increasing evidence that long-distance running can do more harm than good when it comes to your heart. Running soccer training style means doing things in intervals and at a moderate pace. Try running solidly for four minutes, easing off to a walking pace for the next three minutes, and then running for another four minutes. Do it until you get tired, and go for longer as you feel fitter. As well as being good for your cardiovascular system, this also helps you to build stamina.
Spend Half The Week On Strength
A good workout schedule involves doing something at least six days of every week. Nobody ever said that getting in shape would be easy! Around half of your week should involve strength exercises, but the good news is that they can take almost any form you like. That means lifting weights if you want, but pushups and pullups also count as strength exercises. The key factor here is repetition. Think of your body like it’s the physical equivalent of an online slots game. It’s capable of giving you what you want, but only if you spend enough time repeating the right actions. With an UK online slots, that means spinning the reels again and again until something comes out the other end. With strength exercises, it means repeating the same move until you begin to see a difference in your body. The key difference here is that online slots will cost you money (or at least they will until you win). Strength exercises only cost you time. Include strength exercises on at least three days of your weekly workout schedule, and remember that slow and steady wins the day.
Focus On Your Core
Core muscles are hugely important to soccer players. They use them to start running, stop running, turn on the spot, and tense themselves to shoot or tackle. They’re also important to most fitness fanatics, because when you focus on your core muscles, you end up with great abs! Sit-ups are the least you can do here. Get more ambitious and try V-ups instead, or if that causes you discomfort, try riding an exercise bike. Leg lifts also work the core and build endurance. You don’t need to incorporate these exercises into every day of your workout regime, because they can be extremely tiring. Try two half-hour sessions each week, and if you find that you’re fine after that, considering adding a third if you can find the time.
Sprint For Speed
In case it needs to be said, sprinting and running are not the same activity. Running is for building up endurance, stamina, and cardio. Sprinting is for building up speed. Most people don’t know this, but it’s still possible to build speed all the way up to your mid-30s. Your body will eventually begin to slow you down, but there’s no reason why you can’t continue to accelerate up to that point. The best way to manage this process is to sprint in short bursts of no more than fifty meters a time. You’re not going to reach Usain Bolt’s time, so there’s no point attempting the 100 meters! Sprinting is an explosive activity, so put it somewhere near the start of your workout routine to get your heart and muscles working. Only sprint once per session, but do sprint every session. It’s an extremely tiring activity, so you might want to schedule something comparatively more relaxed after it – or, of course, go straight into running.
Stretch For Safety
Muscle injuries are common in soccer, but there would be even more of them if players weren’t taught how to stretch safely and sensibly. Pre-match stretching exercises in soccer are among the best in any sport, and they’ll help you to limber up and stay clear of injury if you incorporate them into your own routine. Hold every stretch pose as deep as you can for at least five seconds before you let go. You’re going to be doing a lot of running, so focus on your quads and your hamstrings. Dynamic stretches are better than static stretches. In practice, this means side bends and swing kicks are better than touching your toes, as they include rotation as well as extension. Even the humble arm windmill is a good dynamic exercise, and will reduce the risk of pulling or tearing something while lifting weights.
Perhaps doing all of the above will give you an appetite for playing a full game of soccer, and if it does, why not try it out? No matter where you live in the world, there’s almost certainly an amateur team close to you, and we’re sure they’d love you to come down and join in with training. Aside from giving you a better body, these exercises might even give you a brand new favorite sport!