Mixing it up and getting out of your comfort zone often leads to the best results in the gym and the same applies for aspiring footballers.
Cross training, where you apply several different workouts, is the epitome of this approach. It’s not all about using the round ball and the practice has been adopted by plenty of football clubs and star players worldwide too.
With the help of ANACONDA we outline five easy cross training exercises for footballers and we also explain the numerous benefits, which include strength and conditioning, injury prevention and endurance.
What you need
What to do: Get under the bar and move into the high-bar position, gripping the barbell which should be resting on your upper back/traps, while you stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips. Unrack the bar. From there, begin to lower your knees and squat down until your knees are level with your backside over four seconds. Then return to your original stance in a second. Do six reps.
Why do it: Squats are popular because they’re super effective. They help build lower limb strength, which is crucial to success as a footballer. Not only do squats boost muscle strength, but also they build bone strength, particularly in your knees, which helps given some of the tackles which come flying in at your legs on a football field. You can also do squats anywhere, so they’re super convenient.
What you need
Some space, two dumbbells
What to do: Stand upright with the dumbbells in each hand by your side, keep your upper body straight, engage your core and look forward. Step forward with one leg and lower your hips. Ensure your trailing knee doesn’t touch the floor. Ensure your leading knee is directly above your ankle. The leading knee should be at roughly 90 degrees. Push into a lunge led by the other leg to complete a rep. Aim for five to six seconds per rep. If you feel any knee pain, shorten your lunge stride. Do 12 reps on each leg.
Why do it: Lunges provide several benefits for footballers, given the strength it provides for your lower body, chiefly the quadriceps. This is crucial for speed and acceleration on the football field such as when you’re dashing forward on a counter-attack, along with pushing off, for example, to out-jump your opponent to header a high ball.