Football is the biggest sport in the world, fan wise. Whether it be the full 11-a-side or the smaller 5-a-side, there is a lot of love for the beautiful game all around the world. With so many people being a fan of the game, there is a lot of football played in the world.
However, if you want to take your football to another level you should start to take part in these exercises. Although they will not necessarily improve your football skill, your fitness and strength will increase a lot, allowing you to play faster, harder and for a lot longer.
Sprinting and Agility:
Place two cones ten metres apart. Start at one cone, cone A, and sprint to the second cone, cone B, making sure this sprint is full out. Then, jog backwards from cone B to cone A. That counts as one rep. Do ten reps of this, making sure to go all out for the sprints.
This will help improve your reaction times, your speed and help you adapt to the various quick direction changes that occur in the game, whether it be the 11-a-side or the 5-a-side version of the game. The repeated direction changes will mean your fast twitch muscle fibres are taxed and therefore will have had practice for games.
Shot Power and Lower Body movements:
Having a powerful shot can put you at such an advantage in 11-a-side football and is definitely a good thing. Shot power initiates from the leg, and more specifically the leg muscles. Therefore, you should train your leg muscles to improve not only shot power, but also jumping as well as sprint speeds. The best exercise for your legs is definitely squats, as it works the majority of the leg, and does so effectively.
To perform a squat, place a barbell on your back. Keep your head high and facing forwards. Keep your back straight, to ensure your spine is not placed under unnecessary pressure, and squat down until your knees are bent at least a 90 degree angle.Make sure to go down to a point where your upper leg is parallel to the floor. Rise back up to a standing position, keeping your back straight and your head up.
Another great general exercise for your leg power, especially helping out in football is weighted lunges. These are a great mobility movement as well as improving your leg muscles. To perform lunges, you can use either a barbell or a dumbbells. To use a barbell, place a weighted barbell on your shoulders, similar to a squat position.Stand up straight, keeping your back straight and your head held high.
Step forward with one leg to such an extent that your knee is at a 90 degree angle, and the other leg’s knee is at least 90 near the floor. You do not need to touch the floor with your other knee, but if you can, it helps with flexibility. Stand back up to the starting position and repeat the movement with your other leg. Although that is two reps, it counts as one due to one on each leg.