Here at MuscleSquad we love football. From a weeknight five-a-side kick about, to travelling around Europe to watch the Champions League, we are fans of the game. We are also proud sponsors of Luton Town Football Club. We recently worked with them to design and build a bespoke training facility for their new Performance Centre based on our Phase 4 Range.
If you are looking to get yourself into shape, football is a great way to do it, there's a huge community, you do not have to look far to play. Here are a few key tips to help you in your football training, whether you’re just starting out or are looking to up your game for your next match.
It may be 90mins on the pitch, but a lot of the hard work is done off the pitch working on things like Speed & Agility, Endurance, Balance & Core Strength, and the often-overlooked Recovery.
Dumbbells are a great tool to challenge both core strength, speed, & agility. They allow you to train unilaterally (only using one) as well as bilaterally (using both). The advantage of this is that you can challenge your core stabilizers and the smaller more overlooked muscles, but they also allow you to take up some more athletic stances.
Exercise 1: Staggered Stance Jump Squats.
Give some jump squat variations a try, these are great for practicing your vertical leap and aiding with acceleration. The added dumbbell weight gives you an extra challenge to think about as you leap, so that when you get onto the pitch challenging for those headers will be easy!
Slam balls are another great tool for footballers, they allow you to add weight to movement in a dynamic way that enables you to challenge your balance and rotational strength, all things you need whilst on the field.
Exercise 2: Rotation Slam ball Slams
Grab a slam ball in an athletic stance on your left side, pick it up over head and rotate using your core and slam it down on your right side. Repeat this pivoting on your feet and keeping the movement as dynamic as possible. This will help with your balance & coordination as well as strengthen those deeper lying muscles in the core, making you harder to knock off the ball.
Exercise 3: Shuttle Runs with Change of Direction
Shuttle running is the perfect way to challenge your speed and agility. It allows you to practice acceleration from a static start, and with the added changes in direction it allows you do recreate “in-game” dynamic movement scenarios. You could even try adding a resistance band to an anchor point and tying it around your waist as you sprint. This offers added resistance to your movement patterns which can help to recreate the jostling which you may experience on the pitch.
Recovery: Making sure you recover correctly is vital, so here’s a few tips to help make sure your recover is on point.
- Do active recovery like walking or cycling to help stimulate blood flow
- Increase protein intake. Protein builds and repairs muscles, a good aim is roughly 2g per kg of bodyweight
- Get quality sleep. Aim for 6-8 hours of quality sleep each night
- Stay hydrated! Hydration levels really drop when playing football so make sure you drink a minimum of 2 litres of water a day, more on game days!