Some people downplay how much energy or physical strength and fitness footballers require to play for 90 minutes. Footballers spend as much time in the gym Treadmills as the time they spend on their training grounds. They lift weights, hit the treadmills, and other fitness equipment found in the gym.
If you follow the English Premier League, you might have noticed how foreign players, especially from European countries, struggle to settle and coup with the physicality of the league. However, after about a year in England, they start gaining some muscles, and their stamina has improved as well.
For footballers to stay at the top of their game, they need gym workouts to improve their speed, endurance, and agility. So here are some gym workouts that help to strengthen those qualities.
Gym Workouts for Speed
Single Leg Squat
- Stand on one foot and raise your other leg out in front at hip length.
- Bend the supporting leg slowly while holding your arms out and in front to stay balanced.
- Bend to the lowest position and hold for a second before rising back upright.
Single leg squats develop the power need to launch yourself forward in a sprint.
Dumbbell Bench Step-Ups
- Hold a pair of dumbbells at arms-length and stand next to a bench.
- Place one foot on the bench and extend it until its straight while the other leg stays elevated.
- Hold that position for two seconds then return to starting position.
This exercise helps develop muscles needed to transition from a sprint to a jump.
Weighted Sled Drags
- Attach weighted sleds with a harness on your torso using two cords.
- Pull the sled by leaning forward and making small steps forward.
- Move for about 50 yards before repeating.
- Increase the strides when you begin to pick up speed.
This increases the power in the calves, core, glutes, shoulders, and the back muscles which help improve acceleration and ground reaction forces.
Gym Workouts for Stamina
- Set the incline to 1% and do a gentle run for 10 minutes.
- Increase to your maximum speed and run for half a minute.
- Return to a gentle run and jog for 3 minutes.
- Repeat the process for about six times.
This workout mimics a real football situation where a player transitions from walks to sprints. It helps the body to use oxygen more efficiently.
- Stand under a pull bar with your legs at shoulder length apart.
- Jump and grab the bar above and pull your body up until your chin is above the bar.
- Lower your body to the starting position and repeat the pull.
It increases heart rate which helps in increasing endurance by working on your arms, chest, glutes, and hamstrings at the same time.
Gym Workouts for Agility
Medicine Ball Push-Ups
- Place both hands on a medicine ball placed on the floor in a press-up position.
- Lower your body until your chest touches the ball then push yourself back into your initial position.
- Make sure to apply even pressure on both hands to prevent the ball from rolling and planting your face on the floor.
It builds core strength which in turn improves balance and ability to make quick shifts in direction.
Forward and Backward Sprints
- Place cones at a 20m apart.
- Sprint from the first cone to the second as fast as you can.
- Stop at the second cone and quickly run back to the first cone.
This helps train your brain for an abrupt shift in direction and movements off the ball.
Playing football requires as much workout as physical sports such as rugby which requires physical strength. Making use of the fitness equipment at the gym can help you improve many aspects of your game. Hit the gym regularly, and you might be the next football star.