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Football Fitness Drills Tailored To Position

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Effective football fitness drills tailored to your position

The 2015/16 Barclays Premier League season is certainly in full swing, with the first few matches of the new campaign making for many must-see moments.

If the action has you tempted to dust off your boots and get back onto the pitch, MaxiNutrition has provided a guide of the best football fitness drills for each position. Read on for some top tips to help you be at your best come match day.

Goalkeepers

Point to consider:

  • A goalkeeper needs to have plenty of agility to enable them to react to an assault on their goal in a moment’s notice.
  • Cat-like reflexes are also crucial, so that they can make spectacular saves with ease.

    Recommended type of workout:

    Improve both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to help prepare for the energy requirements to last the entire 90 minutes of play.

    Exercise to include:

    Doggies work to keep your fitness levels high, reducing the risk of injury in the process. The easy exercise also teaches you to move around your box at speed. Here’s how you do it:
    1. Sprint from the goal line to the edge of the six-yard box and back again.
    2. Keeping the same pace, sprint from the goal line to the penalty spot and back.
    3. Once back at the goal line, sprint to the end of the 18-yard box and return to the goal line.
    4. The first three points are one repetition. Perform the activity a further two times, take a 1-2 minute rest then repeat the activity three more times.

    Defenders

    Points to consider:

  • A defender should be the commander of their team’s box, so that they can swiftly deal with all passes before they lead to a clear shot on goal.
  • They should have a smart head for football, as this will give them a tactical advantage over many opponents.

    Recommended type of workout:

    HIIT is not just a good workout for goalkeepers. Defenders can also use this technique to ensure they keep attacking midfielders and strikers at bay.

    Exercise to include:

    For a variation on the HIIT workout specific to defenders, try this technique:
    1. Begin at the goal line and sprint to the edge of the six-yard box.
    2. Once there, perform 20 squat jump, mimicking a header at the height of each jump.
    3. Run back to the goal line, turn and sprint to the penalty spot.
    4. At the penalty spot, complete a further 15 squat jumps with heading motions.
    5. Return to the goal line, turn and sprint to the end of the 18-yard box.
    6. Perform 10 squat jump headers and run back to the goal line.
    7. Steps 1-6 make up one repetition. Complete all of the above again a further two times, take a two minute rest before performing three more repetitions to finish the exercise.

    Midfielders

    Points to consider:

  • As a midfielder, you should prepare to cover huge distances during a game. According to data gathered from the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, our new ambassador, Liverpool and England footballer Jordan Henderson, had covered just under 360km by April 2014 of the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League season. That is the equivalent of more than eight marathons!
  • Covering large distances at speed is especially important when playing counter-attacking football, with the midfielder often the crucial link when a team goes from being defensive to going on the attack themselves.

    Recommended type of workout:

    Endurance training is a natural choice of workout for any midfielder.

    Exercise to include:

    An interval training program is ideal; as it will help you to increase the distance you can travel both aerobically and anaerobically. Try this exercise the next time you’re training:
    1. Begin at a corner flag and, facing the length of the pitch, run at a gentle pace around the perimeter of the pitch.
    2. Once back at the corner flag, start the next lap by running at around 70 per cent of your maximum effort. Once you reach the halfway line, slow down back to your gentle-paced run and cover the rest of the perimeter.
    3. For the third lap, keep going at 70 per cent of your maximum effort until you have passed two corner flags and then complete the remaining distance at a gentle jog.
    4. Repeat steps 1-3 one more time to wrap up the program.

    Strikers

    Points to consider:

  • Eager to get to the ball before a defender, raw speed and acceleration is incredibly important for strikers.
  • It is not just about being faster than your opponents though; the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Christian Benteke bring plenty of power to their games.

    Recommended type of workout:

    Strength and conditioning exercises will build up your power, so you can watch as defenders tremble when you make your presence felt in attack.

    Exercise to include:

    Of the many strength and conditioning exercises available, no training regime for a striker is complete without a squat into lunge using weights. The exercise helps improve power in your legs while adding muscle to your upper body at the same time. Follow this technique:
    1. Load a barbell to the point where you will struggle to complete ten repetitions with it across your shoulders without a rest.
    2. Deadlift clean and press the barbell over your head, bringing it back down gently behind your head so that it is resting on your shoulders with the bar underneath your neck.
    3. Perform a squat, making sure that you are bending at the knees and pushing your hips backwards.
    4. Return to an upright position and then lunge forwards using your right leg until the leg is positioned at a 90 degree angle at the knee with your foot firmly on the floor. Both feet should be facing forwards.
    5. Return to an upright position and repeat step four with your left leg.
    6. The above five steps equal one repetition. Perform steps 3-5 a further nine times to round off a set.
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