Soccer or Football is considered to be the most popular sport in the world, and it is played in almost all the continents in the globe. The modern football game is an amalgamation of different types of ball games in History.
The ancient Chinese played an early version of it called Cuju, and this was popularized in Japans as Kemari.
Even the Mesoamericans had a version of it as well, and this was well documented in mural paintings in their ancient cities.
Today modern football enjoyed a significant following, with over 250 million players and played in 200 countries.
Football players are known to be very fit and practice for the sport extensively. They also have a particular type of regiment when they work out, so they maximize the muscles of their whole body.
If you are interested in playing football, or if you are interested in learning how football athletes keep their body in shape, here are seven ways you can do the same:
One of the most fundamental ways a football player maintains his health is eating right. This is also true if you plan on working out like one. Some essential nutrients are necessary if you want to have a fit body for football.
Food that is high in vitamins like fruit, vegetables, and dairy products should be prioritized. Before a game, you should refrain from eating complex carbohydrates and high protein diet.
When working out drink liquids that can replenish your hydrolytes. Soccer players need energy so before a game try to eat simple carbohydrates like rice or cakes.
Another thing that football professionals always concentrate their training is a good cardio program. That is why they follow a heavy regiment consisting of:
- Jogging for 5-10 minutes as warm up
- Sprinting in a 30-second interval
- Jogging again for 1 minute (1:30 if you are still beginning)
- Alternate sprinting and jogging for another 9 minutes
- Jog for 5-10 minutes as a cooling down
And this is just the start. A professional soccer player will still perform cone runs, suicide, ladder drills and box jumps. You don’t have to do this unless you are punishing yourself.
But cardiovascular exercise is the life of a football player, and they are required to run around the field for extended periods of time.
Building Your Upper Body and Core
Another part of the body that a soccer athlete concentrates is their upper body and core. You can observe that most football players are lean but have very toned muscles.
This means that they refrain from weight lifting as it may causes joint pain, and this can severely make them vulnerable during their games. They, however, work on specific muscle groups in the body.
This makes them very agile and fast, both a core principle in playing soccer. So here are some ways they strengthen and tone their body:
- The Chest and Back: A strong back can help you balance, and your chest can help you lift yourself when you are attempting a header. Remember that you don’t want thick muscles like that of muscle builder, this will only increase your weight and doesn’t help your movements overall.
- Your Arms: The most basic exercises you can use to increase the strength of your arms are by doing bicep curls, dips, triceps push-ups and pull-ups. These things you can do at home. Soccer players need to strengthen their arms because it helps them push away a defender or an attacker on the field.
- Your Abs and Core: Sit-ups, Planks, and Crunches are the best way to strengthen the core. And for players this is very important, they regularly transfer power between the lower body and the upper body in the center. A solid core also helps in jumping, for goalies that catch the ball mid-air a strong base is very essential.
Endurance Activities as Recovery
During the off season, players still use a majority of their time in exercising and keeping in shape. They maximize the usage of the muscles in their body by swimming or riding a bike.
This can still use a majority of your muscles but doesn’t strain or put pressure on your joints. You can also use these exercises as great ways to stay fit while still recovering from an injury or sickness.
Training with the Ball
Another important part of the training by football players is by ball practice. In soccer control of the ball is essential and they can only do these by practicing.
You can also try this at your home, and they are surprisingly good as workouts as well.
Juggling – Using the whole body except the arms, a player will “juggle” the ball into the air as long as possible.
Cone Workouts – This is making an obstacle course using a pattern of cones. You then dribble a ball through the obstacle course without touching a cone.
Close Touch Drills – This is using every part of your feet to manipulate the ball. Either by rolling it or bouncing it then balancing it on your toes.
Developing your Lower Body
A football player’s key to success is ultimately his legs and lower body. Running around a field for 90 minutes can take a huge toll on your feet, leg muscles, and joints.
So these things must be maintained properly. To strengthen up these parts, you can do the following:
Linear hops – Stand on one leg, and then jump forward over an imaginary hurdle and making sure to extend your hip. When you land, make sure your knee is stabilized over your ankle. The hops are not continuous.
Lateral hops – this one starts with feet together, while the knees and hips are slightly bent. Hop sideways over a hurdle, do this going in one direction and finish by hopping back to the starting point.
Hydration and Cooling Down
After all that exercise, it is time for your body to cool down, drink lots of water or formulated sports drink to replace your lost liquids. It is imperative to cool down not only your body but your mind as well.
Your heart is pumping at an accelerated rate and oxygen might be short n supply. That is why it is important to breathe correctly as well. Take deep breaths to compensate a number of large amounts oxygen your body is using.
Meighan Sembrano is an enthusiast and a passionate writer. She is expertise in Beauty and Skin Care articles. Also, have contributed in the Health and Fitness field. Her work gives an enthusiast twist to the readers. She resonates the readers with her sincere and thoughtful words. You can follow Meighan on Twitter and Facebook.