Whatever your level, improving your fitness is key to performing well. With plenty to play for at the end of the match, it pays to ensure you can keep going until the final whistle.
A proven way of seeing improvements in your football fitness is to implement and maintain drills that will enhance your stamina. Let’s take a look at some football training drills you can add to your routine.
Keep on Running
Interval training is widely used in top-tier football to increase VO2 Max (a body’s maximum oxygen consumption rate).
Innovative teams of physiotherapists, doctors and fitness professionals fully understand how football training drills can help performance, and using interval running concepts is a big aspect of this.
Using a treadmill or any flat open space, jog for four minutes and then perform a four-minute tempo run. Repeat this four times. Mix things up by changing direction to keep it interesting and mimic footwork patterns during play.
Drills That Pack a Punch
If you look at some of the best players in the world, you will notice how they can make even top-level defenders look foolish by how they use explosive power. Messi, Ronaldo and Salah all seem to have supernatural powers to spin and move away from situations when they are smaller than the opposition or outnumbered.
Exercises in this drill may seem a bit old-school but they really do work. Try burpees, star jumps, squats and box jumps. Work out a mix of these in sets of ten, increasing speed or difficulty on each rep to really feel the burn.
Gone are the days when only certain positions needed speed. Even the old-school centre-half needs to be fleet-footed these days to protect that clean sheet. You will hear the top players in the world cite losing a yard or two of pace as a major factor for hanging up their boots.
Traditional sprinting will always help, but adding weights or parachute pulls will push your leg muscles to the limit.
Try five sled pulls for 50 metres with a short rest in between each rep of around 30 seconds. If you haven’t got access to a weighted sled, try a bungee cord or make a parachute to attach to your back.