In the lead up to a new season of football, you might be concerned that you’ve let your fitness drop. Perhaps you’ve been spending more time on the sofa watching sport than engaging in it? Here are some handy tips to get you back into shape again and ready for kick-off:

Power It Up

Football requires powerful legs – whether your leaping to make a save as a goalie, jumping for a header or just want to complete an elaborate goal celebration, you’ll need power in your legs. The types of exercises that are good for this kind of explosive power are known as plyometric exercises.

Ideally, you’ll want to include these exercises at least once a week into your training routine. You’ll need to set up a sprint course with markers about 6m away from each other. This marks your course which is designed to mimic the dashes made during a game of football. Begin by lying on your stomach, jumping up and sprinting to the first 6m marker and back again. Repeat the same routine but sprinting to the 12m marker point this time and return. Do these 6 times and ideally, you’ll be able to increase the number of reps each week.

Increasing Stamina

A 90-minute match requires considerable stamina, and this is one of the first things to suffer when you’ve had a break. All that sprinting, yelling and lasting the full game means that you need to work on your endurance even when you’re not playing. The best way to achieve this is to make running a part of your regular keep fit routine. Speed is not important, but endurance is. Start with three 20 minute runs a week, adding an additional 5-10 minutes each week until you can jog for an hour. For a range of helpful Soccer Training Drill Videos, visit https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Soccer/drills.jsp

Strengthen Your Ankles

This is one area of the body prone to injury and damage. Whether it’s from uneven pitches or tackling, you’ll want to strengthen your ankles by performing heel raises. Stand on a step and raise up onto the balls of your feet, count to ten and then lower your heels as far as you can. For best results, repeat this around 10 times, 3 times a week. As you progress, you can even add weights to make the exercise a little more challenging.

Balance

It’s easy to overlook the importance of balance in football training. Not only does it help to keep you more stable but can improve elements like passing, tackling and kicking the ball. Balance training can be as simple as standing on one leg for 30 seconds and can be incorporated into rest periods of running drills. Do it while brushing your teeth or waiting for the bus! It’s simple, quick and easy but can become that little extra training activity that makes you better on the pitch.