Football is a demanding sport that requires endurance, power and agility.
Ideally a conditioning or fitness program (“programme” is the correct UK spelling by the way), should be periodised and the volume and intensity should be significantly different during the off or pre season compared to during the football season.
Each exercise program should be specific to a position and player. A midfielder for example, needs more endurance than a goalkeeper.
The program shown here, will be a general fitness program. It can be adapted to suit your own schedule, as well as strengths and weaknesses.
- You should look to build a “base of fitness” – with longer, slower distance runs to build your VO2Max in the off-season before doing specific sprinting exercises etc.
Always warm up – fore example, do 5-10 minutes of steady state cardio and some dynamic stretches.
Cool down afterwards with a light jog or walk and more stretches, including static stretches.
One of the quickest and most effective ways to increase your overall football fitness, is to include several Tabata intervals into your weekly routine.
Tabata intervals can be done as sprints, or on an exercise bike (preferably an air bike).
|Sprints 100% effort||20||10||8|
|Rest for 2 minutes and repeat|
|Barbell Bench Press*||10-15||2|
|Plyometric Press Ups||6||3|
|Medicine Ball Overhead Throws||6||3|
|Medicine Ball Slams||6||2|
|Chin Ups||10 (or max)||2|
|Multi-directional Lunges||12 (total)||2|
|Rotating Plyo Jumps||6||2|
|Band resisted backwards walks||20m||3|
*If you have any shoulder issues, consider replacing the standard barbell bench press with a floor press either with a barbell, dumbbell or kettlebell.
|Barbell Front Squat||8||4|
|Barbell Glute Bridges||8||2|
|One arm Row||10 per arm||2|
|Cable wood chops||10 per side||2|
|Hanging Leg Raises||Max||2|
|Plank hold||1 minute|
|Band Assisted Lunges*||10 (total)||2|
|Band resisted sideways walks||15 seconds each direction||3|
|Hex Bar Jumps||6||3|
|Medicine Ball Slams||12||2|
|Medicine Ball Oblique throws||8 a side||2|
|Lateral Bounds – Speed Skaters||6 a side||2|
|Nordic Hamstring Curls||Max||2|
|Single leg calf raises||12||2|
|Cable hip flexion**||10 per leg||2|
Download the pdf here:
*Band assisted lunges – these are great for improving your ability to decelerate and change direction. You will want to anchor the resistance band in front of you and the band should pull you forwards. You then need to control the descent and power back up to the starting position.
Tib raises also help with decleratoin and protect your knees.
** resisted hip flexion – done at speed, is great for running. You can do this with an ankle weight or foot in a kettlebell handle (at your own risk though!).
Football Pitch/Field Based Fitness Training
Cones, speed ladder, small speed hurdles, resistance band
Perform the exercises in a circuit with 30 seconds to 1 minute of rest in between each station
Perform each exercise for 1 minute.
- 20m backward sprint, turn and spring 10m forwards
- Zig zag sprints in between cones
- 10m sprint and 3 jumps over speed hurdles
- Press ups
- Speed skaters*
- Vertical jumps
- Resistance band push-press**
- Hindu squats
- Bear crawls
This circuit will create a lot of lactic acid and muscle soreness the first time you do it. If you are doing the circuit for the first time, repeat the circuit once. Repeat up to 3 times when your fitness builds up.
**Resistance Band Push Press
Some more ideas about fitness training for football here:
Remember, the best way to get fit for football, is to play football! Small sided games for example, are a great way to develop speed and football-specific fitness.