Football (soccer) Fitness .pdf [2022]

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.

Warm Up

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.

Tabata Intervals

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% effort20108
Rest for 2 minutes and repeat

Gym Workouts

Day 1

Barbell Bench Press*10-152
Plyometric Press Ups63
Medicine Ball Overhead Throws63
Medicine Ball Slams62
Chin Ups10 (or max)2
Multi-directional Lunges12 (total)2
Rotating Plyo Jumps62
Band resisted backwards walks20m3

*If you have any shoulder issues, consider replacing the standard barbell bench press with a floor press either with a barbell, dumbbell or kettlebell.

Day 3

Barbell Front Squat84
Depth Jumps62
Barbell Glute Bridges82
One arm Row10 per arm2
Cable wood chops10 per side2
Hanging Leg RaisesMax2
Plank hold1 minute
Tib Raises102
Band Assisted Lunges*10 (total)2
Band resisted sideways walks15 seconds each direction3

Day 5

Hex Bar Jumps63
Pallof Press63
High Pulls63
Medicine Ball Slams122
Medicine Ball Oblique throws8 a side2
Lateral Bounds – Speed Skaters6 a side2
Nordic Hamstring CurlsMax2
Single leg calf raises122
Dorsal raises122
Cable hip flexion**10 per leg2

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!).

Tib Raises:

Backwards Walks

Football Pitch/Field Based Fitness Training

Equipment required:

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.

  1. 20m backward sprint, turn and spring 10m forwards
  2. Lunges
  3. Zig zag sprints in between cones
  4. 10m sprint and 3 jumps over speed hurdles
  5. Press ups
  6. Speed skaters*
  7. Vertical jumps
  8. Resistance band push-press**
  9. Hindu squats
  10. 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.

*Speed Skaters

**Resistance Band Push Press

Bear Crawls

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.

About Drew

MMA, Fitness & Marketing enthusiast from North Wales, UK. A Stoic Hippy with no hair. Not to boast but - 1st Class Degree in Sports Science from Loughborough, MSc in Nutrition from the University of Liverpool. 20 years experience of weight & fitness training.
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