If you watch soccer games regularly, you’ll probably be amazed at the strength, agility and endurance of top soccer players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Eden Hazard. While it may just be a wild thought to play like them, you can actually be as fit!
Benefits of playing soccer
Soccer is a demanding sport, and regular soccer sessions can endow you with the following benefits:1
- Higher levels of cardiovascular fitness
- Faster reflexes
- Greater explosive strength (particularly in the lower body)
- Lower risk of heart disease and diabetes
- Weight loss
You don’t need to be a Ballon d’Or nominee to reap these benefits. Just a couple of sessions will take you a long way towards meeting the expert-recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week.2
Kick-starting your soccer workout
Here are some popular training exercises soccer players use to hone their dazzling skills. And you can do them too!
- Box jumps. Stand in front of an elevated platform — a sturdy crate or a flight of stairs will do just fine. Swing your arms and bend your knees, jump up onto the platform and jump back down. Repeat ten times.
- Skipping rope. We all remember jumping rope from our childhood. But there’s really no better exercise for building agility and increasing fitness. 3 sets of 3 minutes is a great warm-up.
- Pushups. A strong upper body is essential for shrugging off tackles. 3 sets of 15 repetitions is a good starting point.
Last but not least, don’t forget to get into the field to show off your skills!
- Blatter JS & Dvorak J. Football for health – prevention of risk factors for non-communicable diseases. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2010; vol. 20; s1: 1-135.