Pre-season is tough for the professionals. After a few weeks relaxing, it’s time to prove their fitness in time for the new season. Imagine the punishment Steven Gerrard and the top Liverpool players for example have to push through to get back in shape before they slip on their Liverpool kit for the start of the Premier League campaign. It’s tough, but they’re professionals. They get paid to do it.
What about us? Those willing amateurs who never had the top levels of fitness. It’s probably a bit harder for us. Remember that first game of five aside. The lactic acid in your calves. How the muscle moves when you pull up with cramp. How sick you feel after just ten minutes.
For those of us who only play once a week, or maybe having kicked a ball in anger for a few months, here a few exercises to help you get back fighting fit brought to you by JJB Sports.
When your sporting dreams consist of having a ball at your feet, running is probably the last thing you want to do; but you need to do it. Make sure you get out and pound the pavement three times a week or so. Doing distance is good for your stamina, but you need that pace over five yards too. Try and mix it up with gentle jobs and fast sprints. You’ll see the difference in no time.
This is the next step up from running a few times a week and is ideal to push your levels of endurance. Each exercise should be performed at least four times before moving on to the next one. You can set up your own circuit with different exercise, or if you can’t be trusted not to cheat, head to a class at the gym (yes that’s right, the gym). If there’s a few of you looking to improve your fitness for the five aside season, train like this together. Throwing a competitive element in always gives an extra edge to dig deep and find those energy reserves. You can always go for a pint afterwards too.
Even the big boys do this. It’s the best exercise to add a bit of explosiveness to your game and yes we can all do with a little more on the football pitch, even if it’s just a game with your mates. Set up cones every 10 yards until you reach 50 yards. Run to the first cone and come back to the start line, to the second one and back, and so on until you’ve completed the fifth set at the 50 yard mark.
Good luck. Premier League in no time.