Tired off being pushed of the ball? Want to become a stronger player? Here is a guide on how to strengthen your body core.
A strong core, which comprises the muscle in the center of the body, is essential basically for all movements a footballer makes on the pitch. Why? Because its main purpose is to stabilize the body during an activity. If you don’t have a strong core, you are immediately one big step behind your competitor, as you lose energy while you are moving not using your core. Additionally you are more prone to injuries. And you should do everything you can to prevent that from happening. It’s up to you to take care of your body and starting by strengthening your core is a step in the right direction.
Six-pack is not the most important core muscle…
…if you want to be the best footballer. However, six-pack is a reward for your hard ‘core’ abs workout routine. Muscle that is well-know as “six pack” is originally called rectus abdominis and it is located on the top of other abs muscles – from the top-down: external abdominal oblique, internal abdominal oblique and transverse abdominis. All these muscles form a natural corset responsible for supporting internal organs and to protect your back while moving or lifting things. Achieving the six-pack requires reduction in body fat so combining abs workout with cardio training will give you the best results. And at the end we all like to be good looking in the summer. So why not work on your core and progress on the pitch while you are actually shaping your six-pack? Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
V-ups is an excellent exercise for you because it engages leg movement and therefore it is more football specific. Starting position is supine lying with legs extended and in final position your arms and legs form letter V. Because at the up position all your body weight is directly on your lower back, be extremely attentive to any pain signals from your lower back. To make V-ups even more functional, move your arms and legs alternately in a diagonal pattern.
2. Legs rise
Lie on a mat in supine position. Place your arms on the mat with palms facing down. Flex your hips for 90° and extend your knees up to your maximum range of motion with relaxed feet. Then slowly rise and descend your legs. Be careful to rise your legs a little bit forward and not towards your head (second option is easier and therefore doesn’t engage abs so much).
3. Seated side chops
Sit on the mat with legs flexed in hips. Hold a medicine ball in front of you and then just alternately rotate and chop with the medicine ball to each side as fast as you can.
4. Medicine-ball single-leg “kick”
Stand on one leg and hold the medicine ball on a side in the air. Then mimic a football kick and try to touch the medicine ball with the instep of your leg. Don’t lose balance. You can step on the ground each repetition. Repeat exercise on the other side.
5. Soccer throw
Mimic a soccer throw with the medicine ball. Just before you would like to release the medicine ball stop as fast as you can and return to the starting position.
A tip for your training. Do all exercises in the given order: 1. V-ups, 2. Legs rise, 3. Seated side chops, 4. Medicine-ball single-leg “kick”, 5. Soccer throw. Start with 30 seconds of active work and 30 seconds of rest. After the rest continue with the second exercise and so on. Do 3-5 sequences. As a challenge, try to avoid rest between sequences. Instead of the medicine ball you can use any other heavier equipment (kettlebells, dumbells…).
Remember to do the exercises only if you don’t feel any pain in your back.
Check out our 2 months long training plan to help you with your training.
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