Fancy being as fit as our top international footballers? Here are 6 ways to boost your cardio for top footie fitness.
- First focus on improving your general cardio and conditioning. Simple stuff works. For example, walking for an hour each day. Prefer a specific workout guide? Try this guide for a 30 minute football workout designed for footballers.
- Next, all footballers require speed and endurance. Build up your heart’s aerobic and anaerobic strength with HIIT workouts for the quickest effect. Top footballers use this type of training to develop short bursts of energy and quick recoveries before running for the ball again.
- Use gym machines for aerobic sprints. Treadmill, elliptical, exercise bike and rowing machine are the most common. Use the incline, resistance and gear settings at an intensity which allows you to sprint for 30 to 90 seconds, then recover for 2 minutes. As your fitness improves you can gradually build up the length of time you put in maximum effort, then reduce the resting period too.
- Weight training is also a great way to boost cardio strength, especially when you apply HIIT principles to your training. Use weight machines with light weights with the same sprint/recovery ratio as with other gym machines.
- Bodyweight exercises also play a key role in football cardio. Most footballers perform plyometric (jumping) exercises as part of their basic training. Basic burpies, squats, press-ups, lunges and sit ups also feature. Put them all into a 20 minute interval circuit, throw in a few ball skills and you’re done!
- TV cardio. Balance out those world cup matches with some cardio workouts while you watch. Whether it’s exercise bike, rowing machine, weights or hula hoop, at home or at the gym, use the time to get some good cardio in. Go for it in the ad breaks then slow it down during the game. If you include the pre-match build up and post-match chats, that’s a lot of hours of opportunity to move!
England may be out of the World Cup, but don’t drop your winning attitude. Believe in yourself. Be your best!