There’s no question that World Cup soccer players have incredible endurance. If everyone trained like the pros, we’d all be fit with lean muscle. Private trainer Frank Bona put together a series of soccer star workouts that are sure to whip you into shape. And you don’t have to be a soccer player to do them!
Speed, Agility and Endurance
1. Start off in a space (rectangle if possible) and jog 30 feet. Next, sprint 40 feet. Then, jog another 30 feet followed by the 40 feet sprint. Repeat three times (running rectangle).
2. Do high knees running forward for 15 feet. It's important to do this as fast as you can, but cover the distance slowly. So, rapid fire knees up and down but small steps to cover the distance slowly. When you get to the end point, walk back to the start. Repeat this four times.
3. Repeat same the same high knees drill but go backward instead of forward.
4. Take a soccer or medicine ball and alternate fast toe-touches on top of the ball for 30 seconds. Rest 30 seconds, then repeat three times.
5. Set up six short hurdles (six inches tall) about 15 inches apart in a straight line. Run across them, stepping both feet in each square. Go from one end to the other four times (four laps total). Repeat three times.
6. Place four cones in the shape of a square with 20 feet between each cone. Dribble the soccer ball around the cones as fast as you can while staying in control of the ball. Do six rounds around the cones. Repeat five times. This will take about 40 minutes. Take an additional 15 minutes to stretch because it’s a very intense workout for your lower legs and hips.
Strength and Accuracy
1. Warm up with step ups on a block/box about two-feet high. Do 30 reps on both legs and repeat three times.
2. Stand on a BOSU with one leg for 10 seconds, then move to the floor and hold a squat. As you’re holding the squat, have someone kick you a soccer ball. Hop out from your squat and pass back the ball being rolled to you. Repeat 10 times on your right leg and 10 times on your left leg. Next, alternate left and right leg 10 times and repeat for three sets.
3. Standing calf raise on one or both feet. Do three sets of 12 reps holding a 30-45lb dumbbell in your hand.
4. Box squats to deepen your squat. Sit on a box that’s about two feet high. Using a squat rack, squat four sets with 12 reps. If you feel like you can do more than 12 reps, then add more weight.
5. Using a standing hip adductor and abductor machine, do three sets of 15 reps with a challenging weight. This is a crucial exercise for avoiding knee injury.
6. Stretch and foam roll for 10-20 minutes.