22 Mar

What are the 10 Exercises I should be doing for Football?

 Do you want results from the hard effort you put into your training?

Of course you do.

Nothing would be more frustrating than training hard for 8-12 weeks only to realise you made little to no improvement in your match performance.

Whilst there is a huge range of fitness components that go into football performance, there are a few that will give you the best bang for your buck. See below our top 10 (in no particular order):

1) Sprinting

Run at maximum effort, rest about 30-60s rest about 30 times longer than it took you to sprint (e.g. run 5m in 1 second, rest 30 seconds before repeating).

Throw in change of directions, reactions, jumps, shots, tackles…whatever you like but make sure you cover the distances as fast as you can and don’t repeat until you have recovered.

This isn’t conditioning, this is getting fast.

Remember football players often work 2-8 seconds hard then have between 60-90 seconds of active rest during a game. The speed and quality of that 2-8 seconds can determine the
winner and loser of a match.

2) Squatting

Heavy lower body strength (in particular squatting) will really help you increase your speed over the first 5m on the pitch. Which by the way is a very common distance covered by a player throughout a match.

Additional benefits is the improvement in hip and ankle mobility you will get which again help you prevent energy leaks and retain your fitness throughout the game.

Back squat, front squat, safety bar squat, goblet squat, split squat, single leg squat, bodyweight squat – we don’t care as long as you can complete the reps with good form and
tempo safely.


3) Deadlift/Trap-Bar Deadlift

Taller people seem to enjoy this more than squatting. It also really targets the back side of your body which will be a huge advantage when it comes to sprinting.

You can lift from the floor or a rack to suit the time of season and technical ability of the player.

It can also be used without too much soreness if you don’t lower the bar (drop it at the top). However, there are a lot of benefits from lowering the bar so maybe save that for off-

If you aren’t comfortable with the deadlift then the trap bar variation is very easy to learn

4) Lunge Variations

Footballers are on one leg all the throughout training and a match.

Improve stability, imbalances, ankle/hip mobility, postural control and do so whilst getting stronger.

Forward, reverse, lateral, rotations and a mixture of combinations. Again we don’t care, start using it in your training program.

5) Push Up

We always train the full body over the course of a week. We push and we pull.

The upper body plays a huge part in health, fitness and performance. Push ups are our choice of upper body push.

I’m sure many people would prefer the bench press. Whilst we like it at KIKOFF, we always start with bodyweight and make it as tough as possible before using heavier weight.

It’s amazing how many people can’t do them for reps never mind weighted, on an incline, using rings or 100 other variations. Once you nail the push up then we progress you to the

6) Pull Up

This is our upper body pull.

Check how strong you are relative to your bodyweight! We ask our players to do at least 10 pull ups (palms facing away) with their bodyweight, however we do like them to reach a level of doing reps with 10% of bodyweight attached to them.

Added benefit: Extra body armour on the arms to muscle your way out of a physical battle.

7) Rows

Another one of our upper body pulls. In fact if we could pick only one upper body exercise, it would be this.

Rounded shoulders? Weak back? Shoulder or chest pain? Want to be well-rounded?

Start rowing.

8) Jumps/Hops

Power and speed are game changers in football.

Jumps and hops are a phenomenal way to develop a more spring like lower body and improve sprint speed and jumping power.

Additionally the hops play a huge part in injury prevention.

Learn to land first and gradually increase the difficulty.

You can add weight, do bodyweight, jump high, jump long, jump then sprint, do multiple jumps and you can even skip to start off. Just get jumping!

9) Plank Variations

We all know the importance of the core and everyone wants a strong one.

Learn how to brace with a plank. This is a skill, don’t just hang out on your body parts, squeeze the bum tight, shoulder blades back and down, brace your abdominals and press elbows/hands into the floor. Stay this tight for short durations and multiple sets.

Front plank, side plank, elevated planks, plank with rows, RKC planks, planks with moving limbs and the list goes on and on.

10) Pallof Press Variations

Another great core enhancing variation. The pallof press effectively trains you to prevent rotation of the body. Grabbed on the shoulder, tugged shirt during the game and losing

The pallof press variations will train you again to stay braced when facing resistance to rotate you.


So there you have it, some lower and upper body strength exercise as well as power, speed and core!

You can pretty much write your own program.

However if you would prefer one written by professional and accredited conditioning coaches then check out our NEW 8-WEEK IN-SEASON TRAINING PROGRAM!

Also, check out what we are up to and how the pro’s of this world keep themselves in top shape by following us on Instagram at kikoff_conditioning.



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