Today is the day: a new Women’s World Cup champion will be crowned, and the world will hold its breath while these last two teams duke it out in the final match. Years of hard work and training on display while we look on in awe at the physicality and talents of these amazing athletes. Have you ever wondered what type of training or workout regimen it takes to perform like a world-class soccer star? Now you have the chance to find out with a few championship-inspired workouts and training tips that will make you feel like you’re ready for FIFA in real life.
Start with Speed
The key to any great soccer player’s performance is speed – you have to be quicker than your opponent if you want to win, and to be fast, you have to train fast. Some great workouts to build speed and agility are:
- Sprints – start with 4×400 plus recovery. These repetitions will teach your muscles to adapt to fast-twitch motions by building fibers and acclimating to quick accelerations. Run a single lap of the track at 80% speed, followed by a one-minute recovery of walking or jogging. Complete this cycle a total of 4 times. You can also mimic this distance on a treadmill if you don’t have access to a track.
- Agility ladders – time to get on those tiptoes! Start at the base of the ladder, tiptoeing right and left into each square. Hustle back when you’ve reached the end and repeat once more. Turn sideways and repeat the tiptoe motion for cycles 3 and 4. For the last cycle, start with both feet out of the square and move the tiptoes in-in, out-out going down each square. Complete all cycles 5 times, increasing in speed as you go. If you don’t own an agility ladder, you can make your own out of tape on the ground.
Strength and Endurance
Running an average of 6 miles per game takes some serious strength. You also have to be strong in order to prevent injury. Soccer players build strength with a combination of lifting weights, jumping rope, and plyometrics that build and strengthen leg muscles. A key workout for building leg strength is squatting – you should aim for at least 4 rounds of 4-6 reps with a bar and weights equal to your body weight. Box jumps are also great for leg workouts, doing at least 4 rounds of 4-6 reps for these, as well.
Core strength is another important weapon in any soccer star’s arsenal that can be developed into a tool for everyday athletes, as well. A good starting point for building core strength is planking for building core stability. Standard pushups, crunches, and Russian twists will all help you achieve maximum core strength, which will help your body be stronger all around.
You’re now ready to sweat like today’s stars of the game. Get out there, train hard, and one day you could be the star of the World Cup…or maybe just your rec league!
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