Footballers like those of Premiership are known for their supreme fitness and perfectly sculpted legs that are loved by women and coveted by men. Footballers need to be in top shape since they run for long periods of time and must keep up with the opposing team. With a few gym exercises and the proper diet plan you can have the muscular legs and endurance of a footballer while improving your overall health.
According to first team coach of Fulham FC, Scott Miller, the best circuit training for leg exercises is a series of squats and lunges. Each exercise is made to develop strength and ward off potential injuries. Ideally, they should be done twice a week with no rest in between each exercise.
The circuit should be done three times with a 90-second rest between each go. If done properly the circuit training should take 15 minutes (excluding a five minute warm up). Please note that some of these exercises require gym equipment like barbells or dumbbells which can be easily purchased online.
- Squats build strength in the lower limbs and can help you steer clear of injuries during a football game. Miller’s squats exercise is as follows:
- Place a small plate under the heel of each foot in order to take pressure of your patellar tendon and to isolate your quadriceps.
- Rest a barbell on your upper back and squat down for four seconds until your posterior and knees are level with each other.
- Quickly lift over one second.
- Repeat this exercise six times without rest.
When you complete the six repetitions of squats go right into the next exercise as directed.
Since football requires the players speed and endurance, walking lunges are recommended to improve speed. In order to do this, it’ll first be necessary to find the proper amount of open space. To do Miller’s walking lunges:
- Stand holding two dumbbells at your sides.
- Take large strides making sure that your trailing knee ends level with your trailing ankle before popping up quickly. Maintain a straight spine throughout.
- Repeat the exercise 12 times for each leg.
Try to take two seconds to lower yourself into each lunge and only one second to come out of it. Remember not to rest between exercises.
The barbell squats in the first exercise increase strength but these dumbbell squats will help boost endurance by providing you with muscle stamina. Miller directs:
- Stand with a dumbbell in each hand with your arms at your side.
- Place a plate under each of your heels like the first exercise.
- Complete 25 consecutive squats, concentrating on keeping a quick tempo. Ideally, you’ll want your posterior to dip slightly below your knees.
Try to take only one second to squat down and one second to rise. Rest for about 90 seconds after this final exercise before you repeat the whole circuit.
Nutritionists recommend footballers to eat a balanced diet complete with essential nutrients found in simple and complex carbohydrates, saturated and unsaturated fats, protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals (found in fruits and vegetables), and of course plenty of water.
Simple carbs are foods like sweets and soft drinks while complex carbs are rice, pasta, potatoes, cereals, bread, and fruit. These carbs will provide you with energy for a game of football. Nutritionists say that footballers can eat up to 70 percent of carbs in their daily diet for this reason (a normal diet is between 55 and 60 percent). Since it’d be hard to achieve this high percentage just from three meals, footballers snack frequently, especially right after a match since that’s when energy is stored in the recently used muscles. Choose snacks that are high in carbs but low in fat:
- Banana, honey, or jam sandwiches
- Sweetened popcorn
- Fruit cake, scones, American muffins
- Bagels, crumpets, English muffins
- Rusks and cereals
- Low fat rice pudding or bread pudding
- Yoghurts or milkshakes
- Fresh or dried fruit