Football has become increasingly physical and fast over the years, so the modern player must work on core-body strength and power in order to compete at the highest levels. Toned and conditioned muscles can aid acceleration, balance and the ability to tussle opponents off the ball, which is why these five resistance workouts should be part of any team’s weekly training regime.

1. Lunges with Biceps Curls

Bicep curls with resistance band
This exercise requires a sturdy and reliable set of resistance bands. You should start with a handle of your resistance band in each hand, and by standing on the centre of it with your left foot. With your right foot about two feet behind your left, bend your knees so that you adopt a lunging position, and lift up on the band with both arms to perform a bicep curl at the same time. For the best results, maintain a relatively slow and smooth motion, and then repeat the exercise 20 times. You should then switch feet and start the workout again. This one exercise will strengthen and tone your calves, thighs and biceps at the same time.

2. Squat and Overhead Press

Hold your resistance band in both hands so that it trails on the floor. Then, stand on the band with both feet, raise your hands until they are level with your shoulder and keep your feet about a shoulder’s width apart. With the palms of your hands facing upwards, perform a deep squat whilst pushing your hands above your head at the same time. Your weight should be supported by your heels as you slowly rise back up from the squatting position. You should repeat this exercise at least 20 times, but increase the reps as your strength builds.

3. Ab-Wheel Roll-Outs

Ab wheel exercises

Take a robust ab-wheel and kneel on the floor with your knees touching. If this is painful, consider kneeling on a mat, but the floor around you needs to be smooth and clear of obstructions. Place the ab-wheeler on the ground, and hold onto it – keeping your back as straight as possible. With one smooth and controlled motion, role the ab-wheel away from you whilst pushing your hips towards the floor. Reach out as far as you can, hold your position for three seconds, and then slowly roll back to your stance. Repeat this at least ten times, and work on increasing your reps over time.

4. Resistance Sprinting

For this exercise, you will need a power speed resistor and the help of a teammate. A power speed resistor is a harness that allows you to use the bodyweight of someone else to provide the resistance you need for extra conditioning. Set out a 20-yard sprinting course using training cones. From a standing start, attempt to explode into a sprint whilst your teammate holds you back. You can mix things up a little by attempting lateral shuffles and sudden start-stop actions. As your strength, power and acceleration builds over time, you can experiment with different set-ups, including slaloms and obstacle courses.

5. Squat Throws

This exercise will provide you with added strength in your legs, upper body and arms, but it requires the use of a large medicine ball. Start in a squatting position (imagine you are sitting in a chair), and push yourself up quickly before exploding into a jump. At the top of your jump, push the medicine ball into the air with everything you’ve got – making sure to step out of the way when it falls back to the ground. Let the ball bounce once, catch it and then repeat. Aim to perform at least ten reps at first, but you should always be striving to increase them as your strength builds.

Being strong, fast and powerful are prerequisites for most professional footballers these days. Whether you play in a pub team or for your local club, regular resistance training should improve every facet of your game.