While honing technical skills is a very important part of football training, strength and conditioning work is equally as important. Football is a highly physical contact sport. In order to muscle opposition players off the ball, you need lower, core and upper body strength.
Strength and conditioning work on the training pitch also improve speed, acceleration and balance. But there are no shortcuts — you have to put in the work to get the results you’re looking for.
You might be the most technically gifted player at your local club. But if you lack physicality, the chances are you’ll never be able to maximise your talents. By utilising the latest strength and conditioning equipment during football training sessions, you can gradually improve your all-round game.
Very few footballers like to be confined to a gym for hours every week. They prefer to be with teammates — on a pitch. Thankfully, there’s no need for lengthy gym sessions when you have access to items that can be used absolutely anywhere.
Here are some of the most effective tools on the market right now.
A Speed Parachute
Adding resistance when you’re running is a great way to build lower and core body strength. A speed parachute is perfect for the job, as it’s light, durable and easily packed away in a dedicated bag. The parachute is strapped to your body, allowing you to perform shuttle runs free from restriction.
Power Speed Resistor
If you like to train with teammates, the power speed resistor might be a good option. It’s basically a harness with a lead, allowing you to use the weight of someone else as resistance. It is around four metres in length, and provides a very safe and simple way to develop lower body strength.
There are countless exercises strength and conditioning exercises you can perform with a set of rubber medicine balls. Whether you’re training alone or with the help of someone else, you can work your arms, shoulders, chest and stomach all at the same time. A set of five balls features five different weights — all with an easy-grip surface.
You can develop your own balance and lower body strength alone with a set of leg toners. Designed to offer resistance during lateral leg movements, leg toners are comprised of an elasticated band connected to two velcro-fastened ankle collars. Just add a collar to each ankle, and start your workout.
Whether you’re at home or at your local club, you can work on your core body strength with stable, non-skid ab rollers. Using rubber grips for added comfort, you can tone and strengthen all your abdominal muscles, as well as your biceps, triceps and shoulders.
Push-ups are great for strengthening the upper body and abs. But doing them on your own doesn’t always deliver the optimum technique. A set of rotating push-up grips features ball-bearing rotation and non-slip grips for a safe and effective workout almost anywhere.
Handweights and Dumbbells
A set of dumbbells or handweights allows you to pump iron anywhere — whether you’re on the training pitch or in your own living room. A set of bone dumbbells can be carried around in their own bag, and feature a neoprene covering that makes for a comfortable grip.
There are several exercises you can do with a resistance band. Work on your arms, shoulders, chest, neck and legs with this simple yet effective item of equipment. Look for something with different strength levels, which allows you to build your strength over time.
A Suspension Trainer
If you want to replicate a workout you might enjoy in a fully equipped gym, your options are limited. But you can carry your own mini gym around with you when you have a suspension trainer at your disposal. Portable and lightweight, a suspension trainer include T-fastener buckles and quick strap adjustment — which means one sizes fits all.
Hand grips and foot cradles make this item of resistance equipment one of the most versatile you can find. Whether you’re working on your upper legs or your back, hook the trainer to a wall and use the resistance created by high-strength, polyester webbing to work all your major muscle groups.
Skipping not only delivers a strenuous cardiovascular workout, it also works most of the major muscle groups. You can do it almost anywhere, and it’s a lot more fun than simply lifting weights. Speed ropes are available in lengths of up to 10 feet. For the best possible skipping experience, choose a rope with free-spinning handles — which create a perfect skipping arc and take the strain away from your wrists.
The great things about these items of strength and conditioning equipment is that they can be carried around with you. It doesn’t matter where you are, you’ll always be able to work on your strength to improve your all-round game.