When it comes to football, there are plenty of exercises that you can do to help improve your skillset and performance. Many of the exercises that are better suited to footballers come under the plyometric category. The chances are, you may have done plyometric exercises before despite being unaware of the term, but our blog is here to help you understand what plyometric exercises are and how they can help your performance.
Keep reading to learn more about the best plyometric exercises for footballers alongside some examples of exercises that you can try at home.
Plyometric exercises are short and intense, using speed and force to help build muscle power. Types of plyometric exercises include jumping, running, and pushups, and when trained correctly these forms of exercise can help to improve your overall athletic performance. Classed as aerobic exercises, they generate explosive power which makes them a great training tool for footballers who want to improve their speed and momentum. However, they can also be used to effectively train strength.
Footballers work hard to train, but this is not restricted to speed and endurance. Training the upper body strength is an important part of your training that will help you to improve your overall athletic performance and refine your skills. To help you get started with training your upper body with plyometric exercises, we’ve listed three of the best exercises footballers can do to increase their muscular endurance.
A little more advanced than regular push-ups, the plyometric version is an excellent exercise for building upper body strength. To perform plyometric push-ups, first enter the regular form. When you lower your chest towards the floor with bent elbows, use explosive power to push your hands and head above the ground and bring your hands together to perform a clap before landing back on the ground and immediately completing the next repetition. This is not an easy exercise to perform, so you may only be able to do a couple of reps to begin with. Make sure not to over-exert yourself to avoid injury.
Another high-intensity exercise, this version may be easier for those who struggle to clap their hands in a plyometric push-up. Start in the push-up position with each hand on an elevated platform, using explosive power so that your hands come off the surfaces and land in between the platforms on the ground to complete the rep. Then repeat this process by using your hands to push up off the ground and return to the starting position.
A chest pass is a common plyometric exercise that players use to brush up on their skills. If you don’t have a partner available to practice with, you can practice using a wall. To do this exercise, stand roughly three metres away from the wall with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a medicine ball close to your chest. Using both arms, throw the ball to the wall and catch it again. You can increase the intensity of this exercise by adding more weight as necessary.
Of course, speed is an important part of any footballer’s skill set. Plyometric exercises aren’t just focused on improving strength, but also improving speed by emphasising explosive power and movements that assist with acceleration. Some exercises in your regime may be plyometric without you even realising, however, the three listed below should form part of your training regime if improving speed is one of your goals.
Jump squats are an excellent plyometric exercise for footballers because they require the use of explosive power from your legs to lift yourself off the ground. To intensify this exercise, you should hold a weight in each hand. Simply jump off the ground before landing into a squat, and repeat this process.
Jump ropes are an exercise that tests your coordination to clear the rope each time whilst also ensuring repeated quick contact with the ground. If you don’t have a rope, this exercise can still be done simply by jumping at a timed pace.
Sled sprints can be done in the gym, and they mimic the action of acceleration over short distances which can help footballers to achieve a faster speed. When using the sled equipment make sure that the weights are evenly distributed and that you can maintain a steady pace when pushing the sled.
Since plyometric exercises are quite intense, you should ensure you get adequate rest between training sessions. It is not recommended that you train in plyometrics more than 3 times a week, and you should limit your training sessions to a low volume of no more than 6 sets of 5 repetitions. This is especially important if you are just starting out, as overloading can result in injury or strain.
Additionally, it is important to wear the correct gear when undertaking any exercise regime. For plyometric exercises, we’d recommend options that are breathable with plenty of flexibility. The Evolve Tech Pants in black are a great choice, as they provide a sleek and refined style alongside a cooling athletic fit. Alternatively, the Focus Classic football shorts also make the perfect choice for training days, or if you’re fitting in a plyometric warm-up before a match.
For upper-body clothing, you’ll need a lightweight fit such as the Focus Classic football jersey, which features moisture-wicking properties and long-lasting durability which is ideal for intense exercise sessions. For a warming layer, we’d recommend a sweat top such as the Evolve Tech Overlay which has a quarter zip for customisable ventilation.
The right equipment is essential to enhancing your performance output for better athletic results. To help you find the right fit, we have a wide range of men’s sports clothing, women’s fitness wear and accessories. Browse through the collections to find suitable sportswear to stay confident and cool during your plyometric workout.