Hurtling across the field, ball at your feet, defenders approaching, hearts pounding; it’s easy to see why playing sports is such an utterly popular pastime, however attaining the level of fitness required to be a true sporting great isn’t as easy as doing a few crunches each morning and enjoying a jog every couple of days. No, boosting prowess requires a regime, an understandably fierce word for what is often a long, hard physical slug towards the aim of athletic perfection, however what do these regimes entail?
Speed and power are the name of the game when it comes to playing rugby, and as such the training regimes for the sport are exceptionally tailored, with few games sharing the thunderous zeal of the British game whose World Cup is currently running; catch up on all of the latest World Cup news at Bookies.com if you want to be in the know! Rugby training is focused almost entirely on building up power levels: single arm barbell push presses to develop the quads, shoulders and core; box squats to build quads, hamstrings and glutes; clapping press ups to pile muscle around the chest and shoulders; and lateral box squats to build up the rapidity required of the lower body. You’ll be steamrolling your way through the formations in no time!
Acceleration, speed, balance and endurance are to be focused on by soccer stars, alongside the obvious tactical mind required of any team game. Laps are the obvious choice to develop cardiovascular endurance as well as speed and are best performed alongside skills sessions in order to extract the best benefit. Circuits for the legs – two-footed squat thrusts, walking lunges, alternate leg squat thrusts – upper body – wide arm press-ups, regular press-ups, close hand press ups – and abdominals – regular sit-ups, alternate elbow-to-knee reps, alternate hand-to-foot reps – similarly excellent for building up the body’s muscular endurance, power and control.
As one might have imagined, running is all about speed, endurance and pushing one’s body to its absolute limit. Bodyweight squats should be high up on the runner’s training itinerary; standing with feet at hip distance, toes forward, sit down as if you were about to sit on a chair until you feel your glutes, quads and hamstrings tense up, then rise, repeating around ten times, adding more of your weight as it becomes easier. Similarly, single-leg deadlifts, core-focused reps such as crunches, planks and bicycles, and single leg squats are all great ways to improve one’s capacity for rapid leg movement.
Do you know of any winning exercises for sportspeople? Share them in the comments section below!