Have you ever wondered how professional soccer players develop and maintain the stamina necessary to be in constant motion throughout two 45-minute periods? While all athletes need to be in good shape to excel at their sport, soccer players are arguably the world’s fittest.
Research has shown that while a receiver in the NFL will likely cover about a mile-and-a-half during four 15-minute quarters and a pro tennis player might rack up about four miles during a four-hour match, a FIFA league player will travel close to seven miles in a 90-minute game. Getting to that level of fitness requires dedication to robust fitness and nutrition routines. Take a look at how some of FIFA’s biggest stars stay in tip-top shape. They might motivate you to take your own fitness regimen to the next level.
Dive Right In
Real Madrid’s Isco Alarcon takes a balanced approach to both diet and exercise. He sticks to a well-rounded diet but allows himself a little treat here and there, even in the midst of intense training. He focuses on running, especially hurdle sprints, and spends a lot of time in the gym. His secret weapon is swimming, which he often does because it’s great for building muscle strength without the wear and tear of pounding the ground.
Installing an inground pool in your backyard would be a great way to not only get into better shape yourself but also have a relaxing spot to hang out with family and friends after your laps are done. Search for pool builders near me to get an idea of the available styles, prices, and other options for creating your own aquatic workout space.
Might As Well Jump
Many top FIFA players, including FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Neymar de Silva Santos, Jr., of Paris Saint-Germain FC, incorporate plyometrics into their workout routines. This type of conditioning, also called jump training, builds muscle power by exerting maximum force quickly. Athletes who practice plyometrics report improved performance in running, pivoting quickly, jumping, and kicking, obviously all critically important for professional soccer players.
Just because elite athletes swear by jump training doesn’t mean you can’t benefit as well. In fact, anyone at any level of fitness can work some plyo exercises into their routine. Take a look at the best plyometric exercises to help you build more muscle.
Get Back to Basics
While the top FIFA athletes obviously have access to lots of sophisticated training equipment and coaches, they also demonstrate that those luxuries are not necessary in order to get in shape. For example, Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku often utilizes dumbbells and resistance bands for his workouts, both of which are easily accessible and effective for your own workouts at home.
Lukaku also keeps it real when talking about nutrition, admitting that he is tempted by pizza and hamburgers but tries to be careful and stick to healthy foods with lots of protein.
Make It Fun
It might surprise you that fitness is not just focused on the field for many professional soccer players. Many FIFA stars like to mix up their workouts, integrating less traditional methods into their training routines. Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur FC likes to play golf and cricket, while Valencia CF’s Denis Cherysev enjoys surfing.
Take a cue from these players and add variety to your exercise routine. Doing something different and fun can supplement your regular workout and lead to new levels of fitness. While exercising is important to your overall health, it doesn’t have to be boring.
FIFA’s elite players are some of the fittest athletes on the planet. How they got that way is the result of focus, determination, and hard work. Maintaining that high level of health and strength requires consistent attention to healthy habits, including a vigorous fitness regimen. Learning how soccer stars stay in shape and applying a few of their tips to your routine can help you step up your own game.