The year 2020 has been difficult for many sports organizations, and members of the FIFA organization have had to learn how to stay in shape without being able to access a gym. With the organization expecting an increase in matches when pandemic issues subside, there is a sense of urgency concerning athlete training and fitness. In light of what 2020 has brought to sporting events and athletes around the world, staying fit without a gym has become a new priority. Here some tips for members of FIFA and its various soccer leagues.
Emphasize a Full Body Workout
Soccer is a demanding sport on every muscle in the body, and Argentina and Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero remind players to focus on a full-body workout. While having the support of weights and machines is nice, players and teams who aren’t able to meet together in a fitness center or arena can still work all the important muscles with a combination of resistance bands, body weights and handheld weights. Athletes can go through entire routines of single leg lunges or squats, press-ups, band butterfly pulls, planks, box jumps and shoulder presses in any location.
As teams adjust to the new routines, be sure that food and nutrition don’t take a back seat. Athletes should support their workouts with supplements like Thrive that support lean muscle mass and lose excess body fat. What is Thrive? It’s a line of products, that when used over an eight-week period, can help athletes reach peak physical health levels.
Though most soccer experts argue that training the body is the most important aspect of exercise and engagement, there is a strong argument to be made for keeping the mind engaged and maintaining a competitive focus. When gyms are closed, esports become an option for working on some of the mental qualities needed to be successful in the soccer league. When La Liga postponed matches during the coronavirus, Spanish players Borja Iglesias and Sergio Reguillon turned to the Seville derby on FIFA hosted by Ibai of the esports industry. Though it may be a video game, it still engages players mentally to think through the aspects of their moves and positions.
In addition to the use of video games, technology has made it possible for soccer teams to meet virtually. With the right setup, teammates can meet through Zoom or Gotomeeting to run drills, work through plays and learn new things. This aspect is crucial for teams that can’t meet together. Socialization is an important part of developing a team spirit, and not being able to interact with one another at the gym or on the field can make it harder to strengthen the team bond.
Use Readily Available Resources
When it comes to exercising, Andreas Kornmayer, the head of Liverpool’s fitness and conditioning, recommends using whatever is available to keep in shape. The Reds team dominated and won the Champions League last season, and with good reason. All you need is a soccer ball, and the home workout video posted by Kornmayer will talk you through and demonstrate everything you need to know. You will start off with mobility work aimed at strengthening the joints, then move on to building a strong body foundation with core work.
Paul Pogba, of France and Manchester United, encourages soccer players to continue working on footwork. While it can be done alone, Pogba demonstrates a footwork drill with teammate Victor Lindelof that can be found on his Instagram page. If following the exercise routine, the drill should include dribbling the ball in and around cones or markets, doing short sprints, completing a full circuit on an agility ladder and taking shots or making passes. Agility ladders are a great training tool, but you can also create markers on the floor or ground to conduct side steps. Conduct shooting practice by creating targets for players or having partners spread out for pass plays. Harry Kane, captain of Tottenham, put a shooting clinic up on YouTube for players.
There are still many exercise options for soccer leagues that may not be able to get in the gym. Get creative and rely on the advice of other professionals in the sport.