Whether you play on the pristine grass of Premier League pitches or the boggy ground of Hackney Marshes, building up your fitness with a bit of pre-season training will help you impress come the season proper.

As a former professional footballer (who enjoyed a spell with QPR) turned personal trainer to the likes of John Terry and Theo Walcott, Maximuscle athlete Bradley Simmonds knows just about all there is to know about getting in top footballing shape. If you’re keen on boosting your strength and speed for the season ahead, try these two football-focused workouts.

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Pre-Season Strength Workout

1. Deadlift

Set 4 Reps 8

Stand in front of a barbell with your feet shoulder-width apart. The bar should be just in front of your shins. Bend your knees until your quads are roughly parallel to the floor. Grip the barbell so that your hands are placed slightly outside your legs. With a slight arch in your back, push with your legs so that the bar clears your knees and comes to rest on your upper thighs. Return to the start.

2. Back squat

Set 4 Reps 8

Stand with your shoulder-width feet apart and hold the barbell on the back of your shoulders with your hands in a comfortable position. Descend by bending your knees. Avoid moving the hips back so the knees travel forwards, ensuring your knees stay aligned with your feet and you keep your torso upright. Push back up through your heels to the starting position.

3. Weighted hip thrust

Set 4 Reps 8

Start with your feet and glutes on the floor and shoulder blades on a bench, with your upper arms at right angles to your body for stability. (If your shoulders don’t reach the bench, you may need to start with your glutes slightly off the floor.) Hold the barbell in a comfortable position on your hips. Keeping your feet flat on the floor, lift your body until your quads are horizontal with the floor. Squeeze your glutes, raise your hips, and hold for a second or two before lowering. It’s important to avoid hyperextending your lower back at the top.

4. Reverse barbell lunge

Set 4 Reps 8

Prop the barbell on the back of your shoulders. Step back with your right leg, bending your knee to approximately 90° (this will bring the front knee to a 90° bend as well). Keep your chest up and open, and engage your core. Stand up by pushing through your left leg and bringing your right leg back to the original standing position. Repeat for the other leg.

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Pre-Season Speed Workout

1. Resisted squat jump

Set 4 Reps 8

With a resistance band positioned around your feet, the outside of your knees and your shoulders, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lower into the squat position. Explode upwards, driving yourself off the ground, then land softly and drop back into the starting position.

2. Resisted lunge

Set 4 Reps 8

Start with the resistance band looped under the foot of your front leg and around the opposite shoulder. Lunges forward and explode upwards without lifting your foot off the floor. Repeat on the other leg after completing the reps on the first leg.

3. TRX forward lean high knees

Sets 1 Time 1min

Grasp TRX bands in both hands at chest height and lean forwards. Quickly raise your knee to your chest and then lower it back to the floor. Repeat with the other leg. Continue alternating for a minute.

4. TRX alternate jump lunge

Set 4 Reps 8 each side

Place your back foot in one handle of the TRX band. Perform a lunge and then, as you come up, explode off the ground as high as you can (you probably won’t get as high as Simmonds, what a leap!). Complete all the reps on one leg, then repeat on the other.

Maximuscle athlete Bradley Simmonds was speaking at the launch of Maximuscle’s new product range, helping you to get in peak shape for the summer. To find out how to get in shape like Simmonds visit maxinutrition.com/ibiza


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