It's summer, which means that fall soccer season is just around the corner. This is the perfect time to start training to ensure you are in peak form for pre-season camp.
Optimal conditioning for soccer involves training both endurance and speed. Think of how many times you jog to a position on the soccer field, then sprint to another position. These cycles of jogging and sprinting continue for an entire match. A training program that uses intervals of different intensity is the perfect way to gain the fitness needed to perform your best for 90 minutes.
A study from 2010 in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research showed that an 8-week mixed-intensity interval training program improved the aerobic fitness of female soccer players.
Want to try the program? Perform two sets of the following 6-minute "cycles" three times per week (12 minutes of total exercise). Take a 1- to 2-minute rest break between cycles if you need to, but work up to doing 12 minutes without a break
- Jog for 30 seconds
- Sprint for 30 seconds at 90-100% maximal effort
- Jog for 60 seconds
- Sprint for 60 seconds at 80-90% maximal effort
- Jog for 90 seconds
- Sprint for 90 seconds at 70-80% maximal effort
Increase by one cycle each week, so you will do 18 minutes of exercise in week 2, 24 minutes in week 3, etc.
Follow each training session with 10 minutes of shooting drills and 10 minutes of juggling. Working on these skills when you are tired is the best way to improve your touch on the ball at the end of games.
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