The World Cup is happening right now and many of us are jealous. Not of the crazy soccer skills, but of the shape that the players are in. Someone much wiser than us once said that aside from basketball players, soccer players are in the best shape of any athletes in the world. They certainly look like it, and now you can, too. With some dedication and hard work, you can look like this dude. Just a hint: you probably won’t be able to drink so much beer every weekend and actually have to get off your butt. Are you up for it?
Do the following at least three times per week for three months. You’ll be happy you did.
This is an very underrated part to getting a World Cup body. Not only does it help keep you from injury, but it also elongates and strengthens the muscles — if done properly. The key to proactive stretching is to hold each pose for 10-15 seconds. Something all you yoga fans understand. Focusing on stretches that flex your mid-section is best when getting the lean soccer physique, but a general loosening up before exercise is always important.
— Stand or sit and place your right hand on your left shoulder, pull your right elbow across your chest. Hold, then repeat on the other side.
— Hands on hips, twist upper body and hold. Repeat.
— Balance yourself against something and grab a heel. Pull it up towards your ass. Hold the pose for a few seconds, then repeat with the other heel.
— Do half squats, but hold when you are in the ‘squatting’ position. Do several of these until you are loosened up and take note at how much work your abs and glutes are getting.
They suck, yes. But sprints and shuttle runs use every muscle in the body. That’s why sprinters are so ripped. Soccer seems like it is a sport of running long distances because the field is so long, but it’s actually a sport of short distances. That’s why the shuttle run and sprints are so great for soccer training — and getting that soccer body. The stop & go is awesome for building a chiseled body and for training to be da’ man on the soccer field. And off of it as well.
— For the shuttle run, start with rocks or pieces of wood 15 feet apart from one another. Run to the first group, pick them up and return them to the starting line as fast as you can. Then repeat. Do this cycle at least ten times before moving on to another exercise.
— For sprints, it is less about the precision of the shuttle run and more about all out speed. Go all out for 15 seconds, then jog it out for 45 seconds. Repeat this cycle ten times. And make sure to not slack off during the sprinting portion. That’s the most important part.
Sometimes you have to go back to the basics and the push-up is about as basic as it gets. They build the chest, but also indirectly beef up the shoulders and arms as well. With all the cardio you are doing to get the soccer body, the push-ups will build up your muscles so you have a little meat to go along with the leanness.
— Do sets of 25, unless you can burn off more. Try and work in six sets to your overall routine. You might need some time to build up to it, but getting the push-ups in is key to what you are working towards.
These things have have been the subject of many a fitness controversy over the past few years. Are they accomplishing what we think they are, or not? In this case, yes. A World Cup body would never be complete without a few sit-ups. The key is to make sure you do them properly — and not eat french fries at every meal.
— We agree, the traditional sit-up is a waste of time, so you want to have crunches in your life. The best we’ve found are the knees to forehead crunches. Lie on your back and extend your legs out, but keep them six inches off of the floor in order to keep the abs constricted. In the same motion, move your legs toward your face while you also lift your upper torso towards your legs. Your knees will meet your face somewhere in the middle.
Do four sets of 25. These are especially great to do when ‘resting’ between cardio sets.
This is great for warming up and it will also burns lots of excess calories in the process. You don’t need to do a full-out run since you are already doing the sprints and stuff, so a steady jogging http://www.mademan.com/mm/how-start-jogging-exercise-program.html/ pace will do the trick. If you are running an eight-minute mile, you’re okay for your warm-up. Just make sure to do the stretching portion first. You wouldn’t want to re-injure that groin you pulled back during your 9th grade flag football scrimmage.
— Any less than a mile won’t be worth your time. Try working your way up to a mile and a half or two miles in order to get you ready for the real work. Also, try running on grass. Your knees will thank you later for it.
Running up a stadium’s stairs http://www.mademan.com/best-stadiums-america/ is great for building explosive legs and is killer on your torso sculpting (remember Rocky, anyone?). It is one of the more exhausting exercises you will do, but that means it’s working. Think of it like lunges — except combining them with sprints and running uphill. Yeah, it’s gonna’ hurt, but you’ll look great in a few days.
— Hit the upward route hard and be careful on the way back down. Do ten rounds of the madness…or until your legs can’t handle anymore.
Soccer players duck, dive, hit the ground, and jump a lot. Hence, this exercise. This fun bit involves doing all of those over and over again. From afar, you will look like you have completely lost your mind, but after a few days of doing this, it will start paying off big time.
— Run and roll into a somersault. When you are at the end of the flip and coming back to your feet, spring up and jump as high as you can. When you land, run and roll into another somersault. Keep repeating the process all the way down the soccer field — or at least for 100 yards. Then turn and go back to your starting position.
The control you will need to possess during these sets creates tension on all your muscles. And that is exactly what you want.