Research suggests the precise composition of pre-training or pre-match meals may be less crucial than was previously thought, says ANDREW HAMILTON MORE
Soccer drill to develop core strength
Core strength improves posture and running style, and will reduce the potential for injury. Your soccer (football) players should start developing good core strength from an early age. Most of the best fitness drills and exercises use the player’s body weight and require very little movement, so they’re safe and simple to use for younger players.
One of the best fitness drills for developing core strength is the plank. This is a stationary holding drill, which develops all the major muscle groups of the core simultaneously.
- The player lies face down, holding their body off the floor, supported on their elbows and toes.
- The back must be totally straight.
- The backside is in line with the back and legs, with the toes supporting the weight.
- The elbows are directly under the shoulders.
- The head is up so the player is looking straight ahead.
Holding the plank position
The player should hold this position for as long as they can before they lose their body shape. Once the body shape goes, there is no further benefit to the exercise and they should relax by putting their knees on the ground first.
The player should perform three repetitions of the plank for as long as they can. In between repetitions it is good to do some running or passing exercises for one to two minutes to allow the core to recover.
You can make this drill more competitive by timing your soccer players and keeping a record of their week-by-week improvements. You can also have the players in a circle facing in, to see who can hold the plank the longest.
Click here for a soccer warm-up drill to develop your players’ core agility skills.
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