The hard yards will be required to blow away the Christmas cobwebs after a month of indulging in mince pies, eggnog and cookies as the amateur football season restarts, but don’t think for a second you’re restricted to tedious runs on the treadmill. We’ve compiled a list of exercises that only require a few cones, a ball and a pitch that will not only get you back in shape but are good fun to do too.
You’ll see the benefits as your fitness, muscular endurance and performance improve, while it’s surprising how quickly they start to become easier as you burn off the extra helpings of turkey consumed over the holidays. Once your breath evens out, your muscles feel less fatigued and you’re completing them in quicker times, you can enhance the difficulty by increasing ranges or adding defenders. PlayerTek’s speed and distance metrics can guarantee you progress in the most efficient way possible, so be sure to use our wearable technology!
Dribble and run
Begin on the touchline with the ball at your feet, ready to run the width of the pitch. Dribble the ball as fast as you can until you’re level with the halfway line, leave the ball, then drop your speed to about 70 per cent until you reach the touchline. Run back to the ball at the same pace, collect the ball and get back to the touchline you started at as quickly as possible. Rest for however long it took you to complete this cycle, then repeat for six sets.
Shuttle and shoot
Place three cones at an equal distance between the halfway line and the edge of the box facing the goal. With a ball, start at the halfway line and run at 70 per cent to the first cone, turn and then travel back to where you began at the same pace. Do the same for the second cone, up the intensity to about 80 per cent and produce a different turn. Once back at the halfway line, sprint at full pace to the final cone on the edge of the box and strike at goal. Aim for around three sets with a 30 second break in-between, while you can also make things more difficult by adding a goalkeeper.
Sprint and move
Place around 10 cones in a zig-zag motion about 10 metres apart. At the first cone, you will sprint to the next closest cone with a ball at your feet, change direction, then head to the next cone, change direction and continue until the end of the cones you’ve laid out. At the finish, leave the ball where it is, then alter your point of direction by 90 degrees and go through the zig-zag motion by sprinting forwards and then running backwards. Rest for however long it took you to complete the exercise, then repeat for six sets.
Avoid doing these exercises two days before a game otherwise you’ll experience burnout. Wearing PlayerTek means you can monitor the amount of workload you’re putting your body through too, so you don’t have to worry about picking up any unnecessary injuries while trying to get back to full fitness. Our recent insights update has introduced our SmartCoach technology and gives you useful post-match pointers like how many calories you’ve burnt and what your body requires to efficiently refuel.