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10 Best Fitness Drills for Football

Keeping fit is a vital part of becoming a successful footballer. It may not be the most glamorous or appealing part of football but it is indispensable.

10 Best Football Fitness Drills

The following article will tackle 10 best fitness drills around to keep you on your game all season long.

  1. Sprint Race

This is a great fitness drill for children as it adds an element of competition and fun to the drill. The idea is very simply to have a race where players push themselves to get to the finish line first.

This drill is straightforward and can be repeated multiple times, allowing players with better stamina to do well in later races. This is a good drill to do regularly to monitor progress in sprinting ability and endurance.

sprint race

  1. Relay Race

A similar sort of drill but with an element of teamwork, the relay race achieves many of the same things as a sprint race. Once again, this is easy to implement in a training session and has a lot of benefits. High-intensity running is a great way to build up fitness and stamina.

  1. Bleep Test

A bit more structured than the previous drills, the bleep test has a timer that forces players to keep up. The drill involves running back and forth with the aim of beating a buzzer and remaining in the game. If you don’t make it to the other side in time, you drop out of the bleep test until one person remains.

  1. Traffic Light Running

The drills works in a similar way to the bleep test in that there are multiple periods of high-intensity running. The coach tells players to sprint with a ball, calling out jogs, and walks to mix things up. This mimics the changes in pace seen in a real match and is fantastic for building up fitness.

traffic light running

  1. Slalom Runs

With a set of cones set out, players must run in and out of them as quickly as they can. This builds stamina in the same way a regular race does but has the slaloming movements that you’re likely to use in a real game situation.

slalom runs

  1. Pitch Run

Unlike the name suggests, the pitch run is more of a pitch jog. This is a simple jog around a pitch and works as a great warm-up drill. The distance around a full-sized football pitch is a reasonable length and enough to get players warmed up and ready without tiring them out.

  1. Squats

Muscular training is also important in helping build up fitness. One of the best forms of muscle training that exercises one of the most vital muscle groups is squatting. This is easy to teach and doesn’t require any equipment to do. Simply bend your knees until your backside aligns with them and return to a standing position multiple times.

  1. Sledge Pulls

One fitness drill that does require a piece of equipment is sledge pulls. Using attached weights or a bungee cord, players run with added restraint. This helps build strength and is great for explosive running. Another way to inhibit your regular running that will improve explosivity is running in a swimming pool.

  1. Warming Up and Stretching

A lot of the aforementioned drills can be used as part of a warm-up but warming up in itself is necessary to improving fitness. Without an appropriate warm-up and stretching session, you will be vulnerable to injuries and strains that will disrupt your fitness.

  1. Warming Down

Just as warming up is important, warming down is just as vital. Once again, a lot of the same activities mentioned above can be used as part of a warm down drill. Warms downs focus less on high-intensity exercise but require movement to ease you out after a training session or match.

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Football Fitness Drills FAQs

Is fitness important in football?

Absolutely, fitness is critical to footballers. It doesn’t matter how good you are, if you’re not physically fit, you will struggle to make a meaningful impact on a game.

How can I get fit?

The fitness drills described above are a great place to start if you’re looking to improve your fitness.

Do footballers do fitness drills?

Yes, fitness is very important to footballers and makes up a key part of their training.

How quickly can I get fit?

This depends entirely on the person and how much exercise and fitness training they are willing to do. It is important not to overdo it as this can increase your risk of injury.