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How to Workout Like a World Cup Star

Professional soccer players are some of the fittest athletes on the planet! They have to have amazing endurance to run for a solid 90 plus minutes of play time, and not just a slow jog, either. When you watch stars like Messi or Neymar sprint down the field at full tilt for a breakaway, you know they’re burning a lot of energy. How do they do it?

It all comes down to training! World Cup athletes spend a lot of time training, and their workouts are as intense as you’d expect. Here are a few things you can to do exercise like a World Cup star today.

Warm Up

This is a critical component of any World Cup workout! Warm-ups help to drastically increase performance, helping you to move more easily and comfortably. However, more important than that is the way a warm-up reduces your risk of injury. An injury can cost a team the World Cup, especially if the player injured is a star like Messi, Neymar, or Ronaldo. Warming up will ensure that you are ready for those quick sprints, lightning lateral movements, and the long-term wear sustained over the course of the long game. Focus on dynamic (moving) warm-ups rather than static (unmoving), as they are far more effective at improving mobility and enhancing muscular performance.

Sprint Training

A lot of the game is spent sprinting down the field to attack the goal, or running full speed back to defend from an attack. Most World Cup teams spend hours every week engaged in sprint training, either with the ball or without it. Sprint training can only be done in small bursts, as the full-speed running burns through the body’s energy reserves very quickly. Alternate intervals of top-speed runs with slow-speed jogging or walking, but push yourself to sprint faster and for longer every time.

Lateral Movement Training

Soccer is all about quick lateral movements, hopping over an enemy’s sliding tackle, and changing direction quickly to move the ball. Focus on exercises that help you improve your agility, such as suicides, Heisman Lunges, or anything that involves lateral jump training. The faster you can change direction, the better!

Run Training

A lot of soccer is just about endurance, keeping on running for miles at a time. In some World Cup games, the average player will run upwards of 8 miles. To get in shape for that kind of running, spend more time jogging and running around your city. Try to work toward a 6 or 7-minute mile, as that will be a run rather than a jog. Run at that speed for as long as possible, up to a full hour. That’ll get you ready to run around a massive soccer field.

There will always be strength conditioning drills included, but if you want to train like a World Cup star, the real key is to build up your endurance and agility!

[Image via Shutterstock]

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