Who Are The Oldest Football Team In The World How to Balance Soccer-Specific Strength and Fitness Training – Fartlek and Strength Training

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How to Balance Soccer-Specific Strength and Fitness Training – Fartlek and Strength Training

Conditioning is absolutely key to overall fitness as well as game speed and effectiveness at the end of the half. Fartlek is one strategy that has been shown to be extremely effective for soccer athletes, men and women. Soccer, football as it is known elsewhere in the world, is one of the oldest team sports on the planet. It requires a person to run just over the length of an American football field (approximately 110 yards) consistently for about 90 minutes. It also requires dexterity, flexibility and the presence of mind to concentrate on using your feet and legs as hands and arms. It’s no surprise that soccer is the most popular game in the world, and it’s also no surprise that strength training and conditioning for soccer is arguably more focused than other sports.

Soccer-specific strength and conditioning training is critical to success at the highest levels of the sport, youth or adult. Soccer players require a combination of aerobic and anaerobic fitness due to the nature of the game and the fact that there is continuous movement with lots of short bursts of intense activity.

Aerobic fitness is related to oxygen use, and anaerobic fitness is related to work, strength and power. Soccer fitness is a combination of aerobic and anaerobic fitness with further specialization for each person’s age and position. Football conditioning is not a one-size-fits-all or one-size-fits-all program. It is often necessary to concentrate on mental training and motor skills when working with younger football athletes as conditioning and speed training are not easily linked or have no effect on those younger than the early teenage years, except in a very small and select group. athlete of the “premier” level. After puberty, strength and conditioning training can and should have a great effect, however sessions should be focused and controlled, based on the age and gender of the soccer athlete. Also remember that strength and conditioning sessions develop a better player, but are no substitute for individual footwork, vision and teamwork. However, when training is done consistently over several months, incredible results are possible.

One form of aerobic fitness training for soccer is called Fartlek, which means “speed” in Swedish. Fartlek is a form of conditioning that places stress on the aerobic energy system by keeping the athlete moving, without stopping, for long periods of time. Where this differs from regular continuous running and/or circuit training is in the variations in speed involved, variations that stress the body and cause the individual to adapt to the strain. Fartlek sessions last approximately 45 minutes and use everything from walking to sprinting. Fartlek deals with one of the most important things in football: the speed of the game. Soccer athletes are required to accelerate quickly, have a high top speed, react quickly, be able to change direction and be able to maintain their speed. Fartlek and plyometrics (exercises that allow the muscles to quickly reach maximum strength) round out the aerobic training and produce amazing results in a relatively short training schedule.

Anaerobic training for soccer athletes is more focused on maintaining a lean physique that is not overly muscular and inflexible. Football athletes are required to have great speed and endurance, as well as be able to withstand the physical pain and punishment that often comes with contact. Pushups and squats made up much of the old school approach to football strength training. Push-ups develop the shoulders and core muscles and create a more well-rounded player. Squats develop leg strength and speed. However, while excellent exercises, they are woefully inadequate on their own for the overall development of a top-caliber player.

Football conditions vary mostly by age, not gender. This is incorrect and does not address the very specific requirements and differences between men and women, boys and girls. The older a football athlete gets, the more he will see the benefits of strength and conditioning training. However, when implemented correctly, gender- and soccer-specific strength and conditioning training can have a dramatic impact on the stature and performance of youth soccer athletes. A proper conditioning program, combined with strength and conditioning training, will keep the player strong yet lean, increase their oxygen intake and increase their speed of play. The right balance of aerobic training, such as fartlek, and strength fitness, such as circuit training, will also provide greater body control and reduce the risk of injury. Gender-specific, sport-specific strength and conditioning training combined with aerobic training will improve strength, endurance, confidence, speed of play and quality of play. Today’s top athletes, amateur or professional, must find and use a balanced fitness program to perform at their peak level.

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