Exercises to keep you fit during the World Cup

  Photo: Twitter - Adidas UK

Photo: Twitter - Adidas UK

With the 2018 World Cup well under way we asked one of our personal trainers how these players have the fitness to play a full domestic season as well as an intense summer tournament. With 32 nations to beat, 7 games to the win the cup, extra-times to play and scorching Russian summer temperatures, the levels of fitness required from each player must be at the highest level. Here is a simple workout for you to try, created by Stephane (EAF Fitness), a North London based Personal Trainer and French semi-professional footballer.


Warm up

Before any exercise it's important to warm up properly. Stephane recommends stretching each major muscle group for 10 - 12 seconds before beginning the dynamic exercises below.

How to perform the warm up:

3 sets. 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest.

  1. High knees
  2. Butt kicks
  3. Jumping jacks
  4. Open the gate hip abduction
  5. Close the gate hip adduction
  6. Front leg swings
  7. Squats
  8. Mountain climbers
  9. Arm circles forwards & backwards


The workout

Equipment needed:

  • a full bottle of water
  • a sturdy box or bench
  • a speed ladder
  • 2 x dumbbells


Box jumps

Single leg lateral box jumps, a plyometric exercises mainly targeting your quadriceps, as well as your glutes, calves and hamstrings. Plyometrics are very effective for athletes to build muscle and explosive power, which strengthens the lower body.

How to perform box jumps:

5 sets. 5 - 8 reps per leg. Equipment needed - Box or Bench.

  1. Stand in front of the box or bench
  2. Turn to the side so the box or bench is on your left
  3. Lift your right leg, so you are standing only on your left leg
  4. Squat down into a single leg squat position
  5. Jump sideways onto the box and try to land softly to absorb the impact
  6. Carefully get down and repeat the movement on the same leg for 5 - 8 reps.
  7. Alternate legs and complete 5 sets on each leg


Ladder Drills

Ladder drills are designed to improve your agility, speed and coordination. It also increases your stamina and requires high concentration levels.

How to perform ladder drills:

5 drills, 5 - 8 reps each, perform as quick as possible. Equipment needed - speed ladder

  1. 1 step - see how to perform here
  2. Side steps - see how to perform here
  3. 5 hops and run - see how to perform here
  4. Ickey shuffle - see how to perform here
  5. Back and forth - see how to perform here


Explosive training

Stephane's explosive exercises consist of a mixture of strength and speed training. For football specific training he recommends a dumbbell squat, followed by a calf raise and a 10m sprint. By combining the compound movements of a squat with an explosive burst at the end you will activate your fast twitch muscle fibres for a short, sharp workout.

How to perform explosive training:

5 sets. 5 reps of dumbbell squat + calf raise followed by 1 sprint. Equipment needed - 2 Dumbbells.

  1. Start with the dumbbells by your side and lift them so they are by your hips.
  2. Perform a squat, keeping your back straight, and your feet flat. Your knees shouldn't bend past your toes.
  3. As you come up from the squat, finish the movement by raising your calves to go up onto your toes.
  4. Perform the squat and calf raise 5 times.
  5. On the 5th calf raise, release the dummbells to the floor and finish with a 10m sprint.
  6. Complete 5 sets.


Cool down

Stephane recommends a thorough cool down, starting with a light jog for 5 minutes, then stretching all of your major muscle groups, another light jog with some side stepping and dynamic stretching, and a final thorough stretch of all of your major muscle groups.

Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise.


About EAF Fitness

Elevate your mind, be ambitious, be fit! Stephane is a North London based Personal Trainer and French semi-professional football player who is passionate about helping people living a more active and healthier lifestyle. He believes teamwork, trust and hard work are perfect to achieving your goals whilst keeping your sessions fun, positive and motivating. EAF's personal training sessions are designed for improving your fitness, endurance and general health. EAF also offers Body Transformation Packages, aimed more specifically at burning fat by increasing your cardio levels; toning and muscle gain; and power, speed and sharpness. Book a personal training session in London with EAF Fitness here