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5 Exercises For 5-A-Side Football Stardom

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5 exercises for five-a-side dominance

Football strength and conditioning coach Andrew Wiseman tells Ben Isaacs how to be your team’s star man

The FA says 1.5 million adults compete in small-sided football every week, making it the most widely played version of the sport among men. So we asked Andrew Wiseman, who splits his time between personal training studio Six3Nine (six3nine.com) and strength-and-conditioning coaching at professional football clubs, for the exercises you need to be the king of your local league.


1. Squats

“Building leg strength is vital in five-a-side. Start with bodyweight, and add load as a progression. Begin with feet shoulder-width apart, arms out in front. Keep chest up, take a deep breath and brace the core. Push the hips out and drop your backside between the legs. Drive up through the heels and keep chest up. Extend ankles and hips to an upright position, breathe out. Do three sets of six.”


2. Six-point planks

“Getting stable in the core will help you hold off challenges. Get into a plank position with toes, elbows and hands on floor. Keep a good alignment of ankle, knee, hip and shoulder. Squeeze glutes and brace abs. Hold for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds for four sets.”


3. Split squats

“This will strengthen five-a-side muscles such as quads, glutes and hamstrings, and will also improve hip mobility and flexibility. Start with bodyweight and progress to dumbbells by your sides. Stand with legs in split stance, hips facing forward. Keep chest up and arms out in front. Inhale and brace torso. Drop hips to the floor in a straight descent, keeping torso upright. Drive up forcefully through front foot, and back to start position. Three sets of six reps on each leg.”


4. Lunges and twists

“A high proportion of injuries occur during rotation; controlling this will help you change direction quickly and hold off opponents. Stand upright with arms out in front, palms facing the floor. Lunge out with right leg, keep chest up and arms out in front. Move hands out and rotate torso to right, keeping back straight and chest high. Rotate back to the centre and move back to start position. Lunge out with left leg, and rotate to the left. Do three sets of six on each leg.”


5. Jump squats

“This will work hips, knees and ankles, and help you power away from opponents. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, hands on hips. Descend into squat, keeping chest upright and back straight. Squat down to 60-90 degrees. Power up explosively, keeping hands on hips and chest up. Land softly with hips back and down into squat position, and repeat. Do five sets of four reps.”

(Image: Getty)

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