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Try These Tips For Sports-Specific Training

How to Train For Your Favourite Sport

Playing sport is a great way to keep fit and ignite your competitive streak, but if you want to take your fitness to another level for your game of choice you may have to focus on sports-specific training.

If soccer, netball, touch football or basketball are part of your extra-curricular timetable, then you’re in luck – here are some top exercise tips to get you started in each sport.

Gym workouts for soccer

Soccer players are top of their game in ball skills, agility, speed and power. They need to be able to power a goal-scoring kick, run faster than the ball and their opponents and they also need the endurance skills to last a whole game without tiring in their position. Phew, that’s a big list of skills!

Check out these gym exercises for speed, strength and power for soccer:

Weighted lunges:
  • Helps build strength through the lower body and because a lunge is one-sided, it also works on balance and core stability too – essential for running and kicking.

Weighted step ups:
  • Helps with single leg balance, hip and ankle strength and flexibility, as well as lower body strength. 

Full range squats:
Jump squats or travelling jump squats:
  • Help build leg and core strength, for improved power and explosive movements on the pitch.

Gym workouts for touch football

If you’re looking to improve at touch football you need to work on your speed and agility, as well as your lower body and core strength. Touch football is a fast and multidirectional game and players rely on their reaction times and balance too. Try these speed and agility exercises as well as some lower body and core strength exercises for touch football:

Sprint drills:

Helps with the ability to accelerate quickly and run at speed, both qualities needed on the field.

Sprint drills from lying chest down:

Helps with explosive moving and the ability to move the body in the desired direction with speed

Weighted russian twists:

Helps strengthen through the core, putting focus on the obliques used in rotational movements.

Goblet squats:

Helps with lower body strength, switching the glutes on as well as the quads for power.

Weighted deadlifts:

Helps strengthen the hamstrings for explosive movements.

Gym workouts for netball

Netball is a game of running, jumping, throwing and catching, placing big demands on the body, especially the lower half. Players need good explosive speed and agility, so resistance training is a must. While a lot of focus is put on strengthening the lower body to protect the ankles and knees, the upper body cannot be forgotten when it is needed for hard, fast throws and catches.

The below exercises are a great start for upping your netball game:

Lateral lunges:

Improves lower body strength and coordination for the multi-directional sport of netball.

Backwards lunge with knee raise:

Helps with explosive power, core strength and lower body strength.

Chest or bench press:

Helps with throwing power by strengthening the chest and arms, when performed properly.

Push press:

Is perfect for improving explosive movements above the head, using core and lower body strength too.

Gym workouts for basketball

Yes, it helps to be tall when it comes to basketball, but there is more to the game than just height – speed and power being just two! Basketball is a game of fast movement in all directions, anticipation of what’s coming next and, of course, being able to throw with precision.

Whether you’re training for a local neighbourhood game or you’re an aspiring athlete, the following gym exercises for basketball should be on your to-do list:

Glute bridge:

Engages the muscles needed for explosive movements and jumping – essential in a basketball game.

Lateral bounds:

Help to create lower body strength and mimic the movement patterns needed for side-to-side explosive court moves.

Pull ups:

Recreate a jump shot by engaging full extension through the lats, back, shoulders, arms and wrists. 

Weighted squat press:

Helps with lower body strength and hip movement patterns for jumping.


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