Around the world and in the United States, "footballer" is generally used when referring to a soccer player. Competitive soccer players run between five and 10 miles per 90-minute game, and even goalkeepers need to be agile and strong enough to absorb the shock of a ball that's struck "with the force of an SUV," according to University of Virginia Physics professor Louis Bloomfield. As a result of this constant activity, soccer players have lean, muscular physiques capable of lengthy feats of stamina. Acquiring this physique requires at least two hours of aerobic exercise daily, as well as a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet.
- Skill level:
Sprint every day. Start by running 400m (440-yard) sprints, then slowly increase the distance till you can run 800m (880 yards) at full speed. Run these sprints twice a day, year-round.
Occasionally replace your running routine with in-line skating, which develops muscles in the hip and thigh areas. In addition, kick a soccer ball long distances and several times: Kicking works the same muscle groups as skating.
Develop your agility after running by performing box jumps: Stand behind a 30cm (12-inch) box that can support your weight; jump laterally to the left. Then jump onto the box, step down to your starting position, and repeat on the right side. When a routine of five jumps on either side becomes too easy, increase the height of the box.
If you don't have the space to run or sprint long distances, take up rowing either on the water or on a machine.
Eat a meal light in protein and fat but heavy in carbohydrates, before exercise. Choose whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and light proteins like chicken breast and canned tuna.
Follow your workouts with a meal high in protein and carbohydrates, but still low in fat. As you eat, keep a journal recording the foods that you enjoy the most and digest the most easily.
Hydrate your body all day, every day. Drink sips of water constantly as you work, exercise and relax, and avoid chugging glasses of water. Consume about two litres of water daily.
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