Top 5 Exercises to Make you Bulletproof this Football Season
Over my Football career, I have had first-hand experience of the disappointment and frustration of missing out on key games and finals due to injury.
As a Podiatrist specialising in strength and conditioning, I frequently help clients with winter sport-related injuries to their feet and ankles.
Over the years I have found that the best way to avoid sitting on the sidelines injured is your PREPARATION before the season.
In this blog, I will give you my 5 top exercises to prepare your body for the upcoming Football season.
Exercise 1: Single-Leg Calf Raise
This exercise targets your Gastrocnemius muscle, which is part of your calf muscle complex.
The Gastrocnemius muscle is your POWER calf muscle with a high proportion of fast-twitch muscle fibres.
For any sport that explosive power is key and strong Gastrocnemius is vital.
How to do a Single-Leg Calf raise
- Stand on one leg on the ball of your foot on a step
- Maintaining your balance and keeping your knee straight, rise up onto your toes
- Control the movement back to the start position, and repeat.
Exercise 2: Single-Leg Deadlift
This exercise targets your gluteal and hamstring muscles as well as challenging your balance and ankle stability.
Ovals can be muddy and uneven during the winter season which means you are more at risk of rolling your ankle.
The single-leg deadlift will help reduce your risk of an ankle sprain as well as strengthen your hips and hamstrings.
How to do a Single-Leg Deadlift
- Stand on one leg with the opposite leg extended behind you
- Tighten the abdominal and leg muscles as you hinge forward at the waist and raise the back leg
- Keep your body and leg in line with one another.
Exercise 3: Split Squat
Split squats challenge your gluteal and thigh muscles but unlike a normal squat, you target each leg individually.
Split squats will show you and then fix any imbalances in strength or balance between your two legs.
How to do a Split Squat
- Stand with your back to the step and place one leg on the step
- Make sure there is a large distance created between your front foot and your back foot
- Bend your knee, dropping your hips straight down towards the ground, and then straighten back up
- Make sure your front knee doesn't go in front of your front toe and that your hips come straight down
Exercise 4: Single-leg Hip Thrust
This exercise will train your gluteal muscles to fire into action late in the game to help stabilise your hips and back.
As your body tires towards the end of the game, your stabilising hips and core muscles need to work harder to prevent injury.
This exercise will help you train your hips to stabilise longer into the game.
How to do a Single-leg Hip Thrust
- Lie on your back
- Bend one leg upwards, placing the foot on the floor
- Draw your other leg up to the same position, maintaining a hips width between your legs
- Lift one foot slightly off the floor
- Using the effort of your remaining foot, lift your hips up into a bridge until you have a straight line from your shoulders to your knees
- Lower back down and repeat
- Keep your pelvis level throughout this exercise
Exercise 5: Drop Jumps
This exercise is great for training your knees and ankles to be able to land and absorb impact through eccentric muscle contraction.
During a Football game, you will jump and land in awkward positions and surfaces so having your knees and ankles trained to land is vital to avoid ligament or tendon damage.
How to do a Drop Jump
- Stand on a box
- When ready, hover one leg over the edge of the box
- Keeping your chest up, step forwards off the box ensuring you don’t jump
- Land softly on one foot and regain your balance
- Hold this position
We are here to help
If you are frequently getting injuries during your Football season, the first thing to do is book an appointment with one of the Podiatrists at Complete Podiatry for a comprehensive assessment to identify what is causing your injury.
Once this is done, we will develop a structured management plan that outlines our best advice for how to help you playing your Football season without needing to worry about injuries.
Just call us on 8330 0004 or book online.
I'll love to talk to you about how we can help you build an amazing life from the feet up!
Podiatrist at Complete Podiatry