Complicated drills and dribbling the ball back and forth across the pitch – this is what an average day looks like for every football player. It can be quite risky for a person who isn’t used to this kind of physical effort. There’s no way around it, football players need to undergo intense training sessions. However, they can prepare their bodies for that kind of work through stability training.
Fast moves, big risks
We all remember Ronaldinho’s amazing dribbling and the way he would practically dance with the ball. He often made unexpected turns and dribbled so fast that it was hard to follow him even on the TV screen. However, constant changes of direction, going side to side and shifting your weight from left to right, front to back, all this can eventually lead to muscle strain or other injuries if your stability is not good enough.
There are many different methods to improve stability. There are two ways to go – do what your coach tells you and hope that over time your stability will develop naturally and you won’t get any injury, or you can hit the gym and work on it in different ways. This kind of training is not particularly dynamic, so you might think it won’t benefit in a dynamic sport, but it definitely will.
Slow movements, fast improvements
The first thing you have to remember is that every exercise has to be performed slowly, otherwise it might lead to strains and it will not be as effective. Take off your shoes before exercising. Your stability will develop on a deeper level and your feet will get stronger. If you think that you cannot push any further, go back to your basic position and try one more time. Trying going a little further than before and make sure your technique is correct.
One of the exercises worth adding to your regular gym drill is bosu ball squats. These are simple squats performed on a bosu ball, which you will find in any fitness club or gym. An easier version involves stepping on the bouncy side of the bosu ball. Need a challenge? Flip the bouncy side to the ground and step on the flat side. Find your balance sweet spot of before you start squatting.
Another great exercise for improving stability is the single leg deadlift. It’s a regular deadlift, but performed on one leg. Keep your back straight, slide one of your legs to the back while leaning your torso towards the floor. Your back and the leg behind you should be in one line.
Do you know what’s best about these exercises? You don’t need any weights whatsoever. It’s even not recommended to use them.