Train Movements not Muscles

23 October 2016 Ben Cartwright No Tags

Think gym program many immediately think muscle groups.

Hamstrings, glutes, quads are all muscles used in a game so this gives us good enough reason to want to train and strengthen them. As much as strength is needed during a game as we have discussed in previous blogs we still see many players working muscles in isolation. Our muscles work in coordinated synergies to produce force through shortening and lengthening (eccentric and concentric contractions). These contractions then produce movement.

‘Bodybuilding’ split training methods are commonly utlised in gym programs. Training back on one day, chest on the other, legs on another day etc. Not only can this take a long time to complete but it can also take a long time to recover from. Extreme DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) is not necessarily something we want to deal with when having to train the next day.

You have to remember a bodybuilder’s only aim is to build muscle!

Their training aim differs to footballers that need to sprint, stop, rotate and change direction. This is why we have to teach muscles to work together as they would on the pitch. This is the reason we would use something like a Barbell Squat over a leg extension machine.

The approach we use at Football Fitness Federation is to get players thinking about training movements not muscle groups.

We use 7 key movement patterns for players.

FFF Preferred Exercises – Goblet Squat, Front Squat, Sumo Squat

FFF Preferred Exercises – Split Squat, High Step, Lateral Lunge

FFF Preferred Exercises – Romanian Deadlift, Cable Pull Through, Sumo Deadlift

FFF Preferred Exercises – Pull/Chin Up, TRX Row, Prone Rows

FFF Preferred Exercises – Push Ups, Dips, Bench/Chest Press

FFF Preferred Exercises – Dead Bugs, Banded Anti Rotations, Plank Variations

FFF Preferred Exercises – Cable/Band Rotations, Medicine Ball Throws

These movements make up the bulk of our training programs. This doesn’t mean that we will never do isolation work. Certain rehab programs will include isolation exercises, as will strength programs as part of the accessory work.

These considerations and amendments are made based on the player and their needs. If more focus is required on one of the aforementioned movements we will amend the program accordingly.

Mastering the movement patterns above will allow you to build strong foundations, increase coordination, motor control, flexibility, mobility and stability.

We always advise players to seek out professional coaches to coach these movements to ensure the quality of movement is as high as possible.


Football Fitness Federation

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