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Physical conditioning exercises on the field

You don’t need large amounts of specialist equipment to improve your physical conditioning. This section lists some exercises that can be completed on the field with limited equipment. This type of session is the starting point for most players who have limited strength training experience and poor functional competence.

The session could be described as an example of anatomical adaptation as it gradually strengthens the body and teaches proper technique. This will eventually enable you to move on to more advanced strength training in a safe manner and with appropriate progression. If you were to undertake an advanced strength and conditioning programme without first completing a functional assessment and performing the appropriate corrective exercises through anatomical adaptation, it could have a negative impact on your performance and increase the chances of injury. It is important that exercises such as those shown below are supervised by an accredited strength and conditioning coach.

The session outlined here is just an example of what can be undertaken on the field for an adult team. The repetitions and times must be determined by the current levels of technique and experience. It is best to complete this session in a circuit format, going from exercise 1, to 2, to 3, to 4, etc., and having a break once a circuit is complete; then, continuing with more circuits depending on the experience and technique of the player.

1. Push up

From a fully locked-out position, with arms straightened, lower the body so that the chest touches the ground. Using the chest, shoulders and triceps, return to the starting point.

Keeping a straight, flat back, maintain a controlled descent / ascent throughout the exercise. Keep the shoulders and hips in line to prevent lifting or dropping of the buttocks.

2. Aeroplane

Support body weight on one leg with a slight bend in it. Lean forward with a straight back and straighten the arms out to the sides. The rear leg points straight behind at a slight angle to the back.