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Fuel Mix Fitness > Cross Training

Many elite players take advantage of cross training modes of exercise to reduce the volume of conventional, impact training. Options include.

  • cycling
  • rowing
  • stepping
  • cross training machines
  • aqua training
  • boxing

Sessions may be designed as aerobic, anaerobic or fuel -mix in nature. The mode of activity used when cross training will influence the adaptations seen in the energy and neuromuscular systems. If the muscles and nerves supplying the particular muscles relate closely to those used during competition, the 'fitness cross-over' will be greater.

However, all cross training modes are useful for conditioning the heart and lungs irrespective of the neuro-muscular cross-over. For example, an overweight player may need to perform 'fat burning' sessions, and cycling or rowing are great alternatives to running.

Cycling, rowing, stepping or cross training machines
Although the joint angles and muscular recruitment during these activities is not specific to football, they may still be used for fuel mix conditioning at periodic intervals, particularly if a player has an injury. Plus the continual pounding associated with running may lead to impact related injuries.

Furthermore, if an experienced player is particularly gifted in terms of speed and power, why continue to focus on exercises that may lead to injury? Extend his playing career by using more subtle training options.

Benefits of Cross Training

  • Cross training provides variation in the training programme
  • Cross training is ideal for developing central heart and lung fitness
  • Cross training provides an option when players are recovering from injury
  • Cross training may reduce the likelihood of overuse injuries by reducing or removing impact
  • Cross training is particularly useful for overweight or heavy players

Punchbag and boxing circuits
You can add variety to a programme and experience a refreshing alternative to running based sessions using a punchbag. Consider these benefits:-

  • speed, reaction, and co-ordination
  • upper body power
  • general endurance
  • sprinting arm technique
  • confidence

The pushing and pulling action during punching helps develop power and endurance for the arm action associated with sprinting.Sessions can be manipulated for fuel mix conditioning and incorporated with other exercises.






Click here for a Concept 2 rowing programme and technique guide
Cross training should become more prevalent as a player reaches the latter years of his or her playing career