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Fitness & Health

16th Sep 2014

Video: Atletico Madrid’s strength and conditioning work in training is extremely impressive

We've a stitch just watching this...

Paul Moore

We’ve a stitch just watching this…

So what does it take to be a top class footballer and play for the Spanish champions?

One of the JOE writers (me) has been a long time and all too frequently heartbroken fan of Atletico Madrid  since a young age so it’s extremely pleasing on a personal level to see the La Liga winners back competing at the top level of domestic and European football.

Football fans around the globe have marvelled at the fitness levels of Diego Simeone’s men because their game plan is entirely based upon ferocious pressing, fitness, power and counter-attacking at speed.

This tactic under Simeone has seen Atletico win La Liga, the Copa Del Rey, the Europa League and reach the Champions League final, all within a few short years. The below video is a very interesting snapshot of what top-level footballers do on a daily basis in training.

What’s startling is that there is very little weights being used for the players’ upper body, the work is predominantly core and legs. Note how every circuit is also related to football conditioning in some way too.

For example, the players heading the ball are tied to a resistance band that’s similar to being held by an opponent. Also, their squats are preceded by a period of short period of sprints and jumping for headers, thus helping the players get more power in their the legs for any aerial duels.

The superman core on the the bosu ball (the drill involving the players standing on one leg and leaning forward with the medicine ball) is for balance and core, while the Swiss ball is purely used for strengthening hamstrings.

Essentially, the mantra of Atletico from this video is TRX for core, Swiss ball for hamstrings, squats for quads/glutes, deadlifts for hamstrings, and a resistance belt for power.

Seriously impressive stuff and a great insight into how modern footballers train. All the fun starts around the 2:30 mark.

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