Know what are the best upper body workout for footballers

This article will help you learn about top five upper body strengthening exercises for footballers

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Why Football players need upper body strengthening exercises?

It plays an important role in running, constantly changing direction, training etc. Avoiding upper body workout increases the risk of injury and has a negative impact on agility, strength, conditioning, speed and development. It will decrease overall development and ability to attain maximum speed , power and change in direction quickly.

It plays an important role in running, constantly changing direction, training etc. Avoiding upper body workout increases the risk of injury and has a negative impact on agility, strength, conditioning, speed and development. It will decrease overall development and ability to attain maximum speed , power and change in direction quickly.

My Training Principle:

External Movement >= Internal Movement


When external movement is greater than internal movement leads to injury.

Let's take an example, If Player is running, the biomechanics of running and the ligaments does not match the GRF (Ground Reaction Force). The ground reaction force comes from the ground while Running, walking, Jogging, or each step you take and travel through Ankle to the lower body to the core and to the upper body. So, that GFR does not match with the biomechanics of the body which leads to injury at the point of time.


If an athlete doesn't train himself /herself during Off – Season and doesn't train the muscles, strengthen the body, don’t undergo stretching, conditioning training in the off – season, they would be at higher chances of injuries.


Moreover, Players nowadays are getting aggressive in the match with opponent team players for the goal by pushing them and pulling their upper body. Football is the sport where players' speed, endurance is to be tested. One should need to get strength and conditioning training which is necessary for the fast pacing nature of this match.


My Philosophy

My training philosophy is to have a look onto external movement so that if needed can maneuver. Initial external movement is equal to training the biomechanics to GFR. Then, allow it to increase internal load that is strength. Examine what muscle needs to be worked and trained. Finally, both Internal and external movement should be addressed.


Five important exercises:


1. Seated Row:



  • Sit straight and legs at pulley system

  • Grasp row handle on both the hands

  • Pull handles towards mid chest

  • Elbow close to the body

  • Return to the start position and repeat.


Precaution: Keep lower back straight and upright as possible.

Muscles used : Forearm flexors, Erector spinae, Traps, Biceps brachialis, Rhomboids , Teres major, Deltoid posterior fiber, Splenius cervicis, Lats


2. BenchPress:




  • Grasp the dumbbells in both hands.

  • Push the dumbbells upward and extend and turn the arms rotated inward (towards face). Do not lock the elbow

  • Lower down the weight to the chest or can extend more as possible.

  • Make sure, Your shoulder should be retracted and repeated.

Muscles used: triceps brachii, biceps brachii, middle fiber of deltoid ,anterior fiber of deltoid, posterior fiber of deltoid, lats, pectoralis major works, primary movers, finally the quads.


3.Vertical Overhead Press:




  • Stand straight and hold the bar using both hands.

  • Lock the elbow and press the bar over the head.

  • Lower down the bar to the front of your shoulder and up and hold for a second and maintain the balance from core, legs, hips.

  • Repeat

Precaution: Grip should be closed in order to avoid flaring up the elbow. Trapezius should be engaged to avoid shoulder impinge.

Muscles used: Anterior deltoid, core , mid back muscles, rotator cuff muscles

4.Vertical Lats Pull:

  • Take your one leg forward and bend the torso forward keeping one hand on thigh by bending the elbow for support. Maintaining the position , the back should be parallel to the ground.

  • Other leg is extended behind and use the one hand to hold the kettlebell or dumbbell and keeping the hand straight

  • Pull the kettlebell up to the side of chest and arm should be close to the side. Retract the shoulder blades. Torso should be static and only the arm should move and breathe out.

  • Lower down the dumbbell to the starting position.

  • Repeat.

Muscles used: Traps, Rhomboids, lats are the primary movers, Erector spinae, Biceps brachii, Abs, Forearm muscles.


5. Side Plank With External Rotation:



  • This exercise is best for shoulder stability and shoulder rotator cuff strengthening. It’s a great two for one exercise.

  • Start with a side plank ,lie down on the right side and right hand on the floor near your shoulder.

  • Torso should be straight, head neutral.

  • Engage your core, glutes tight and leg straight.

  • Place towel roll in between arm and rib cage for stabilisation and to activate shoulder muscles. Bend the elbow to 90 degree and hold the dumbbell and move your arm externally and hold at the end of shoulder range.

  • Slowly lower back down to the starting position.

Muscle used: Abdominal muscles, external oblique and internal oblique, transverse abdominis, Shoulder stabilisers, forearm muscle, glutes.