When professional soccer players like Kylian Mbappe and Cristiano Ronaldo show off their well-toned abs after scoring goals, it is always a fascinating sight to behold—even if they just scored against your favorite team.
Female fans usually get hyperactive after getting a glance at their best male player’s perfectly streamlined bodies. Some male fans may get jealous when they catch their girlfriend staring dreamingly at a soccer player’s toned body or wish to have that killer look.
This might prompt you into asking if soccer players are the fittest-looking athletes in the world. Well, it seems like they are.
Soccer is a kind of sport that requires adequate strength, precision, speed, and endurance. Therefore, players need to be fit enough to match the requirements of the sport.
Soccer players’ bodies don’t come as a fluke. Rather, it is a product of hard work on and off the pitch and more.
Having a perfectly streamlined body also entails planning your nutrition, diet, and avoiding certain classes of foods.
You must also understand that having a perfectly streamlined body doesn’t automatically guarantee balance, strength, and endurance which are essential requirements for optimal performance on the pitch.
To have a fit body like that of soccer players, keep reading as we outline some things you can easily do to achieve it without much stress.
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
How to have a soccer player’s body?
All soccer players do not have the same physique and their physical attributes are often related to their position on the pitch. The central defenders, forwards, and goalkeepers usually look tall and heavy while the wide and attacking roles are mostly occupied by shorter and less built players.
Soccer players’ bodies are mostly slim and they often possess well-built muscular legs while their weight hardly goes beyond 200lbs for men and 155lbs for women. This is because of the demands of the sport.
According to a sub-scientific viewpoint, body type differs and there are mainly three body types namely ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph.
Ectomorphs are lengthy, thin, and slender and they are often tall with lean muscles. They have long limbs and small joints due to the nature of their body. This body type has a good endurance attribute with a good weight-to-power ratio.
Mesomorphs usually look athletic with an attractive body proportion. They have a large bone structure, are muscular, have low amounts of body fat, and also have broad shoulders and chests. This body type is known for strength and speed.
Endomorphs have a short build. They possess thick short limbs and a large bone structure. They are capable of exerting a good amount of force with little effort as they are very strong but tend to gain weight easily if not watched closely.
The category you belong to will affect how fast you can have a soccer player’s body. Studies have shown that most soccer players fall under either ectomorphs or mesomorph body types which is why most players appear to have very good endurance levels.
Soccer players are known for their constant training habits. For players to be physically fit, they train every aspect of their body because they are bound to face multiple challenges during matches and they need to be in good shape so that they won’t be overwhelmed.
Players’ bodies are not just built for showing off although well-toned abs can often attract contracts and endorsements. Players develop their bodies for adequate fitness, endurance, balance, agility, flexibility, speed, and strength to enhance their performance on the pitch.
They can often be seen frequenting gyms and engaging in different exercises and drills on the training ground to lose body fat and maintain the perfect soccer body.
For you to attain a soccer player’s kind of body, you need to train like them—at least thrice or five times a week depending on your level of fitness. It is always good to start from the bottom of the ladder and build your way to the top to avoid harming your health.
You should also have in mind that the time it will take you to achieve the desired results depends on your current physical fitness, the kind of training you are getting, and most important of all, your diet plan.
Below are the exercises that will get you a soccer player’s body.
Plyometric exercises are carried out by soccer players to help improve balance, explosive strength, and muscles. This type of exercise requires the use of force and speed for developing overall muscle power.
It is popular in the fitness world and is also applied in many drills. Fitness exercises are constantly evolving and many explosive movements are often referred to as plyometrics.
The frequency at which you carry out plyometric exercises should be lesser than other regular exercises because of their intensity.
If your sole intention of engaging in this exercise is to burn calories, you should also be aware that playing soccer alone also burns calories. So, you may gain more from joining a soccer team than just hitting the gym because the latter is a solitary and often boring journey.
Below are some benefits of plyometrics:
- Performing plyometrics provides you with stronger tendons. Building the elasticity and strength in the tendons helps prevent injuries
- Plyometric exercises help burn calories and reduce fat in the body due to their explosive nature
- This exercise helps improve player’s performance by increasing their vertical jump height
- The quantity of fast-twitch muscle fibers is increased and strengthened with the help of plyometric exercises
Some plyometric exercises are listed and explained below.
Squat tuck jump
This exercise gets the heart rate to beat faster which leads to the burning of more calories in shorter periods. It also improves a player’s ability to jump higher.
- Stand upright on your feet and stretch both of your hands in front
- Move slowly down while maintaining a squat position
- Your hands should move down to your side as you bend into a squat position
- Make a push through the air with your legs while jumping into the air
- Push your arms forward and then upward quickly to help propel your jump
- Your knees should be tucked up to your chest in mid-air and your back should be straight in the course of the movement
- Land gently on the ground then repeat all the steps again
Front box jump
The front jump box helps increase explosiveness and improve vertical jumping height. It is also known for burning a lot of calories.
- Place a wooden box 6-inch-tall and stand feet shoulder-width apart behind it
- Go down and take a squat position, swing your hands behind
- Make a push through the ground while swinging your hands in an upward movement while jumping onto the box and landing gently on it
- Hop back to the ground slowly from the box
- Repeat the procedure for the desired reps
Plyo or clap pushup
This exercise helps develop twitch muscle fibers in the abs, shoulders, chest, and triceps. A Plyo pushup is different from the regular pushup because it involves jumping and lifting the hands off the ground.
- Take a pushup position placing your hand a bit wider than your shoulder width, keep your back straight with your legs stretched out behind you
- Lower your chest gradually towards the ground
- Make a push and take your hands off the ground and clap while in mid-air. Force is to be applied at this stage
- Land back gently on the ground with your two hands
- Perform the procedure repeatedly for desired reps
Pros of plyometric
- It builds muscles
- Increases speed and endurance
- It burns excess calories and body fat
- It increases power
- Gives you an athletic body
Cons of plyometric
- The risk of sustaining injuries like twisted ankles and other foot injuries is high because of the powerful jumps and rigorous activities involved
- The exercise is challenging as it requires strength, aerobic endurance, and coordination
- It leads to loss of muscles due to overtraining
The burpee pull-ups are among the most challenging and exhausting exercises in existence. It helps in losing fat, muscle building and improves the overall fitness of players.
This exercise is an intensive cardiovascular exercise that builds strength and endurance. It also improves your coordination and reaction time, making you look stronger and fitter.
Burpee is a full-body exercise that focuses on almost all the parts of your body. It is straining but the result is worth it—depending on how badly you want to have a soccer player’s body.
The back, thigh, arms, torso, shoulders, and chest muscles are affected by this exercise thereby improving your posture and giving you an athletic appearance with your abs and chest looking well-chiseled.
Apart from training the muscles, burpees also help you to shed body fat. When performing burpee, the body ensures that the muscles are provided with a lot of energy which in turn burns body fat.
Below are the steps for the burpee pull-ups exercise.
Stand upright and place your feet hip-width apart, then place your arms at your side.
Slowly bend your knees and lower your hips down, then, stretch your hands and place them in front of your toes.
Take a push-up position by stretching your legs backward making them straight, this will transfer weight to your arms.
Do a push-up, then raise your hip simultaneously into a squat position.
Stand up and jump straight to hold a bar or handgrip and perform a pull-up.
Release your hands from the bar and drop to the ground in a standing position after the pull-up. Repeat the process from step 1, do this for 5-10 reps.
Pros of burpee pull-ups
- It is a full-body exercise that helps get rid of excess calories thereby making you faster and fitter
- It improves an individual’s strength mobility and strength
- It builds the muscles in your forearms, lower back, chest, biceps, triceps, abs, and hamstrings
Cons of burpee pull-ups
- You are at risk of sustaining an injury at your anterior shoulder muscle and wrist due to bad burpee form
- It requires variety and you will be required to learn different variations on sets and forms to improve its effectiveness
The act of lifting heavy items to increase the strength and muscle size of a person is known as weight lifting. Your muscles adapt and get stronger due to the stress exerted on them.
This exercise can be performed using dumbbells, barbells, or weight machines. Aside from building strength, weight lifting also improves balance and generates explosive power.
Tips for weight lift training
- Always work with a trainer especially if you are a beginner
- Perform warm-up for about 10 minutes before starting to train
- Perform a single set of lifts
- Always make use of the proper weight
- Start slowly and do not overwork yourself on the first try
- Once you can perform 12 to 15 lifts using a particular weight, you can increase the weight a bit
- Join gym clubs and bodybuilding groups both offline and online
Pros of weight lifting
- It enhances flexibility
- Increases strength
- Increases muscle mass
- It strengthens the immune system and makes the bones and joints healthy
Cons of weight lifting
- Causes muscle tear
- If not properly done, there will be uneven upper and lower body mass
- Risk of sustaining strains, sprains, and fracture
How nutrition can help you have a soccer player’s body?
Aside from all the exercises and physical drills mentioned above, you will hardly attain the signature soccer player’s kind of body if you don’t eat like them.
The hard work you put in the gym will be lost if you go home and binge on junk, alcohol, and other unhealthy foods. Most importantly, your breakfast regimen must change to resemble those of pro soccer players.
It is not about what you eat alone. If you desire to have a soccer player’s body, you need to watch what you drink too. Alcoholic and carbonated drinks tend to cause bloating of the stomach which is directly opposite your goal.
As you work in the gym to get a soccer player’s body, take more fresh fruits like cut oranges when you need an energy boost and water when you need to rehydrate. While you can drink soda or any other form of energy drink, always do that in moderation.
In summary, diet is very essential to soccer players and if you can’t afford the services of a professional nutritionist or dietician, search through our archive to see what you can or cannot eat or drink.
Being physically fit and having a soccer player’s body comes with lots of benefits including living a healthier life and possible modeling endorsements. Physical fitness doesn’t only impress fans, it also aids a player to perform optimally on the pitch.
To attain a desirable level of fitness as a soccer player, you need to make lots of sacrifices like constantly training and carrying out various exercises.
Even if you are not impressed by the well-chiseled abs and toned bodies of soccer players, never allow your body to go out of shape—especially if you play soccer for a living. Do the hard work today and reap the benefits tomorrow.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!