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Build a rock-solid core

From thumping the ball to shrugging off an opponent – core strength is at the heart of a footballer’s performance.

In short, it’s the body’s power source. A central hub, where power, strength and mobility draw their force from.

Manchester City full back Micah Richards has a mid-section strong enough to repel the blow of a sledgehammer.

His power and control was forged with one of the best exercises for building core strength – the plank.

City’s head of sports science, Sam Erith, believes this simple exercise is woefully underused by footballers, often at the expense of their performance and physical condition.

“Every morning we’ll go through a little core routine. They’re simple, basic exercises, but often they’re neglected and not done regularly,” he told FFT.

“Core strength allows you to be efficient with your movements and stop those energy leaks, where you’re using energy unnecessarily.

“It will help stabilise and stop unwanted movements in the right way. If you don’t have strength in these areas then other parts of your body will have to work overtime to support you, which we don’t want because eventually that will lead to fatigue, breakdown and injury.”

To learn more and upgrade your planking technique, hit play and watch Erith take Richards through a core session at City’s training ground.

Micah is an ambassador for If U Care Share, a charity that encourages young people to discuss their problems:

Also see:
Build explosive power
Boost your hamstring strength
Add an extra spring to your leap
Build bigger and stronger pins
Build knockout knee strength
Switch on your glutes for 90 minutes: Part one
Switch on your glutes for 90 minutes: Part two
Fire up your hips for action: Part one
Fire up your hips for action: Part two