How to brush off your marker

These five muscle-building moves from Nike trainer Courtney Fearon will help you to throw players off the ball

Bench press
If you’re jostling for the ball with a defender, a strong upper body will help you to come out on top. “A dumbbell press is better than using a bar because it will ensure you develop balanced upper body strength. Doing four sets of five reps will improve your strength without making you big like a bodybuilder.”    
Sets: 4
Reps: 5

More after the break

Bent over row
Spending all day hunched over a laptop could affect your posture and performance on the pitch – but this nifty move will straighten you right out. “This exercise targets all the major muscle groups in your back, which will help to correct your posture and reduce your risk of picking up an injury.”  
Sets: 4
Reps: 5

Push press
To leap like a salmon and score bullet headers, you need a strong upper body, as well as powerful pins. “This is a great full body exercise, which will work your quads and calves, as well as your shoulders and triceps. Being able to transfer force quickly from your lower to upper body will boost your jump height.” 
Sets: 4
Reps: 5

Pallof press
Building a strong core will enable you to hold off players and retain possession. “Rotate and pull the band or cable towards you until it’s just in front of your chest. Then press it out in front of you, before slowly bring it back towards your body. Working against resistance mimics a player trying to pull you in a game.” 
Sets: 4
Reps: 10-15

Pull-up
If you want to throw players around the pitch, then you need to be able to control your own bodyweight first. “Pull-ups are an excellent exercise for improving general upper body strength. If you can’t do one, use an assisted pull-up or lat pull down machine to slowly build your base strength.”
Sets: 4
Reps: 5

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