Top seven football training & exercises to do in coronavirus lockdown

Lionel Messi Argentina

Staying sharp on the football pitch requires a lot of hard work off the pitch and players need to put hours of training in throughout the season.

As well as day-to-day drills, footballers can also identify areas of weakness and work at strengthening them in an effort to improve their overall game.

Here are some examples of the type of training you can do at home to stay fit and strong during the coronavirus lockdown period.

Before you start, make sure to warm up!


  1. Full-body workout
  2. Exercise bike circuit
  3. Mobility & core work
  4. Footwork drills
  5. Shooting practice
  6. Free kick practice
  7. Speed drills

Full-body workout

The full-body workout is a popular training routine and does exactly what it says on the tin: works your entire body.

A dynamic routine, a full-body workout targets the main muscle groups: legs, core and upper body

Manchester City and Argentina striker Sergio Aguero is one of the best goalscorers in football and has been incorporating a full-body workout into his home training regime, which can be seen below.

Aguero's routine uses a mixture of bodyweight, weights and resistance bands. It can be broken down like this:

  • Single leg squat/lunge (x12, x10, x8 - do both legs!)
  • Modified box step-ups (x12, x10, x8)
  • Press-ups (x12, x10, x8)
  • Box jumps (x12, x10, x8)
  • Shoulder press (x12, x10, x8)
  • Standing band row (x12, x10, x8)
  • Band butterfly pulls (x12, x10, x8)
  • Plank (20 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute)

The great thing about this approach is that it is totally malleable and you can add or subtract certain exercises as long as you hit the main muscle groups well.

As well as that, you don't need to have any equipment to achieve a hard day's full-body training - just check out the HIIT routine from the famous living room trainer Joe Wicks below.

If Mr Wicks isn't cutting it for you, Barcelona have also shared a series of home workouts including full-body routines, which can be checked out in the video below.

Exercise bike circuit

You will need an exercise bike to perform these exercises at home, but, if you don't have access to one, an ordinary bicycle will work too.

A basic exercise bike is all you need and you are ultimately the one who dictates the level of work. Pretty much every footballer will be using these while at home during the coronavirus lockdown.

You can try some endurance training by cycling at a leisurely rate - to keep the heart rate up - for a long period of time - say 30 minutes, 45 minutes or one hour.

If you don't have an hour to spend on the bike, then you can also try a short HIIT circuit which can be done within 15 or 20 minutes.

All it involves is reaching a comfortable pace then raising the intensity - sprinting - for a specified period of time. For example, 40 seconds at mid-pace then 20 seconds at full pace and repeat.

Mobility & core work

Ever asked yourself how Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane train? Well wonder no more, because Liverpool's head of fitness and conditioning, Andreas Kornmayer, has a workout for you.

Kornmayer is the man in charge of keeping the Reds players in shape and, considering Jurgen Klopp's men won the Champions League last season, he clearly knows what he's talking about.

The best thing about this routine is that all you need is a ball.

Kornmayer talks you through exactly what to do, kicking off with mobility work to strengthen the joints before moving on to core work to build up the body's foundation.

It looks simple, but trust us, if you're a little out of practice it'll be hard at first!

Footwork drills

Staying fit and strong is probably the most straightforward part of home training, but keeping your technical ability sharp is a bit trickier.

However, it can be done with some markers such as cones (or anything that will serve as a visual aid on the ground).

Manchester United and France star Paul Pogba ran through a basic footwork drill challenge alongside his team-mate Victor Lindelof at the beginning of lockdown, which can be watched below.


A post shared by Paul Labile Pogba (@paulpogba) on

The drill involves short sprints, dribbling the ball in and out of markers, completing a circuit on the agility ladder then finishing with a pass or shot followed by sprints.

Agility ladders are useful tools to have in this instance, but you can improvise by setting markers for your feet in which you can perform side steps and so on.

Shooting practice

For shooting practice you will need a bit of space (so a garden or, if acceptable, park) and access to goals. If you don't have access to goals, then you can create some targets for yourself.

The shooting practice will naturally be enhanced if you have a training partner - socially distant of course - who can pass the ball to you and, depending how accurate you are, collect stray shots.

England and Tottenham captain Harry Kane has a fun shooting clinic which is available to watch on YouTube that includes various different tips for hitting the back of the net.

Some of those include: how to turn and shoot when your back is to goal, taking one touch before shooting and, most importantly of all, hitting the target.

"Most of the time [when I shoot], it's hard and low, because I find that's the hardest for 'keepers to get down and save," says Kane in the video tutorial.

"They always look nice when they're in the top corner, but as long as they go in the goal, that's all that matters."

Free kick practice

Free kick practice is the same sort of idea as shooting practice, but - you guessed it - from a dead-ball starting point.

Naturally, to practise free kicks you need a bit of space and a goal to aim for, so it's best to do it in your back garden or on a patch of grass near your home, such as a park.

There are all sorts of ways to practise free kicks; you can adjust the range from which the set-piece is taken and the angle, as well as attempting different methods of striking the ball.

Why not try Cristiano Ronaldo's famous 'knuckleball' technique (check out our explainer) or emulate Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho et al in Barcelona's 'How to take a free kick' compilation video above.

Speed drills

Some players are simply faster than others - that's a genetic lottery - but there are training drills designed to help boost an individual's acceleration and pace.

One straightforward example of speed training which many players will be familiar with is cone interval sprints, where a player sprints to and back from various cone markers.

It's an entirely functional drill as it emulates an action that regularly happens on the pitch, such as a sprint into space or backtracking to mark a player or fall back into position.

If you want to make it more interesting, why not time yourself each time and aim to beat your personal best.