Still on the physical benefits of football, in this post I will be talking about the effect of football on an individual’s muscles. Exercise itself can have a different effect on an individual’s muscles depending on what goals that individual wants to achieve. Body builders and marathon runners for instance will exercise there muscles differently to achieve different results. Keeping this in mind football is a full body workout, there is running, walking, jumping, sprinting, and tackling.
Football isn’t something that’s going to get you looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Its just not that type of exercise. Playing football will develop lean muscle mass that can lead to more toned muscles. This is largely due to the fat burning properties of football spoken about previously. As body fat decreases and muscle mass increases muscles become more visible. Fun fact about this process although you can spot increase muscle mass. For example, only working out your arms to get big arms. You CANNOT spot reduce fat.
The muscles that will usually develop and get bigger and stronger in an individual who has gone from a sedentary lifestyle to playing football are the legs and core. Legs is an obvious one, all the activities above require moving your legs. This requires your muscles to work, they then break down and then hopefully recover stronger. The types of activities effect muscles in different ways as mentioned constantly through out the last two posts. Running and walking are more likely to increase muscular endurance, jumping and sprinting are more likely to develop a muscles power and tackling and striking the ball are likely to develop muscle strength.
Football will also work an individual’s core, provided it is activated! Some lucky people do this naturally. I am not one of these people and it has been the main cause of my back problems. I have decent core strength, but I cannot switch it on and that means that I use my back to support myself when I do most activities. There are ways to activate your core before training and a match, I am not going to get into that. All I do is do a quick 2 minute plank before a game and then my core is definitely activated and ready to go.
Football players will constantly use their core throughout a game to support themselves. Whenever a player turns, crouches down, jumps up or takes a hit the core should be supporting these actions. This will increase an individual’s core strength as well as endurance.
As for upper body, football players do use their upper bodies but it’s a lot less prevalent in football when compared to rugby. Football players use their upper bodies when jumping, running, taking throw ins and when trying to protect or win the ball. When compared to the legs and core, playing football will not get you a significant increase in muscle mass or strength that is why professional level football players also go to the gym.