Working out hard isn’t necessarily hard work for Abby Wambach. “I love lifting,” she says. “You write it on the sheet and I’ll do it.” The training session below, designed by U.S. Women’s National Team trainer Dawn Scott, is meant to help players improve both their on-field quickness and overall strength. Wambach says, “[Dawn] always pairs a heavy lift with a quick, dynamic exercise designed to build your strength, speed and agility.”
Perform the exercises grouped together as supersets. Do one move right after the other with no rest. Take a one-minute break between supersets.
Why: This Olympic lift builds explosive power that translates to faster sprints and more powerful moves on the field.
How: Stand with your feet hip-width apart holding a barbell with a shoulder-width grip. Push your hips back until the bar is just above your knees. Keeping the bar close to your body, explosively extend your hips, knees and ankles and shrug your shoulders to pull the bar up. Drop under the bar, drive your elbows under the bar and catch the bar across the front of your shoulders.
Split Push Jerk
Why: This Olympic lift increases full-body power and single-leg strength and stability.
How: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a bar across your chest with a grip slightly wider than shoulder-width. Lower into a quarter squat. Extend your hips, knees and ankles to drive the bar up off your chest. To finish the movement, split your legs into a lunge position and fully extend your arms overhead.
Sets/Reps: 4×5 each leg
Physioball Plank With Leg Raise
Why: Builds core strength and stability through an advanced Plank variation.
How: Assume a push-up position with your feet on a physioball. Keeping your core tight and your back flat, raise your right foot two to three inches off the ball. Lower your foot to the ball and repeat with your left foot. Continue in an alternating fashion.
Sets/Reps: 4×5 each leg
Why: Considered the king of all exercises, the Back Squat develops strong lower-body muscles.
How: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and position a bar on your upper back. Keeping your back straight, sit your hips back and lower into a Squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Extend your hips and knees to drive up out of the Squat.
Why: Box Jumps work the same muscles as the Back Squat, but train them to be more powerful.
How: Stand six inches in front of a knee-high box or bench with your feet hip-width apart. Sit your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a Quarter Squat. Explosively jump up and land softly with both feet on the box. Step down and repeat.
BOSU Squat to Dumbbell Front Raise
Why: This move strengthens your lower body, upper body and core at the same time.
How: Stand with your feet hip-width apart on the flat surface of a BOSU ball, holding dumbbells at your sides. Bend your hips and knees to lower into a Squat, and simultaneously raise the dumbbells in front to shoulder height. Drive up out of the Squat and lower the dumbbells to your sides to return to the starting position.
BOSU Reverse Fly Combo
Why: Increases back strength while working your core and balance.
How: Stand with your feet hip-width apart on the flat surface of a BOSU ball, holding dumbbells at your sides. Keeping your back flat, bend at the waist so your torso is nearly parallel to the ground. Pinch your shoulder blades together and raise the dumbbells out to your sides until your arms are parallel to the ground. Slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position.
Med Ball Oblique Rotation
Why: Improves core rotational strength and control.
How: Lie on your back with your arms out to your sides, and bend your knees and hips. Place a med ball between your knees and squeeze it with your legs. Slowly rotate your legs to the left until your bottom leg is an inch above the ground. Rotate your legs to the right, and continue moving from side to side.
Sets/Reps: 4×5 each side
Med Ball Sit-Up Throw
Why: This advanced variation of the Sit-Up increases core power.
How: Assume a sit-up position with a partner four feet in front. Catch a med ball from your partner and lower to the ground with the ball overhead. Simultaneously sit up and throw the med ball to your partner.