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Ask Ester: Cardio workout advice

Q: A couple of weeks ago you mentioned workouts for the football players. Can you give me a workout that will help my cardio?
A: As a football player (or soccer player), especially a running position, you need a strong cardiovascular base and have the ability to be explosive and sprint fast.
So this is what a workout could look like:
This workout can be done at our indoor track and mezzanine (At the JF Hurley YMCA ó 12 times around is a mile). It could also be done at our outdoor track (six times around is a mile) or your local school’s track (four times around is a mile.)
Warm up with light pre-stretching and run one to two miles.
– Run half a mile (800 M), as fast as you can.
– Walk 400 meters
– Run 400 meters as fast as you can
– Walk 200M
– Run 200 as fast as you can
– Walk 100M
– Sprint 100M
– Walk 400M
– Run bleachers or stairs; go up and down as many as you can handle at a speed that is as fast as you can handle safely (we don’t want you tripping).
– Set up a step with risers. Risers can be as high when you step up your upper leg is horizontal with the floor (not higher, believe me your knees will thank you).
– Step up, right foot, left foot, down, right foot, left foot. Do for one minute. Rest 30 seconds; do it again, starting with left foot, right foot, down, left foot, right foot. Five times on each side.
– Fast feet, low step (one riser) up, up, down, down, same as above but with high speed. Two times (or more) on each side with one minute rest in between
– Jump on steps with both feet; step down one at a time. One minute (or if you can handle longer go for it); rest for 30 seconds. Try 5 times
– Finish up with a jog for 800 meters or one mile and
– Take TIME to STRETCH. Focus on hamstrings, quads, calves, hip flexors, gluteus, sides, shoulders and chest.
And yes, you will be soaked with sweat!
And like I tell my class, I would not make you do anything I have not done before.
– – –
Ester Marsh is the associate executive director of the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA. Contact her with health and fitness questions at 704-636–0111 or emarsh@rowanymca.com.

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