Arsenal Strength Training

Here’s a very recent video showcasing Ellen White and Steph Houghton of the Arsenal Ladies.

This looks to be a nice, well-rounded program for these athletes. Although this is a sample size of one from their whole training program, there are some fantastic takeaways from this:

  • There is a major focus on compound movements?(there looks to be a higher speed component in their lifts as well). Using heavy compound movements not only will develop an athlete’s overall strength levels the fastest, but will be very efficient on time as well. When a professional soccer player’s day is filled with field training, prehab, regeneration sessions, press conferences, etc. there isn’t much time to fit in, what some deem, “unnecessary” weight training. Compound movements will allow for a great training stimulus in a very short period of time in comparison to isolation exercises.
  • The quality of movement is high. When exercises are performed in a sloppy manner, the desired training effect drops significantly (almost a waste of the athlete’s time). ?You also open the door for injury when quality of movement decreases. A very simple guideline to follow when training power, speed, and strength – quality over quantity.
  • There are multiple planes of motion and movements being addressed: explosive movements, pushing, pulling, rotational, etc. ?While not all need to be addressed in a single session, there should be a balance between these as a program progresses to develop a well-rounded athlete.

The biggest takeaway of all is that an athlete’s program should be comprehensive. There should always be a central training philosophy in place, but the ability to plan and adapt throughout the process is of the utmost importance.



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John Grace is a coach at Athletic Lab Sports Performance Training Center in Cary, NC - USA. John has his CSCS, USAW Level 1 certification, USATF Level 1 certification and has worked as an assistant fitness coach for the Vancouver Whitecaps of the MLS.