No disrespect, but West Ham forward Michail Antonio is a bit of a throwback. His style of play harks back to the day when all teams had a tough target man up top. But while his style of play may be reminiscent of something we’ve seen before, there’s nothing old school about the way he gets his body ready for kick off.
As he shows us in the video above, Antonio favours a full-body, bodyweight workout, which he’s tailored to help him stave off hamstring injuries and build the required upper-body strength for going toe-to-toe with bulking Premier League centre-backs.
The first exercise in Antonio’s workout is a plank to press, which he recommends doing for 20 to 30 seconds if you’re a beginner, 30 to 45 seconds if your skill level is intermediate and for a minute plus if “you like to train hard”, he says. “This will be hitting your triceps, your shoulders but mainly your core.”
Once he’s done with the plank to press, Antonio keeps his workout on the floor and moves onto side planks. He keeps to the same exercise duration as with plank to press – so, as above, 20 to 30 seconds for beginners and so on – but this time, he adds, be prepared “to do it both sides”.
Next up is a single-leg Romanian deadlift. Antonio says he’s suffered from hamstring injuries of late, so he uses single-leg RDLs to help strengthen the muscle. “A common mistake people make is when they’re lifting their leg they turn out, but [by doing that] you lose balance and it’s not putting the emphasis on the hamstrings,” he says.
Antonio’s fourth bodyweight exercise is jump split squats. “With this exercise make sure you drive through your heels, not your toes … and make sure your core’s switched on to keep you balanced,” says Antonio.
The bodyweight workout is completed with a explosive, plyometric exercise: press-up claps, which he does until failure. Judging by his physique, Antonio’s been doing these for a while. Now it’s time to see how you match up.
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