How to bulk up for battle

Tired of getting bullied off the ball? These three simple exercises, courtesy of Liverpool’s 19-year-old Spanish midfield sensation, Suso, will help you pack on the muscle in the gym
  • Bench press
  • Pull-up
  • Squat

ABSORB A HIT: BENCH PRESS

“Find a comfortable but challenging weight to press and then lie back on a bench with your feet flat on the floor. Grab hold of the barbell using an overhand grip with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower the bar to your chest, until your elbows are at a 45-degree angle. Hold, then drive the barbell towards the ceiling until your arms are straight. Repeat. The Premier League is tough and working hard at this exercise throughout the week is a great way to prepare for the physicality of the game.”
Sets: 3 Reps: 8
Times per week: 3-4

SHIELD THE BALL: PULL-UPS

“Grab the pull-up bar using an overhand grip with your arms slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Hang straight down so your arms are extended. Cross your feet behind you, keep your back straight and hoist yourself upwards until your chin is above the bar. Hold, then lower your body until your arms are straight. Repeat. This helps strengthen my core and back, which improves stability.”
Sets: 3 Reps: 8
Times per week: 3-4

STAY ON YOUR FEET: SQUATS

“Load the barbell with a weight heavy enough to test you, but not break you. Place the barbell on the back of your shoulders. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your back straight and look forward. Brace your core, drop your hips back, keep your chest up and sink down until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Push up through your heels until you’re back in the starting position. Repeat. This exercise is my favourite way to gain muscle because it makes me feel stronger in matches when I’m on the ball.”
Sets: 3 Reps: 8
Times per week: 3-4

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