Sure, players like Ronaldo, Messi, and Beckham were blessed with preternatural ball-handling skills, but their ridiculously well-built thighs are the result of hard training. A recent study in the International Journal of Sports Medicine found that a mix of high-intensity endurance and strength training made elite players faster and more powerful. Complete this circuit, from the study's coauthor Jan Helgerud, a professor of medicine at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, two to three times a week and you'll have the abs and legs of a baller in no time.


Jog (or walk) at an easy to moderate pace for 6 to 10 minutes, switching up your direction—from moving backward, sideways, and forward—every couple of minutes.


On a treadmill, do four 4-minute intervals running on an incline of 3 to 5.5 percent (work up to the top incline; start by walking at a 5 to 10 percent incline if you need to), at 80 percent effort. After each run, give yourself a 3-minute recovery interval (walking or jogging at your warm-up pace).


Do four half-squats: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a 20-pound dumbbell in each hand, arms by sides, and bend knees 90 degrees; hold for a beat, then rise, squeezing your glutes. Rest for 1 minute and repeat. Do four sets; as you adjust to the routine over time, increase the weight.


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