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Pablo Mastroeni's Essential Moves

The soccer star's weight-room work builds strength and quickness

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MEDICINE BALL PUSH-UPS
Pablo goes old-school for upper-body strength. The instability of the exercise provides an extra jolt to core and shoulders.

Do-it-yourself: Complete 25 push-ups with each hand on a medicine ball, then do 3 sets of 10 push-ups with both hands on one ball.

PULL-UPS
These work the lats, arms, and all other major pulling muscles. Close-grip pull-ups work the core more because the range of motion is greater, while wide-grip makes the upper back work harder. Mastroeni, who says his workouts are "always evolving," likes to switch things up with a circuit of both types of pull-ups.

Do-it-yourself: Do two sets of 10-12 wide-grip pull-ups, followed by a set of 10-12 with a closed grip.

BAND TRAINING
One of the best ways to build quickness. "Your first few steps should be explosive enough to beat your opponent," he says. "That can be the difference between breaking up a play quickly and having to chase a player for 50 yards."

Do-it-yourself: Place a resistance band around your ankle, drive your knee up and extend your leg forward, like the start of a good sprint. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg.

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