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The High-Speed Backyard Workout

As a professional soccer player and mother of a 3-year-old girl, I know it’s hard to find time to work out and be a full-time mom. My schedule of late:

  • Recover from Beijing Olympic Games
  • Move family from Los Angeles to New Jersey
  • Play in 10-game Achieve Your Gold Tour
  • Prepare for season with new Women’s Professional Soccer league

We all have nonstop days, weeks, and months, which makes it easy to skip out on exercise, but here’s how I look at it:

I’m always taking care of my daughter, Riley, so my workout time is my time to take care of myself. I enjoy it and I appreciate it, rather than looking at it as something I have to do.

When you enjoy your workout time, you can squeeze a training session into the smallest window. The first year after Riley was born was the most difficult for me to work out around feeding times and nap times, but anytime. I could find 20 minutes, like when she napped, I’d take the monitor outside and do some sprint workouts.

Here’s a sampling of sprints you can do in your backyard two or three times a week to stay strong, energized, and healthy.


Choose from the four 60-yard sprints, or “shuttles,” below and complete one per minute. So if it takes you 18 seconds to complete the shuttle, you’ll rest for the remaining 42 seconds. Perform a total of 5 shuttles in 5 minutes, then rest 2 minutes and repeat once or twice.

How to make it harder: Choose harder shuttles, as noted below, or decrease the amount of time you rest between shuttles.

Level Procedure
Easiest Sprint 15 yards out and back. Do this twice and stop.
Moderate    Sprint 10 yards out and back. Repeat 3 times, then rest.
Difficult Sprint 5 yards out and back, 10 yards out and back, 15 yards out and back. Then rest.
Hardest Sprint 10 yards out and back, 5 yards out and back, 10 yards out and back, 5 yards out and back. Then rest.

Christie Rampone is an Olympic Gold medalist, captain of the USA Women’s National Soccer team, and a proud mom. Her website is ChristieRampone.com.

Tags: Soccer, Acceleration, Speed, Training