Strenght Training Exercises For Soccer

By Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN

Above all sports, soccer is by far the most physically demanding. The sport is played on a large playing field and allows little rest for players. A player easily covers 10km during a given game, so they must possess excellent cardiovascular endurance, as well as speed, strength and agility. Strength training exercises for soccer will help athletes build explosive power and muscle endurance.

Soccer players need to incorporate different methods of training into their program including:

Maximal strength
In soccer, a player with solid maximal strength can stand off opponents and shield the ball more readily.  Athletes should focus on the amount of maximum weight put up in a short amount of time to build in explosiveness and speed.

Explosive power
Power is produced through absolute strength and speed. The trick is to increase one without detrimenting the other. Many weight-training programs are designed to build strength and mass, but often slow down speed in doing so. Explosive power training requires you to consciously increase the speed of your concentric contractions, though eccentric contractions usually remain the same.

Strength endurance
A game of soccer requires a large amount of high intensity activity. Training for strength endurance allows athletes to build upon repeated activities at high intensity levels. The most effective strength endurance method for soccer athletes is circuit training.  You are best to involve circuit stations that match the movements required in the soccer field.

Plyometrics is by far the most effective training method for soccer players to increase speed and power.  As the muscle is stretched before contraction during plyometrics, it will cause a more forceful and rapid contraction. Plyometrics performed specifically for soccer training should not involve weights. Form takes precedent over weight, and bodyweight movements are ample enough to achieve your goal.

Examples of plyometrics for soccer athletes:

Set up a series of obstacles at least 3 feet apart. Start behind the first object. Semi squat down, and jump up over the object, and each consecutive object in a rapid movement.

Lateral jumps
This is a more advanced plyometrics movements and should be performed over a series of several weeks. Stand alongside a bench that is approx. knee high. Jump sideways over the bench, landing on both feet on the other side. Perform this movement rapidly for a given number of reps.

Jump running
This is a very basic plyometric movement, and easy to perform. Run in a slower motion, concentrating on how high you can get off the ground. Try to achieve as much height and distance between strides as possible.

Core training
Having a strong core is essential for soccer players. Core strength increases lateral agility, balance, and overall spinal health. Core training should be a part of your regular strength-training regimen. Place core exercise in the beginning of your strength program to ensure they are performed each time.



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