Jan 24, 2018Soccer Strength
Even though soccer is played with your feet, performing at a high level requires a solid foundation of strength in multiple areas. Athletes also need to be flexible and balanced in order to avoid injury and use their muscles effectively. TheAthleticBuild.com has provided a list of exercises that will help your players succeed every time they step onto the field.
4 Way Lunge:
This versatile exercise works the glutes, quads, adductors, abductors, ankles, and core. It will also help athletes be more balanced and stable as they run, jump, and cut in different directions.
For the forward lunge, look straight ahead with your head and chest up. Then step directly forward with the right foot. Keep your torso tight as you drop your back knee to the ground. Drive through your front heal to return to the starting position and then repeat with the other leg.
For the side lunges, step to the right with your right foot, return to the starting position, and then step to the left with your left foot. Don’t go straight to the side but aim for the 3 o’clock position (right) and 9 o’clock position (left).
Finish off by doing back lunges. These are the same as forward lunges, but you will take a big step backward instead of forward.
Step Up with Knee Lift
This is an explosive exercise that will activate the quads, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, and core. After two to three sets of four to six reps per side, you will definitely feel the burn.
Start by standing straight up while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Then step up onto a stable bench or box with your right foot and drive through the heel so that your right leg is completely extended. At the same time, you should lift your left knee in front of your body so that it’s bent at a 90-degree angle. Carefully lower your left leg back to the ground, switch legs, and repeat.
There are a ton of variations to this exercise, many of which are great for activating the core.
With your stomach parallel to the ground, balance yourself on your elbows and toes. The elbows should be positioned directly under your shoulders, and your head and neck should be aligned with the torso. Keep your hips up and core tight while holding the position. Do this for two to three sets of 30 to 60 seconds each. If you’re looking to make things a little more challenging, try raising an arm or leg.
Side Plank with Leg Lift
This plank variation targets the hips, glutes, lower back, and external obliques.
Start on the left side of your body instead of your stomach facing down. Balance on your left elbow, which is positioned underneath your shoulder, and your left foot. The key is to keep your hips up and in line with your torso at all times. Hold your upper arm straight above your body while slowly raising and lowering your right leg. Do two to three sets of eight to 10 reps per side.
Bulgarian Split Squat
This is a great way to build strength in the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Since it is a single leg exercise, it will also help address muscle imbalances between the left and right side of the body.
Start by working the weak side and place the other foot back on a flat bench. Then lower the back knee towards the ground until you are in a half kneeling position. Make sure that your front foot is positioned far enough in front of the body so that your shin remains vertical and the majority of the weight is on the heel of the front leg. While keeping your head and chest up, return to the starting position and repeat.