Best Workouts for Soccer Players
Soccer is one of the most fast-paced and exciting sports to watch — but it wouldn’t be nearly as exciting if it weren’t for the hard work players put in during their off-season training.
If you’re a soccer player or you’re trying to get into the sport, there are some exercises you can do to strengthen your skills on the field. Let’s look at some of the best workouts for soccer players.
What Should Soccer Players Focus on When Training?
One of the notably different facets of soccer compared to most other sports is that you can’t use your hands. For that reason, most training exercises for soccer players focus on the lower body.
Running and kicking are two of the most pivotal movements in soccer, so a lot of your training regimen should focus on increasing cardiovascular capacity while also enhancing powerful drive through the legs. Of course, strength-building exercises are just as important to help improve speed and force when running or kicking.
1. Aerobic Training for Soccer
Aerobic training is meant to help improve your lung capacity and cardiovascular endurance to let you run, jump, and kick for longer periods of time. This is an essential aspect of training for soccer players, especially since running is one of the main movements involved.
Here are some of the best cardio movements that can also act as rehearsal moves to make you a better player on the field.
Soccer is fun to watch because of how fast-paced it is, and this is often due to the speed at which players can maneuver throughout the field. If you want to get better at soccer, running more often is necessary.
While endurance running and sprints each have their time and place, doing a healthy mix of both at the same time is the best use of training time. When playing soccer, you’ll need to give quick bursts of all-out energy followed by rest periods. Mimicking this on a treadmill can help your body adjust and adapt to the high-intensity intervals of a soccer match.
On a treadmill, start at a 1% incline and start at a gentle jog. Every minute for 5 minutes, increase the speed by 0.5 to 1mph. Once you’ve reached your maximum effort, go back down 0.5 to 1mph each minute until you return to the start. You can also play around with inclines in order to build strength and stamina in your leg muscles.
Despite this being the quintessential exercise for American football, it’s still a great move for anyone who plays European football, too. This move not only enhances your cardio capacity but also works to increase your agility to more easily maneuver through the defense.
Heismans can also be modified by adding a Bulgarian bag around your shoulders if you want to add a little bit of weight to the movement and progress it.
To do this, you’ll jump onto your right foot and pull your left knee towards your right shoulder. You’ll then jump onto your left foot and pull your right knee toward your left shoulder, repeating until the set is complete.
Traveling Soccer Taps
If the exercise has the name of the sport in it, you know it’s probably a good one to use. Soccer taps are great because they mimic the motion of dribbling a soccer ball, allowing you to gain better control of the ball on all sides of the field.
You can do soccer taps with a real soccer ball, or you can do them up against a bench. Just tap the bottom of your foot onto the object, swapping feet as quickly as you can. You can move back and forth down the length of a bench, or go around the soccer ball, to add some movement and agility practice to the exercise.
2. Strength Training for Soccer
Being able to move your body quickly is important in soccer, but having a strong set of muscles can make you better in pretty much every aspect. Here are some of the best strength-based moves to help you improve your game.
This exercise can help you step up your game, literally and figuratively. Bench step-ups are a great move for soccer players because it increases strength in the quads, glutes, and hamstrings all at once. Plus, you can incorporate power moves like knee drives or step-downs to make this move more cardio-focused to improve force on the field.
When doing step-ups, you’ll want to use heavy dumbbells and make sure you have a flat bench with good stability so you can maintain your balance when you step up and down.
The Romanian deadlift, or RDL, is one of the most famous lower body exercises of all time for a number of reasons. Not only is it generally safer than the traditional deadlift, but it is also a fantastic compound move that focuses on the glutes and the hamstrings.
Having strong hamstrings is essential for soccer players because this is essentially where all the force comes from when you kick a ball. The stronger the muscles in your legs are, the further and faster you’ll be able to shoot goals.
The most important factors to remember with an RDL are to keep your chin up, core engaged, and shoulders back. It’s not about how low to the ground you can bring the weight – it’s about the stretch you’re getting in your hamstrings. Practice good form to see muscle gains even quicker.
It might seem counterintuitive to work the upper body when you’re not even allowed to use your hands, but having a strong upper body is essential for soccer players. A tough chest allows you to press through defenders with ease, increasing push strength and making you a force to be reckoned with.
You can do bench presses with a pair of dumbbells or a barbell. Either way, think about bringing your biceps closer together at the top of the movement, squeezing your chest for maximum activation.
While traditional bench presses are a training staple, the issue is that you lose some of that contraction at the very top of the movement. This is called the strength curve, and it occurs when different muscle force is exerted at different angles throughout the range of motion.
This is inevitable with traditional weights, but it can be counteracted with technology. Speede uses AI-driven science to adjust to your muscle’s maximum exertion, adjusting the resistance throughout the exercise to perfectly match your max output. The resistance changes, but the velocity of motion never does. In other words, it gets you stronger in just a fraction of the time.
Squats are another exercise recommended to most individuals for a few good reasons. Not only does it max out your quad strength, but it also improves hip flexibility, which is essential for soccer players. Often, the goal is to try to be able to squat one and a half times your body weight.
You can do squats with a barbell traditionally, but you can also use dumbbells. The key aspects to remember about squatting are to keep your chest lifted, your spine neutral, your core engaged, and your chin up. If you remember those facets, you’ll be set up for success.
Soccer players spend a lot of time on the field, but it’s also important to put in the work off the field to improve your performance. Everything you do outside of the stadium can affect what you do inside, and incorporating the right exercises makes a huge difference.
But the exercises themselves are only one part of the puzzle – you also need to make sure you’re using equipment that’s setting you up for success. Speede is a revolutionary piece of technology that can adjust to your strength curve, allowing you to get stronger in just a fraction of the time. And with four modes, you can even use it to recover with ease.
Book a demo today to see the difference.