Soccer players require both strength and endurance.
The proper soccer exercises will give you stamina to out-perform your opposition in a 90-minute soccer game. It is a game of constant movement. But you need more than just endurance.
To become a talented soccer player there are 4 types of soccer exercises that you should perform regularly:
- Endurance training - get the wind you need to last 90 minutes. You know that you hate being taken off the field before.
- Sprint training - to allow you to get to the ball faster than your opponents.
- Strength training for soccer - so when you must battle an opponent for the ball, you can get position, and win the ball in the air, or on the ground.
- Flexibility training - to stretch and strengthen your muscles to prevent injury and encourage muscle growth.
As a soccer player we hate to hear “SUBSTITUTION". So to keep this from happening, try these endurance-training tips:
- Always warm up before any endurance training run.
- 50% training will give you 50% during a game. Keep your long distance pace as high as possible. 2 miles in 12 minutes is a good target.
- Work hard enough to get out of your comfort zone. And continue to expand your comfort zone as you improve.
- Give your body time to recover. If you train hard every day there will be no juice left in your tank, and your body can only take so much.
Sprint (speed) Training
There are times when we just need to work on our speed. Sure we all want to get as much time on the ball as we can, but we cannot always have the ball. Work without the ball! Although it is a good idea to practice speed drills with the ball, doing both types of soccer exercises will be of greater benefit in the long term.
Here are a few exercises to help improve your speed:
- Tuck your head down and get into position for exploding after the ball or your opponent. This will give you more control over your body than if your head is flying around up there somewhere. Just keep your eyes open.
- Move your arms forward and backward parallel to your body. Not across the body. This increases your momentum, and gets everything moving in the same direction.
- Lead with your toes. Starting off on your heels will not give you the balance or acceleration that you need.
- Get your feet hitting the ground as many times and as fast as you can. The more you do this, the faster you will become.
Weight training for soccer is an excellent way to improve your strength to win challenges for the ball. In the air, and on the ground. It's about improving your overall strength, not becoming muscle-bound. I suggest you visit my weight training for soccer page for more information.
To improve the flexibility of your muscles it is important to understand the following:
- Warm up for 5 - 10 minutes before stretching. Light jogging will work.
- Hold each stretch for 15 - 20 seconds.
- 2 - 3 stretches per body part.
- Do not bounce. Hold the stretch in place.
- Start at the bottom and work your way up. Ankles, calves, hamstrings, quads, waist and hips, arms, chest, shoulders, neck and head.
- Don't hold a painful stretch. You should feel a tightness in the muscle, but not pain.
- Breathe! Do not hold your breath.
If you combine those facts with these great stretching exercises you will be a step ahead of your opponents.
Always allow yourself RECOVERY TIME. Recovering from any of the soccer exercises that you perform will allow to continue to improve. This will improve your overall conditioning for the long-term.
Wayne MacLean has over 30 years of experience in the game of soccer. As a soccer coach, soccer player, soccer referee, and all-around soccer fan, Wayne is now adding a new dimension to his love of soccer. He now writes many articles and creates soccer videos to help those that are involved in soccer, are new to soccer, or just want to know more about soccer. Check out my Soccer Exercises page.