Soccer can take a lot out of your body. If you are looking to be one of the top players in the league, you need to follow an intense workout. Competitive team play can help you to raise your fitness level, but it is essential to add some conditioning to your workout. These workout tips can help you to tune-up your footwork, improve your agility, and increase your stamina. You will find yourself performing better throughout the season and staying in shape during the off-season.
Improve Your Fitness
There are a few areas that you should focus on for your workouts. While playing soccer, you need to work on improving your explosive power, cardiovascular fitness, and strength. Strive to compete for the full 90 minutes, not just 45 or 60 minutes. Whether you are a starter or a sub, you need to be at your absolute best physical shape to battle on the pitch.
You want to combine the benefits of long-distance running and intense interval training. If you are looking for faster results, add more frequent workouts into your routine. However, that will only be beneficial if you allow your muscles to recover after each workout.
If you are looking to get into shape or increase your stamina, add some strength training for your muscle groups. You should workout at least two to three times per week. Don’t strain yourself. Everyone needs 24 to 48 hours for muscle recovery to avoid any injuries. In addition to that, make sure to add four to five cardio workouts with a focus on plyometrics. Recovery time is vital for these intense workouts. On your recovery days, eat plenty of protein and carbohydrates after each session. These factors will allow you to reduce the chances of muscle loss during your post-workout recovery.
Don’t Skip the Warm-Ups
Like all workouts, you never want to start with cold muscles. Warm-up techniques are important for all your workouts. You can accomplish this with a little light jogging, dynamic stretches, or sit-ups. These exercises will help you to activate your muscles and get ready for an intense workout. A warm-up routine can also help you relieve some of those sore muscles from previous workouts.
Stretch Your Muscles
Now that you’re warmed up, it is time to stretch those critical muscle groups. To properly prepare, you need to do a full-body stretching session. You should mainly focus on your hips, legs, and ankles. Don’t forget to stretch out your shoulders, wrists, neck, and back. For soccer players, you want to focus on the hamstrings and quadriceps. When you stretch, make sure to hold it in the deepest range of motion for a few seconds. If you think you can forget about this step, you might want to think again. With a little stretching, you can avoid painful muscle strains and increase your mobility.
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Sprinting for Explosive Power
All soccer players know that speed is king. One way to add momentum to your game is by running. These sprints are an important part of a successful soccer player’s routine. While you are on the field, you need a high level of control and power. Before you start, you should measure out a set distance and get yourself into a starting position. Since sprints are very intense, you will want to schedule them at the start of your workouts. Once you are lined up, you can explode forward and run as hard as possible to the finish line. You will see improvements over time as you increase your distances from 100 to 200 meters. Longer sprints will help you to bridge the gap between endurance and intensity.
Add a Few Weights
While sprinting is a great exercise for soccer players, you need to add other components for a full-body workout. Your hamstrings, glutes, calves, and quadriceps all take a beating on the soccer pitch. If you are looking to increase your fitness, you can perform calf raises, squats, deadlifts, split squats, and single-leg squats to strengthen your lower body’s stamina. While you might want to focus on your lower body, you should add exercises to build up your upper body and core. Free weights and machine weights will allow you to increase your upper body strength. For the best results, work out those upper and lower muscle groups at least twice a week.
Kick Up the Cardio
At its core, soccer involves sprinting and running after the ball. You need to have a great cardio system so you are not left on the sidelines gasping for air. An excellent cardio program will help get your heart in shape for an intense soccer schedule. You can play a small-sided soccer game with a few teammates to build up your cardiovascular fitness. These games will allow you to handle the ball more than in an actual game situation. If you are by yourself, consider adding suicide runs to your routines. With these exercises, you can add more explosive power to your game. This workout allows your body to get accustomed to running and stopping during a match. Any cardiovascular exercise will help you not only gain strength, but you can take off those extra pounds off your body as well.
The Importance of Plyometrics
All soccer players need absolute power for their games. Jump training is a great way to increase your leg strength and cardiovascular system. You can accomplish these exercises in a variety of ways. For the upper body, you want to lower your chest to the ground and push off with your hands. To work on the lower body, you can complete squat jumps, box jumps, and tuck jumps to increase the power in your legs.
If you are looking to get into shape for the soccer season, you can find several ways to compete on the pitch. You don’t want to be left on the sidelines during the season. These exercises are easy to complete, but they will still challenge you to get in tip-top soccer shape.
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