5 Essential Exercises to Prepare Yourself for Soccer Season
Preparation is important when it comes to getting ready for a new soccer season. The players that prepare the best will perform the best.
Here are 5 essential exercises to get you in shape for the new season:
1. Long Distance and Variation Sprints
Running is one of the most important parts of the game, and a portion of this running is done at very high speeds. The only way to prepare is to sprint.
Coaches will often put teams through conditioning exercises, however the more work you put in outside practice, the more you get out during a game. Speed is a skill that can be worked on and the most fit players can maintain their speed throughout the duration of a game.
Alternate between running straight 100 yard sprints and shuttle variations where a change of direction is included.
2. Long Distance Jogging and Biking
In addition to speed, soccer players must build up considerable endurance to compete for an entire game. Professional soccer players can run more than 7 miles in a game, so being able to run for long stretches of time is essential.
Jogging and biking long distances are great ways to build up leg strength and endurance.
Core strength will add to your power, balance, and stability. The core links together the upper body muscle groups and lower body muscle groups. Having a strong core will also help to prevent injury, as well as increase flexibility, promote better breathing and reduce back pain.
A common misconception is that the core pertains to the abdomen only, the core consists of the lower back as well so don’t exclusively perform ab exercises. Planks are an exceptional way to work out many muscle groups simultaneously.
4. Speed Ladders and Plyometrics
Agility pertains to an athlete's change of direction. Soccer is a game of constant movement and a player will change directions countless times throughout the course of a game.
Improved agility with help an athlete to elude defenders and become more explosive. Quickness and skilled footwork are attributes that any good soccer player will possess.
Agility exercises such as speed ladders and plyometrics can improve footwork and increase foot speed.
5. Strength Training
Like any other sport, strength is important. Being able to muscle players off the ball or resisting tackles are important for every player.
While soccer may not require you to bench press or squat 500 pounds, strength can only improve your game and is a requirement in higher levels of the sport.
Try performing push-ups and pull-ups or lifting lighter weights with high repetitions to build lean muslce. Strength will be more important than mass.