The game of soccer requires its athletes to be in top form, therefore they must undergo soccer strength training. Soccer players must be complete athletes, in that they must possess muscular strength, endurance, stamina and power. Lacking in any one of these areas will be a hindrance in the game. Soccer strength training involves a variety of activities to ensure a well-rounded athlete.
Strength training tailored to the soccer player does not involve the standard three sets of 10 reps that is generally associated with regular weight training. Soccer players need to have a balance of muscle mass, strength and power. In order to achieve this result, it is important to build lean muscle to provide the explosive speed and power required for the sport of soccer. A variety of standard activities can achieve these results.
The strength of the legs is an integral component of a successful soccer player. The legs are responsible for the constant running, and the explosive power required for speed and agility. One of the best ways to develop strong legs is to do squats.
Begin by standing with feet shoulder-width apart. While keeping the spine straight, and sticking your buttocks out toward the back, slowly lower your body until your knees are just past the 90 degree angle. Slowly raise your body back to an upright position. Make sure to lower and raise you body each for a count of four for maximal muscle strength. An alternative would be to do squats with only one leg to increase the intensity of the workout. Also, weights can be held in each hand for added resistance.
Lunges are an excellent way to increase strength in the legs. Soccer players are encouraged to perform these exercise to ensure adequate lower body strength required for stamina.
To perform lunges, begin by standing upright with feet close together. With one foot, take a large step out in front, then lower your body until your back knee is almost touching the ground. Raise your body back up, then bring the front leg back to starting position. Repeat with the opposite leg, and continue until muscle exhaustion.
The upper body is also an important factor in the game of soccer. It is responsible for warding off opponents, heading and shielding the ball, and it is also partly responsible for the power of sprinting.
Pushups provide an excellent upper body strength training workout by incorporating the arms, back, chest and core muscles. Begin by getting into the plank position, in which your palms are on the the floor, arms are straight, and your body is as straight as possible with minimal bending at the hips. Slowly lower your body until your nose touches the floor, then raise your body back up. One of the key components in this activity is to ensure that your body remains straight, which will develop core strength as well as upper body strength.
Keeping your abdominal muscles strong is very important in the game of soccer. It keeps the core strong, which in turn stabilizes the muscles on the rest of the body. Aside from abdominal crunches - which is an excellent abdominal exercise - the side obliques need to be trained as well.
Side obliques can be strengthened using a static position that should be held as long as possible. Begin by laying on your side on the floor. Pull your upper body up with one arm, keeping your arm and body as straight as possible. Hold this position for as long as you can. Although this sounds like a basic position, it is quite difficult and will undoubtedly develop the core strength required for the sport of soccer.
Soccer strength training involves more than building muscle. It is more about developing the strength and power required for speed, agility and stamina that are all required to stay in constant motion for a 90 minute game of soccer!