The best soccer players need a combination of speed, agility, and stamina to outlast their opponents on the pitch.
Finding a balance in your workouts is the best way to turn yourself into an all-around player—and strength training is the foundation of that process.
Many plays consist of single-leg actions, stop-and-go movements, hard cuts and explosive sprints. In order to perform all of these actions efficiently and explosively, you need strong, powerful legs.
A well-balanced strength ratio between the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes is key to increased athletic performance, as these are the muscles that allow us to sprint, bound and jump.
Adding these five exercises to your routine will help you build strong legs and gain an advantage over your competition.
Adding these exercises to your routine will help build strong legs that will give you that extra edge.
Trap Bar Deadlift
How to do it:
Stand in the center of the trap bar, knees shoulder-width apart. Lower your hips down and grab both handles, keeping your head forward and your chest up. Stand up with the weight and use your heels to push up. As you rise, push your hips forward as you reach the top of your movement, then lower down to start position and repeat.
Do 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps.
What it Does:
Less stress on the spine and back can help decrease injuries for soccer players and the move will add back and lower body strength.
How to do it:
The Front Squat is a great exercise for improving athletic performance. It helps the athlete install a proper athletic movement pattern while building thoracic spine mobility and core strength. This exercise will help to develop the powerful lower-body muscle groups important for kicking and running.
What it Does:
Targeted Muscles: Quads, Glutes, Spinal Erectors, Upper Back
Sets and Reps: 5 Sets with 4-6 Reps
Dumbbell Lateral Lunges
How to do it: Start standing with your legs wide, about shoulder-width apart. Holding a dumbbell in each hand (5-15 pounds), lunge to one side, and as you do it, lower the dumbbells towards the ground. Once your reach that spot, push hard off the leg and back to the starting position.
What it does: Since soccer players are constantly running, lunges can help boost your strength, flexibility, and mobility in your legs. The exercise will also help your core, lower back, and obliques.
3-4 sets of 8-12 reps
Dumbbell Step Up
How to do it: Start by standing in front of a solid, stable bench or a box while you’re holding dumbbells at your sides. Bring one leg up onto the bench, making your thigh parallel to the floor. Step up onto the bench while keeping the dumbbells at your side, leaving your trailing leg just off the bench. Step down. Repeat for 10-15 reps.
What it does: The exercise increases strength in your legs, quads, and thighs, along with your glutes and hamstrings. All the work done on the hamstrings is crucial for soccer players—the stronger and more stable your hamstrings are, the more power you can get from your legs on the field.
3-4 set of 8-12 reps
Single Leg RDL
How to do it:
Stand balancing on your right leg and hold a dumbbell with your left hand in front of your thigh.
Sit your hips back as if you were being pulled by a rope attached to your waist., and allow your right knee to bend slightly. Your left leg should be straight (it’s OK if there’s a slight bend in the knee) and in line with your body throughout the rep.
Keeping your back flat, continue to bend at the waist until the dumbbell is at about mid-shin height (this ultimately depends on your hamstring flexibility)
Drive through your heel and push your hips forward to stand up to the starting position.
What it does:
For athletes, it develops the single-leg strength needed to be explosive off both legs when sprinting, jumping and changing directions.
More importantly, the Single-Leg RDL helps to eliminate strength imbalances on the left and right sides of the body and improves lower-body stability, which protects the knees from injury.
3-4 set of 6-8 reps
If you have any questions please contact us at Jsisman@prepareforperformance.com
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