Soccer Workouts: Make you a Better Soccer Player
Dec 01, 2022 by Benny Chan
Strength, endurance, speed, and agility—are all traits good soccer players need. Professional soccer players who dominate the pitch focus on soccer-specific workouts that boost speed and agility, which can help change direction in a fraction of a second. Soccer players often overlook strength, making them more robust against the opposition. Even more critical is endurance, which helps them perform at the best level throughout the 90 minutes on the pitch.
This comprehensive soccer conditioning drills guide will help you work on these four factors, improve sports performance, and rise to the top in soccer.
Soccer Workout for Strength
“Strength is a quality that underpins everything,” says Jordan Webb, a strength and conditioning coach for Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire. “It underpins endurance, agility, speed—it underpins power production, everything you need to be an athlete. I think that body strength is probably the quality that is most important for any soccer player, no matter the position.”
Here are some of the exercises to add strength to your game of soccer.
How to do:
- Holding the barbell with both hands, standing with feet hip-width apart, hands about shoulder-width apart with an overhand grip.
- Descend and sit back until you feel a nice stretch on your hamstrings.
- Keep your back erect, looking straight forward.
- Exhale, drive your heels into the floor, push your hips forward as you come up, and pull the barbell up along your thighs.
- Squeeze hard on your glutes at the top.
What it does: Bent-Knees Deadlift targets a range of areas, including muscles in your back, posterior deltoid, glutes, hamstrings, triceps, and triceps surae. Squats strengthen your lower body and can improve muscle flexibility around hips and knees, which is crucial for helping soccer players to decrease injuries. The deadlift will add back and spine strength, increasing core stability. And it's good strength training that can go with your routine.
Cable Split Squat
How to do:
- Grab the handles, and take a split stance, one foot forward and one foot behind.
- Keep your chest open, head up, and back erect.
- Make sure your knees are facing straight ahead throughout.
- Descend until both your knees are 90 degrees bent.
- Core nice and tight to maintain the balance of your upper body.
What it does: This exercise will activate the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and core, helping strengthen the lower body and core stability, which soccer players need on the pitch.
Soccer Workout for Endurance
Lunge Hold Chest Press and Overhead Press
How it does:
- Assume a split stance, back facing the screen.
- Descend until your knees are 90 degrees bent.
- Brace your core, grabbing the handles with both hands, one near the shoulder, the other against the chest; this is the starting position.
- The lower body holds the lunge throughout.
- Press overhead the handle near the shoulder, then extend the other arm straight forward. Slowly come back and repeat.
What it does:
With a static training method adapted, this compound movement can improve the muscular endurance of the lower body, including the quads, hamstrings, and gluteus maximus. At the same time, the alternate cable press can stimulate upper body muscle groups like the chest and shoulder.
For soccer players, the isometric and isotonic contractions in full-body muscles benefit lower-body muscle endurance, core stability, and upper-body strength on the pitch.
HIIT on Rower
How to do:
- Begin with a 5-minute warm-up rowing session with low resistance and speed.
- Then steadily increase your speed to a vigorous pace, last for 1 min at your heart rate between 80 and 85% of its maximum.
- After the high-intensity rowing, give yourself 1-2 minutes to unwind by finding a comfortable speed.
- After cooling off, accelerate for 1 minute, and take 1 to 2 minutes to recover.
- Repeat for 20-30 minutes.
- Next, steadily reduce your speed while rowing for 5 minutes to cool down. Do some stretches.
What it does: High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT) on rower workouts can be highly beneficial when building football-specific cardiovascular and muscle endurance. This training works by activating your fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibers, which are the main factors for endurance and explosive power.
Soccer Workout for Agility
Fast Feet Side to Side
How to do:
- Keep your core tight, chest open, and back erect.
- Slightly bend forward from your hips.
- Keep a steady breath. Agilely step from one side to the other in five seconds.
- Then immediately perform a fast-feet step toward the opposite side.
What it does: This is a great fast-feet soccer training that develops a player's reaction time, footwork, and the ability for sudden starts and stops, quick turns, and changing direction quickly. You can also do the agility ladder drill for the same purpose.
Step-Up Box Jumps
How to do:
- Stand in front of the box in the distance.
- Place one foot on the box and jump up explosively with the other knees raised.
- Keep your core tight to stabilize yourself. Don't hold your breath.
- Engage your glutes and legs to propel the motion.
- Then repeat the other side.
What it does:
High knees activate quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, and hip flexors. Additionally, one leg jump can improve athletes' body balance, coordination, and core stability.
Soccer Workout for Speed
How to do:
- Warm up with 5-10 mins of jogging in the flat.
- Run uphill at your top speed for 1 min
- Walk down the hill and cool down for around 90 seconds before the next rep.
- Repeat 20-30 mins with 1-2 mins of cooling time between every rep.
- End up with 10 mins running at a comfortable speed.
What it does: Speed hill training is often recommended as one of the best exercises for soccer players who want to build speed. It works like a sprint while dragging weights behind you, at some level, like running sled training.
With proper training methods, this soccer speed workout can be beneficial in many perspectives, such as boosting speed and explosiveness, improving cardiorespiratory health, building lower body muscle strength and endurance, and in some ways, honing mental grit and toughness.
Speediance Sport-Specific Workout and Programs
If you have a speediance and want expert-level coaching, you can add Speediance soccer-specific training programs and workout to your routine.
Soccer is a game of endurance. Players who can last 90 minutes while maintaining a high level of agility, flexibility, strength, and quickness will often stand out. This soccer-specific workout focuses on cardiorespiratory endurance training, helping you increase your muscle and strength endurance and be unstoppable throughout the entire game.
This soccer-specific strength drill workout aims to develop your lower body and core strength, helping you become stronger for the opposite resistance and more explosive on the soccer field.