List of Soccer Exercises
Soccer requires its players to be in shape and ready to move in a variety of ways. There are many different workouts that soccer players can do to prepare for games and get their bodies ready for 90 minutes of movement.
Soccer is a sport that requires a lot of running. This means that players must have strong cardiovascular abilities in order to keep up with the pace of the game. There are several workouts that athletes can do to make sure they are game ready.
What are the best exercises for soccer?
- Box jumps
- Cardio circuits
- Cone drills
- Cross-training workouts
- Goalie Workouts
- Jump rope
- Keep away
- Ladder shuffles
- Skill circuits
- Sled pushes/pulls
- Weightlifting circuits
This workout is a way of improving leg strength and balance. Players will jump with two feet from the ground to the top of a box, utilizing explosive leg strength. They can use a range of box heights, and will work to get to bigger boxes. This workout can greatly improve how players jump in games to get to head balls and help goalies with their movement to shots.
In the gym, soccer players can utilize cardio equipment to boost their endurance. They can use treadmills, ellipticals, or stationary bikes to get their heart rate up. Since many players will run for 90 minutes on the field, they need to have good endurance so they don’t tire too much toward the end of the game. These cardio workouts can help with that.
Circuits are a workout that include a variety of skills done in repetitions. Cardio circuits are also very common workouts. Players might have specific workouts across a field, such as planks, sit ups, or pushups, and must run or jog to and from each drill. This way, they are getting cardio workouts in while they go between drills.
Similar to ladder shuffles, soccer players will use cones to run and dribble through to improve their speed and agility with a ball. The cones can be set up in a variety of patterns and distances, and players must dribble through them, utilizing footwork and speed. This mimics dribbling on the field past defenders!
There are many workouts that are used across several different sports. This is because many sports value similar strength and abilities. Below are some of the workouts used in soccer that you might see used in other sports as well.
Teams will have specific workouts planned for their goalies, as they often require different skills than field players. They will practice hand eye coordination with tossed ball workouts and arm strength with weightlifting. During practices, they might also be in the goal practicing saves while the rest of the team does other workouts.
Juggling is a skill that many soccer players have picked up from years of improving ball control. There are many juggling workouts that players can do to work on leg strength and foot-eye coordination. Juggling can be done on your own or with a partner or group, where players work to keep the ball from hitting the ground using their feet, thighs, chest, head, or any other part of their body that is not their hand.
Jumping rope is a great workout for soccer players to increase foot movement and timing. Players can do a variety of different jumps and movements for intervals of time. This is also a great cardio workout if done for longer periods of time.
Before games, you might see players warming up by standing in a circle and passing the ball to one another, keeping it away from one player in the middle. The tight circle requires players to have fast foot movements and agile feet to keep the ball away from the center player. Once they lose the ball, they become the player in the middle.
Ladder workouts are very commonly used by soccer athletes as well as athletes from other sports as well. These drills improve balance, speed, and footwork. You can do a variety of step patterns on ladder shuffles to build up agility.
Soccer teams typically have enough players that they can put on scrimmages against one another. They will mimic in-game scenarios both to practice tactics and to get in shape for when actual games are played. Often, coaches will use their in-game lineups against the bench players to see how a lineup will work together.
Teams can also set up circuits to work on specific soccer skills. They might have a shooting drill on one side of the field, a defending drill on the other side, and a dribbling drill in the middle. Players will shift through these different drills throughout a practice depending on which skills they need to work on.
Sleds are a great way for soccer players to do resistance training. Athletes will push or pull weighted sleds to improve their body strength. This can also be a good workout to practice playing on a field with another team, as soccer is a contact sport and players have to learn how to play while experiencing resistance from the other team.
There are a variety of sprinting drills that soccer players can utilize in practice. These drills will help with a player's explosivity on the field and can also help to improve endurance. These sprints can be done with or without a ball depending on the type of skills that players want to work on. Players will utilize their practice field to run certain distances or for certain amounts of time.
Swimming is an awesome low impact workout for soccer players. Athletes can do cardio work while working all of their muscles swimming laps in a pool. This can also be used for players who have injuries as a way of working the muscles without too much impact from running on a field.
These circuits are most often done in a training gym and not on the field. Teams often have their own weight room in their practice facility! Players will rotate through equipment such as barbells, medicine balls, or squat racks depending on which muscles they want to target. Players can lift weights to increase leg strength, endurance, and core strength to make them better overall players on the field.