Whether you play soccer as a professional athlete, or on your local team just for fun, being in optimal physical shape is essential to your health and abilities.
Even pro athletes need to ensure that they are able to maintain their stamina and fitness levels on a daily basis.
In this article, we will review 10 essential professional soccer player workouts.
1.Warm up Walk-outs :
Any coach or personal trainer will stress the importance of warming up as a vital prerequisite of a good workout. Making sure that your muscles are warm and resistant will prevent any potential injuries caused by strains or muscle-pulls. A very easy warm-up to remember to do is a Walk-out.
This is done by slowly bending over, hinging at the waist, until your hands are flat on the floor in front of you. You will ‘walk’ your hands forward all the way until you are in a push-up position. You can do a single push up or you can do a modified version and simply ‘walk’ back and roll up to standing position. Do 10 repetitions of this. This is a great full body warm-up that gently raises your heart rate and prepares all of your muscles for physical activity.
2. Ali Shuffle :
Now that you are nice and warmed up, a good exercise to start to get your heart really pumping is called an Ali Shuffle. This workout can be described as almost opposite to a star jump. Instead of jumping your feet in and out while raising your arms up and down, the Ali Shuffle requires you to jump your feet forward and backward with your arms pumping alternately forwards and backward. Keep your weight on the balls of your feet and keep the movement light and fast. Do 30-60 seconds of this.
3. Open and Close the Gate:
You can now bring your heart rate down slightly by doing an exercise called ‘Open and Shut the Gate’. This consists of lifting one knee to a 90-degree angle in front of you, then turning your knee outward to open up the hip flexors. This professional soccer player workout brings your bent knee back to your front and lower gently to the ground. Repeat with the other leg. Do 1 rep of this. This is a great work out for strengthening the lower abdominals, thighs, and glutes.
4. Single-Leg Squat :
This workout targets and strengthens the thigh and glute muscles, just what a player needs in order to kick a ball hard and far. Hold your arms straight out in front of you, extend one leg out and lower your body into a squat position, hold for a second or two then raise yourself up again and repeat on your other side. This move can be modified by keeping your extended leg bent. Repeat 10 times on each side.
5. Burpees :
One of the most popular full-body workouts at the moment is the ‘Burpee’ or’ squat- jump’. This is a challenging exercise for even the fittest of athletes. It targets nearly all areas of the body and rapidly raises the heart rate. Begin your burpee by standing with your legs hip-width apart. Jump up with arms reaching towards the ceiling. As you land you will bend at the waist, place your hands flat on the ground, jump your feet back into a push-up position. Jump your feet back in towards your hands and stand up straight. Repeat these movements 10 times for 4 sets.
6. Mountain Climbers :
This is a great exercise for building strength in the arms, shoulders and lower abdominals as well as improving your stamina. The key to maintaining good form whilst doing this exercise is to start in a strong plank position. From here, jog your knees forwards and backward towards your chest, landing lightly on the balls of your feet as each leg extends behind you. Do this workout for 30-60 seconds 4 times.
7. Side Planks :
From the plank position you are already in, do this exercise by, simply rotating your body to one side to balance on one arm, point the other arm reaching up towards the ceiling. Keep your legs firmly extend out with one foot resting on top of the other. Repeat on your other side. This is a challenging workout that strengthens the core, arms, and back. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds.
8. Donkey Kicks :
Continuing to work the on core and thigh areas. Donkey kicks will be your next exercise. From standing position, place your hands flat on the ground and step your feet back slightly. Move your weight into your hands as you jump both legs up attempting to kick your bum with your heels! Ensure you land lightly on the balls of your feet as you repeat this movement. Do this for 30-60seconds for times.
9. Roll-ups :
Your penultimate exercise will be the Roll-up. This exercise is good for massaging the back while improving your agility. Standing with your feet hip-width apart, lower your body slowly until you are onto your back. From here, roll up using momentum to stand up on to your feet. Repeat this movement 4 -8 times.
10. Stretches :
To finish your workout, a good stretch is just as important as the warm-up to prevent any injuries and improve mobility. Make sure you remember to stretch out all the major muscles you have used, holding each one for at least 10 seconds.
The workouts listed above will keep any player in their peak physical condition, regardless of where they are. A soccer player needs to be light on their feet, fast, and has the stamina to be able to perform well and endure a 90-minute match! These professional soccer player workouts do not require you to have access to a gym or even any equipment, so they can definitely be done anywhere.