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Soccer is the total sport. And a well-thought-out soccer training program must reflect that. Soccer players must perform with short bursts of power and speed AND have the ability to keep going for 90 minutes or more... irst and foremost though... a soccer training program should be individually tailored to your needs AND your resources. All the training theory - the perfect !"-month fitness regime - it all flies out the window if you simply don#t have the time $or the inclination% to train & or ' days a week. Start with what you have available. (hink about what you want to achieve in soccer. )f you take the time to prepare now you will reap the rewards later on... Step 1 -- ask yourself honestly how much time you are willing to commit to your soccer training program. (hen take a bit off to account for over enthusiasm* Step 2 -- what is your current level of conditioning+ ,e more precise than -fit- or -unfit-. .hich elements of fitness do you need to work on most+ Speed+ Strength+ /ndurance+ )f you don#t know... Develop a series of simple fitness tests to find out. or e0ample the !"minutes endurance test1 beep test1 push ups1 sit ups1 "0m sprints1 etc2 3ou can do these in one afternoon and it#s well worth the effort. 4f all the different types of soccer training you could perform $strength training1 speed training1 skill work etc.% 20% will make 80% of the difference to your game... Stay on the right side of the 506"0 principle. ,uild your soccer training program around those areas that need most improvement1 especially if your time is limited.
The 12-Month Soccer Training Program
/ven if you only play 5 months of the year1 your soccer training program should stretch the entire !" months. 7ore on why in a moment. (he first thing to do is split up our program into ' distinct phases...
• • • •
arly pre-!ea!on !occer training "ate pre-!ea!on !occer training #n-!ea!on !occer training $lo!ed or off-!ea!on !occer training
)f you simply want to improve your fitness over the summer - ready for trials ne0t season - base your program on the late pre-season phase. Side Note At this stage don#t worry about individual sessions. (his is the -big picture- how all the different types of training fit together. 3ou#ll find lots more articles at the bottom of this page covering strength1 speed1 drills and so on. ,ut don#t go to them 8ust yet* 491 let#s look at each phase in a little more detail... /arly :re-Season $'-; weeks% :rofessional players might not see a ball for the first half of the pre-season. (he emphasis is on preparing yourself for the more demanding1 late pre-season soccer training. At this early stage break keep things light and not too demanding. (he last thing you should do is dive straight into all out1 stomach wrenching interval training* ndurance Training Stick to predominantly continuou! type training. (his is lower intensity aerobic conditioning. <ontinuous training should be the only form of endurance training you perform for the first "-& weeks. =radually progress to more intense interval training as you move into late pre-season. Strength Training )deally you want to develop ma%imum !trength a few weeks before the start of the competitive season. .hy+ ,efore you can develop e%plo!ive power and even speed you must first develop a solid strength base. 7a0imum strength can take up to !" weeks to develop so if strength is a priority for you1 start your strength training during the off-season. Speed &nd Power Training No need for any speed or power work at this stage. >eave it until the late pre-season and )n-season.
.means nothing to you. @aving said that.efore we move on to )n-Season training phase take a look at the chart below.. Skill &nd Tactical Training (he amount of skill work you do at this stage depends on the amount of time you have available.. or e0ample. 'le%i(ility As the volume and intensity of your soccer training increases fle0ibility training becomes even more essential. A word of warning .but this is the phase of your soccer training program that will have the greatest impact on your game.'le%i(ility Don#t under estimate the importance of fle0ibility in a soccer training program. Again1 don#t worry too much if -plyometric training. Again your conditioning must be soccer specific.these few weeks might have you asking1 -.. ?nfortunately most soccer players do.hy didn#t ) take up golf+. Priority /f 'itne!! $ontinuou! training #nterval training Strength training Power training Speed training 'le%i(ility training lement! in a Soccer Training Program @igh >ow @igh @igh >ow @igh >ow @igh 7oderate 7oderate @igh @igh >ow 7aintenance >ow 7aintenance 7aintenance @igh arly Pre-Sea!on "ate Pre-Sea!on #n-Sea!on . . The warm up !hould precede all of the!e. Aary your sprint starts for e0ample1 by running backwards for a few yards first1 8umping to head a ball or controlling and passing a ball before sprinting etc. )t goes without saying. )f you plan to combine plyometrics or sprint drills with skill work always perform the plyometrics or sprints first. ndurance Training . (here are some key differences.. le0ibility training is essential for recovery and in8ury prevention. )f you plan to do an intense interval training session do your skill work first.y now1 all of your endurance training should be in the form of interval training.orld are useless on the sidelines* Again you#ll find some good soccer stretching e0ercises you can use to increase your range of movement below. :layers old enough to perform demanding fitness training $4ver !... Skill &nd Tactical Training <ombine skill work with some of your fitness training to save time. (he best players in the . Strength Training =radually decrease the number of strength sessions and replace them with power training !e!!ion! such as plyometrics. :lyometric training can be e0tremely effective at developing power and e0plosive off-the-mark speed but is not suitable for everyone. )t will give a Buick reference as to how all the different elements of soccer fitness integrate over a season. Speed Training As the competitive season draws closer your soccer training should place more and more emphasis on -uickne!! and !harpne!!..e#re still on the -big !"-month picture-. from a fitness perspective. 9eep the intervals short and intense1 include twists and turns and running backwards1 train on grass and 8uggle a ball during active recovery periods etc. 3ou can never stop improving* "ate Pre-Sea!on )*-+ week!. . (ry to match the movement patterns you would find in a typical match. 3our soccer training should also become more specific during the late pre-season.% will have a relatively high level of skill... And do remember there stretching to improve fle0ibility is N4( the same as stretching during a warm up.
... /very . So. #n-Sea!on Soccer Training Program Monday )nterval (raining Tue!day (eam training plyometrics and sprint work 0edne!day . . >et#s Buickly sum it all up in one small table that covers the !"-month calendar.. weeks or so give your body a break and a chance to recover. And it will give you a tremendous advantage over other players and teams... )f you do nothing for .interval training 'riday Saturday Cest 7atch Sunday Cecovery run and fle0ibility (he competitive season can last up to 5 months. or 1-Training a! it2! al!o known.. (ry to e0ercise & times a week for at least &0 minutes. $ro!!-training.#n-Sea!on Training (he goal here is to maintain the fitness you developed during pre season. (raining at the same level of intensity week in week out only promotes the chances of in8ury and burn out. Swimming1 cycling1 tennis1 basketball .. $lo!ed Sea!on Training Nearly there* Avoid abandoning all forms of physical conditioning now the season has ended. Splitting the soccer training program up this way really is the most effective approach to conditioning. Suppose your team trains on (uesdays and (hursdays and plays on Saturdays1 below is an e0ample of how an )nseason training week may look. Cegular1 competitive matches maintain basic levels of endurance so any additional soccer training should concentrate on speed1 power and anaerobic endurance development. Do what professional players are advised to do. or a week1 drop the intense speed and power sessions and 8ust perform " or & light aerobic sessions instead. Pha!e! #n & 12 Month Soccer Training Program Month May 3un 3ul &ug Sep /ct 4ov 5ec 3an 'e( Mar &pr Pha!e <S <S /:S >:S )S )S )S )S )S )S )S )S <S D <losed season soccer training1 /:S D /arly pre-season soccer training1 >:S D >ate pre-season soccer training1 )S D )n season soccer training.eights session and fle0ibility Thur!day (eam training .any of these are good alternatives. weeks much of the hard work you#ve put in over the last season will be lost... Do some other form of activity that keeps your fitness levels ticking over AND gives you a mental break from soccer.
... An e0ample is holding one leg straight out in front of you as high as possible. 5ifferent Type! of 'le%i(ility . 5ifferent Type! of Soccer Stretching 1.ending over and bouncing to touch your toes is a classic e0ample. (he hamstring $antagonist% is being stretched while the Buadriceps and hip fle0ors $agonists% are holding your leg up.aiding you in Buick changes in direction and speed off the mark.muscles are stretched without moving the limb or 8oint itself.. Avoid ballistic stretching. 3our Buadriceps is not reBuired to hold the e0tended position.. it covers every stage of the training program in detail . 2. 8. (his article covers how you can increase your range of motion with 8ust &-' short1 sessions a week. Some are better $and safer% than others.. )t also improves your agility . Soccer Stretching %erci!e! (hese soccer stretching e0ercises will not only increase your fle0ibility. Static !occer !tretching . 5ynamic fle%i(ility 3our ability to perform a variety of movements within the full range of motion about a 8oint. Static &ctive fle%i(ility 3our ability to stretch an antagonist muscle using only the ten!ion in the agoni!t mu!cle. (hey also have a positive effect on your ability to perform ball skills and your agility around the pitch. An e0ample is swinging a leg back and forth as if to kick an imaginary ball.. . 7any player! have achieved amaEing results and a transformation in their game by following the same type of conditioning principles as professionals $even if they can#t commit the same amount of time%.ut to gain the benefits from a soccer stretching program you must make more than a token effort at the end of a cool down. =uess which is most relevant to soccer+ 3ep1 dynamic fle%i(ility 1 although the other two play an important role. . 6alli!tic !occer !tretching . . @ere is a brief outline. Static Pa!!ive fle%i(ility 3our ability to hold a stretch using your (ody weight or !ome other e%ternal force. A good e0ample of a static stretch is the traditional Buad stretch where1 standing on one leg1 you grab your ankle and pull your heel into your backside.roadly speaking there are 8 type! of fle0ibility... And yes1 you can still perform them at the end of your trainingto save time. A good range of motion helps you to perform fine motor skills with greater poise1 elegance and consistency. A range of precise training programs are outlined !tep-(y-!tep1 even down to specific sets and repetitions .& Step-6y-Step 7uide to 5eveloping a Soccer Training Program Sport itness Advisor has developed a complete guide to !occer fitne!!. 4ne is more relevant to soccer than the other two..ith doEens of drills for every component of fitness it#s an ideal re!ource for coache!.often used at the beginning of a warm up.strength training1 power1 endurance1 speed1 fle0ibility and nutrition. (here are safer and eBually as effective ways to improve range of motion.. 7aking circles with the arms to loosen the shoulders1 twisting from side to side and swing each leg as if to kick a ball are all good e0amples... )n order to increase your range of motion and fle0ibility1 there are number of stretching methods you can use. ?sing the e0ample above imagine holding your leg out in font of you and resting it on a chair.bouncing or #8erky# movements that use your bodyweight to increase the stretch. ... 5ynamic !occer !tretching ..
ith that said let#s move on to a soccer stretching program.ending on ". weeks to see measurable improvements. inally1 consider testing yourself prior to starting a soccer stretching program then again after . (his is N4( the same as stretching as part of a warm up . . -Shake out. Cepeat for the opposite side.ith both feet together and legs fully e0tended1 reach forward with both hands towards your toes. . Don#t perform a soccer stretching routine de!igned to increa!e fle%i(ility at the start of a training session or a game. Two "eg 9am!tring Stretch !.reath* Avoid breathing holding as you stretch as this can raise blood pressure and leave you feeling diEEy. or optimal results try to stretch every day or at least &-' times a week 7akes sure your body in completely warm before you start. @old each stretch for "0-&0 seconds. F. . Ceach with &. 9eep your toes pointed towards the sky... 9eep your back straight and the other leg bent. both hands towards your outstretched foot.you should always stretch during a warm up. Don#t e0pect results overnight. ".. )t should feel tight and that tightness should diminish as you hold the stretch.e#ll stick to !tatic !tretche! for now. '. (hey are a bit more intense but can be very effective. @ere are some other general1 but important guidelines to bear in mind before you start your soccer stretching routine. 9eep the thigh in line with your body. 9eep your Cemember to breathe* '. (o increase the stretch push your hips forward $only a slight movement%. . .(here are other more advanced forms of stretching . ... Soccer Stretching Program Stretching to increa!e fle%i(ility rather than as part of a warm up reBuires a slightly different approach. =rab 8ust above the ankle 8oint $the bottom of your leg%. )nstead you would perform & calf stretches1 then & hamstring stretches and so on. &. /ach stretch should be held for "0-&0 seconds and should be repeated at least twice $preferably three time%.e persistent they will come. &. Do not grab your foot. ".where stretches are held for shorter periods and are not performed back to back . Cepeat for the opposite side. toes towards the sky and tuck your head to increase the stretch..the limb and 8oint and repeat for a total of " to & sets.:N 1 <CA< and isometric stretching. /ither do F-!0mins of light aerobic e0ercise or do your stretches at the end of a training session. • "ying :uadricep! Stretch !..1 and then repeat the whole routine. . >ying on one side grasp your ankle and pull your heel towards your buttocks. (uck your chin towards your chest to increase the stretch. • 9am!tring Split !. Stretch one knee1 e0tend the other leg out in front of you. So for e0ample1 you wouldn#t perform a calf stretch1 then a hamstring stretch then a Buad stretch etc. Some studies suggest it can decrease power and hinder performance. weeks. )t can take up to .. • • • • • • • Do N4( hold a stretch that is in anyway painful.
Standing one leg1 grab your opposite ankle and pull your heel into your buttocks. ". the right knee so the sole of your foot is flat on the ground. your upper body towards your right knee and place your right hand on the floor for support. . Cesist with your knee and left hand to feel the tension in your lower back. ". :lace towards you. 9eeping the other leg bent lean against the wall to apply pressure to your beg leg. &.end &. &. 7ake sure you keep your back heel flat on the ground. 3our bent knee should sty parallel with your standing leg rather then being pulled behind. Shift your weight onto one side as you bend your knee. 6ack Stretch with the legs straight out in front of you. Sit ". ". Cepeat for the opposite side. F. • Standing 7roin Stretch !. Stand with your legs wider than shoulder width apart. Sitting 7roin Stretch !. Cepeat for the opposite side. '. Sit with knees bent at 90 degrees. Cepeat for the opposite side. &. '. '. . :lace the soles of your feet together to #splay# your knees outwards.• $la!!ic :uadricep! Stretch !. • "ower !.?sing a wall or bar to support you1 place one leg outstretched behind you. your left forearm on the outside of your right knee and gently pull your knee • Standing $alf Stretch !. (urn '. F. 3ou should feel the stretch right down the inside of your outstretched leg. Cepeat for the opposite side. . ". :ush your hips out to increase the stretch and remember not to grab the ankle 8oint. 7ently use your hands or elbows to push your knees downwards. Ceach with one hand towards your outstretched foot.. &.
:lace the hand &. 9ow to 5etermine ...our "evel of Soccer 'itne!! . A soccer fitness program should be built around developing a good aerobic base. or forearm of your other arm on your outstretched elbow to apply pressure. . (esting or setting a bench mark before you begin a training program is an important step to success. :lace one are ".or aerobic endurance. your outstretched arm closer to your chest1 keeping it as straight as possible. @owever1 change it to suit your needs and also add in some e0tra stretches as you see fit. (he main consideration is to perform several sets back to back and to hold the stretches for at least "0-&0 seconds.hat does a high level of soccer fitness really involve+ . =ently pull outstretched across your chest. 3ou can test yourself before the start of pre-season1 again at the the start of the in-season and midway through the in-season. ndurance in Soccer Several studies into the physiological demands of soccer have shown that outfield players can travel up to !& km or 5 miles during a 90-minute game $see the chart below%.• Shoulder Stretch !...hat better way to find out than looking at the physical attributes of the game#s top players+ )n this article we#ll look at some of the ways you can test your own level of soccer fitness. (hese soccer stretching e0ercises are in this order for a reason. (here is nothing more encouraging than seeing ob8ectively how much your fitness levels have come on. Gust as we gauge ma0imal strength with a one repetition ma0imum lift1 there is also a measure for ma0imal aerobic power .
Speed = &gility in Soccer Another significant component of a soccer fitness program is speed and agility training. FF .kg. :rofessional players average '. )t#s a good idea to spend time strengthening the hamstrings in relation to the Buads if this is the case.min in males and &0m>. 4f course1 this is a rough measure because !00lbs on one weights machine is often more difficult to lift than !00lbs on another machine.min. (he most common method for measuring absolute strength is to determine one repetition ma%imum.hile elite soccer players are by no means 4lympic sprinters1 all other things being eBual1 faster players have a marked competitive edge. (he speed of play in today#s game is said to be Buicker than ever. Po!ition Profe!!ional player! Semiprofe!!ional player! ull.. @ow do soccer players fair+ @ave a look at the table below. )f you can bench press your own body weight and leg press twice your body weight you have e0cellent relative strength. Strength in Soccer Strength forms the basis for power and speed. :rofessional soccer players don#t tend to have the same absolute strength as American football players or rugby players for e0ample. 3ou can do this easily if you have someone time you.Flbs.<entre. (o give you a frame of reference1 A4"ma0 is about '0m>.0 F' F! n6a <ompared to the average population then1 soccer players unsurprisingly have e0cellent endurance capacity. . (he Buads should be appro0imately twice the strength of the opposing hamstring muscle group1 but in some players this difference can increase. /lite endurance athletes like cross-country skiers and (our de rance competitors have A4 "ma0 values as high as 5Fm>. Aerobic and strength endurance play a more substantial role in soccer than they do in American football.kg.kg.7idfield Striker =oalkeeper back back player .min in females for the average population. A very simple speed test is a sprint over &0 yards from a standing start. Soccer players also need strength to hold off challenges from opponents. :erhaps more important in soccer than a(!olute strength is relative strength. (oo much bulk would hinder their agility and speed off the mark. ?sually the bench press is used for the upper body and leg press for the lower body. &verage </2ma% for Pro = Semi-Pro Soccer Player! )m"." F5 . Soccer players tend to have very well-developed Buadriceps..min..0 seconds is good. Anytime under F. 3ou can estimate your own A4"ma0 with a simple soccer fitness test like a !"-minute run. Celative strength is simply your absolute or ma0imum strength ad8usted according to your body weight.. So a !'0lb player who can leg press "50lbs is said to have greater relative strength than a player who can also press "50lbs but who weighs say1 !." FF F.0 seconds. (ake the average time over &-' sprints $with plenty of rest between attempts%. .kg.)t#s called A4"ma0 and is simply the most amount of o0ygen you can consume per minute relative to your bodyweight.
A test like the modified sit and reach1 groin fle0ibility test or truck rotation test are all specific to soccer.e sure to read the other soccer fitness articles here at the site.0! 'atigue 0..H.. Sprint 'atigue Time! for Profe!!ional Soccer Player! Time )!econd!. &verage >ange 6e!t !print time . )t covers all the important elements of fitness in depthJ • • • • • • • Strength and !trength endurance training Speed and agility training &ero(ic and anaero(ic endurance training 'le%i(ility1 warming up and cooling down Te!ting soccer-specific fitness 4utrition for soccer 4ff-season1 pre-!ea!on and in-season program design Soccer Speed Training At any level1 speed separates the outstanding players from the average. )n most cases increasing your range of motion can be very beneficial .not only in the prevention if in8ury but to increase your speed1 agility and power too.:erhaps more important than all-out speed is speed endurance.. le0ibility sessions should feature heavily in your soccer fitness regime..0. So1 soccer speed training sessions should play a ma8or role in your training. .a comprehensive step-by-step guide to peak soccer performance.!F . 3ou#ll find plenty of programs and drills to improve your level of conditioning and of course1 your game* Soccer 'itne!! Training Tip! = Se!!ion! Sport itness Advisor has recently developed (otal Soccer itness . 3ou can also buy a large protractor called a goniometer to Buickly measure the range of movement about a 8oint.9" I(o calculate fatigue take your fastest sprint and subtract it from your slowest sprint 'le%i(ility in Soccer >ast and certainly not least is fle0ibility. 7easuring fle0ibility is a simple procedure..' 0. ..F& .50 ....
hen you talk about speed in your game1 here are some of the attributes that will make you a better player... • Kuick speed off the mark • Kuick acceleration over !0-!F yards • =ood speed endurance • Speed in possession of the ball • Kuickness of feet or agility • (he ability to Buickly change direction • (he ability to e0ecute skills Buickly • >ast but not least... inally1 incorporating a ball into some of the speed and agility drills is important to make all those gains in speed transferable to the field of play. (he emphasis is on short1 sharp movements of a high Buality. .... (here are ' important elements that will make you a faster athlete... /0ercises to improve agility don#t tend to be physically ta0ing. (hirdly1 a soccer speed training program should improve agility1 foot speed and reaction time.the obvious one being genetics. .Speed in soccer can be Buite comple0.. ) mention this in another article calling it -anaerobic endurance-..&(!olute !peed or your ability to run fast is determined by a number of factors . 3our body#s ability to remove lactic acid increases which can make such a difference to your game.our Speed = Sprinting Power . Soccer players rarely sprint more than F0 yards in a straight line. speed of thought 3ou can see from the above that good !00m sprinters don#t necessarily have the attributes to be Buick soccer players. (hat come with practise..efore we move on to agility and fast feet1 let#s look at how training can significantly improve absolute speed and acceleration.. And by the same token. A second1 and eBually important1 goal is to increase your !peed endurance. Cemember that old phrase.. -(he first !0 yards are in your head. So1 one goal of your soccer speed training schedule should be to increase your sprinting power .ut if you#ve been blessed with less than favourable sprinting genes don#t worry too much. As for speed of thought1 ) can#t help you there. .. )t certainly entails more than 8ust running fast.particularly your acceleration and speed off the mark. A good soccer speed training program will improve the efficiency of your muscle fibres $if not the type or amount of them% and that will make you faster. Speed endurance training significantly improves your recovery after a bout of repetitive sprints.. and eating lots of greens L-% 9ow to #mprove . :layers who are not typically fast runners can e0cel in soccer if they have sharp feet and Buick speed of thought.
During mid to late pre-season you can perform " speed endurance sessions a week $separated by "'-'5 hours%.oth strength and plyometric training for soccer are covered in the following " articles. )t#s a real confidence booster and well worth the effort.e prepared . A lot of pros teams feel that they help to increase mental sharpness in preparation for an upcoming game. )t doesn#t have to be much . As you can probably gather these drills are intense.eight training increases strength and plyometric training -converts. 2. (hat way your body adapts by increasing its removal and dramatically speeding up your recovery. 3our ability to maintain high percentage of your speed and power relies1 in part1 on your body#s ability to remove lactic acid.. Speed ndurance Training . 4ver the course of a season1 start sprint drills in mid to late pre-season and continue right through the in-season.this type of training can be a killer.you feel after $and during% a short session.1.8ust one short session a week before practice is enough during the in-season. Strength and Power Training :ower relates directly to absolute speed. As a side note1 sprint drills should be performed at the start of a training session when you are fresh.that strength into speed and power. . !00m sprinters are very powerful.but not necessarily as powerful. .eight lifters are very !trong . Drills should be completed over short distances with plenty of rest between sprints. Sprint Training (o improve speed off the mark1 running mechanics and acceleration training should feature in your soccer speed training routine.as they triangles around you* (ry doing a <ruyff turn then* rom personal e0perience1 as ta0ing as these speed endurance drills are they make a game feel easy. . . 'le%i(ility training )t#s always an uphill struggle trying to get athletes to stretch for the purpose of increasing .. During the in-season this can be reduced to one or even omitted if you have " games in a week. .. A few athletes ) know have nicknames for some of these drills..esides. )deally1 you want to increase both. :ower is a combination of both strength and speed of contraction. (he idea is not to tire you. . So are footballers.ut from a personal perspective1 the rewards are worth the temporary -discomfort.ecause they aren#t fatiguing you can perform they the day before a game. 8. *. (here#s nothing worse than receiving the ball after several sprints chasing opponents . (hey are designed to generate large amounts of lactic acid Buickly.hat does this have to do with speed+ Soccer is a multi-sprint sport and there are many occasions over 90 minutes when you are forced to make repeated sprints in Buick succession. None of them are repeatable here* . <oncentrate on form and speed of leg movement over the first few yards. )ncrease either one and you increase power.
A muscle can only contract as fast as its opposing muscle can rela0. (oday#s soccer performers must be -complete athletes-... )ncreasing range of motion also helps to lengthen leg stride and is important for Buick and agile changes in direction.. A plyometric! session substitutes a weight! session for e0ample. )f you#ve ever seen an athlete use an agility ladder they are training to improve foot speed. 3ou should also try to use a ball in some of the drills1 although it#s not the time to try elaborate skills. (hey#ll do it to warm-up but there are so many benefits to moderately increasing range of motion.or even a part of one session $usually at the beginning%. No need to have a separate session for agility drills and sprint training. (ry to do some stretching e0ercises three times a week . (hinking that you#ve got to make time for sprint training1 speed endurance training1 agility drills AND then strength training and plyometrics can be a bit disheartening. 7ost of these drills can be combined into one practise. 4ne of them is increasing power and speed of motion. Cemember though. le0ibility training can release tightness and promote this speed of rela0ation. And also don#t forget.. (hey have to have the upper body strength to resist challenges. .. .. (hey have to be Buick off the mark and over !0-"0 yards. (hey improve co-ordination1 balance and foot speed. 3ou can easily combine agility e0ercises and sprint training e0ercises into one session . 9ow to #mprove . Agility defines your ability to accelerate1 decelerate and change direction Buickly1 whilst maintaining speed1 body control and poise.following a training session when muscles are warm.ut you don#t need anything other than a set of marker cones and a little creativity to design effective drills.hereas strength1 power and all-out sprint training are designed to improve your ma0imum speed1 agility and Buickness drills help to increase the speed of finer movements. . (ypically1 if you#re using a ball1 you should touch it the minimum of times and focus on the movement between touches.. Not all types of training can or !hould be performed at the same point in the season. 4ften times you have to do this while in possession of the ball.our :uickne!! = &gility A soccer speed training program should also cater for agility. (o wrap up1 soccer speed training incorporates several components of fitness and a number of different types of training modalities..their range of motion. Soccer Strength Training ew players get soccer strength training right. (hey need e0cellent levels of both aerobic and anaerobic endurance to last the duration.
. )f all you do is follow the typical & sets of 5-!" repetitions all year round1 you are far from getting the most from your soccer strength training sessions. And if you can incorporate stations into the circuit that match the movement patterns in soccer1 you are way ahead of the game* .e can split -strength.ut there#s a caveat. (hat1 of course1 assumes you continue to maintain your speed and fle0ibility. )n fact it#s a very easy form of training to perform so long as the player and coach rigidly adhere to the guidelines. (he end result should be to increase your e0plosive speed and power. 5ifferent Type! of Soccer Strength Training )n soccer1 lower body strength is reBuired for kicking1 8umping1 tackling1 twisting and turning and also forms the foundation for e0plosive speed. =oing back to our & sets of 5-!" reps e0ample1 general weights programs are inefficient at best for developing soccer-specific strength endurance. )ncrease either one $without lowering the other% and you increase e0plosive power.you are doing yourself and your game a great disservice..)f you simply lift weights . Strength endurance is essential for soccer . . )t sounds complicated but it#s not. >et#s take a closer look why. .. or e0ample1 a player who can leg press "F0lbs has greater absolute strength than a player who can leg press "00lbs.for e0ample1 a weightlifter can spend &0 seconds or more slowly lifting a weight inch by inch.odybuilders1 and athletes whose sports are predominantly strength based1 will train to increase siEe1 bulk and ma0imal strength. Not much use to the soccer player. :lyometrics bridges the gap between strength and speed by combining elements of both in single movement patterns. As we#ll see in a moment1 soccer strength training should fall into some distinct phases. A much more efficient set-up is circuit training. Another1 highly effective form of power training is called plyometric!.into three broader categories.. Mu!cular Power :ower is a product of both absolute strength and the speed of movement. &(!olute or Ma%imal Strength Absolute strength is the ma0imum force that a muscle group can e0ert in single1 momentary contraction.. 3ou can then move on to a ma0imal strength phase before converting this into soccer-specific power or. . ?pper body strength is reBuired for shielding the ball1 holding off opponents1 throw-ins and also contributes to overall power and e0plosiveness. 7ore importantly it also forms the foundation of muscular speed and power.. 7a0imal strength $usually measured by one repetition ma0% makes no allowances for time . Strength ndurance Strength or muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle group to perform repeated1 high-intensity movements...in much the same way as a bodybuilder . . .. (hey#re not too concerned if it#s to the detriment of their aerobic endurance levels or even their agility and fle0ibility.. 3es1 if you do nothing but follow a generaliEed weights routine you find in nearly every issue of popular fitness magaEines1 you will increase your power. )n soccer1 good ma0imal strength is beneficial for holding off opponents and shielding the ball.. At some point in your soccer training routine you should focus on developing strength endurance. As a rule of thumb then1 ma0imal strength training serves a greater purpose than 8ust increasing absolute strength.ut even those generalised programs can be enhanced if you consciously increase the speed of contraction.and like power1 perhaps more essential than all-out strength. (he first phase is used to develop a solid functional strength base in the off-season..
ith a good foundation to build on1 you#re fully prepared to move into phase ". Since power is our overall outcome1 it makes sense to develop strength first and then convert it into soccer-specific power. ----------------------(he goal of this phase is to develop the highest force possible. (he foundations you lay in this phase literally determine the Buality of strength and power formed in later phases.Side 4ote ----7a0imal strength is relative to the other phases. And it becomes doubly important for younger players.. )t allows your upper and lower body to work in cohesion1 minimising shock and stress. 7ost players have a predominant kicking foot for e0ample.the abdominals1 lower back and trunk . (he core . )nstead1 we break a soccer strength training program into several phases .. Some 8oints are placed under more stress than others.you have a (ig advantage.. /very twisting1 turning 1 stopping and starting movement is supported by your core. Not even professional players can. No wonder hamstring in8uries are so prevalent in the game%.the same routine $or some slight variation% all year round.especially when you have limited training time+ 4bviously1 the answer is you don#t.both short and long-term become much more likely. 7ore importantly1 without this phase1 in8ures . . The * Pha!e! of a Soccer Strength Training Program )t#s crucial that you take a long-term perspective in your soccer strength training plan. )t#s a form of training that is becoming more and more popular1 and rightly so.. @owever1 this phase should use higher loads than the other phases.a sure-fire way path to over training and not much of anything else. ----.ith all these different types of soccer strength training1 things can start to get a bit overwhelming. (his is where most players finish .6uild 'unctional Strength Soccer1 like any sport1 places a lot of uneven demands on the body. >ooking at the big picture1 so to speak1 will help you see how it all fits together.. (he goals of this phase areJ • • • • (o prepare the 8oints1 muscles1 ligaments and tendons for more intense work in subseBuent phases (o strengthen underused stabiliEer muscles (o balance the right and left side of the body (o redress the balance between the fle0ors and e0tensors $soccer players1 for e0ample1 are notorious for having over-developed Buads from repetitive kicking actions..each lasting between ' and !" weeks $although some phases can vary in length%. or should. Thi! i! the mo!t important pha!e of any !occer !trength training program . And so1 some muscles develop more than others... 3ou#re following a soccer strength training program that meets the specific demands of your sport .. building ma0imal strength. /ven if you only do ! weights session a week1 you should still adapt it over the course of your season. . @ow do you train for ma0imal strength AND power AND muscular endurance . )t also takes the pressure off trying to cater for everything in 8ust a few training sessions . /ff-Sea!on? arly Pre-Sea!on .all form your -center of power-. 3et most athletes dismiss it. or obvious reasons younger athletes should lift weights below their ma0imum. (hey kick using the same motor patterns1 tens of thousands of times every year.ut that#s good news for you. The /ff-Sea!on . A good portion of your soccer strength training should focus on core !ta(ility .. @ere#s an e0ample of how you can break a season1 and a soccer strength training program1 into 8ust a few manageable phases.6uild Ma%imal Strength ..
. . /ach might cycle might last . )t#s another techniBue used by the pros to keep their bodies $and their minds% fresh and free from in8ury... ndurance And now it#s time to reap the rewards of all your efforts. weeks depending on your schedule.sets1 repetitions1 progression1 e0ercise illustrations and so on. 3ou reach a peak in the middle of the cycle $week '-F% and taper off again towards the end.. More /n Strength = $onditioning 'or Soccer All the phases and types of soccer strength training are laid out step-by-step in (otal Soccer itness. )ncludingJ • • • • • • • Strength and !trength endurance training Speed and agility training &ero(ic and anaero(ic endurance training 'le%i(ility1 warming up and cooling down Te!ting soccer-specific fitness 4utrition for soccer 4ff-season1 pre-!ea!on and in-season program design Sample Soccer 0eight Training Program (ake 8ust a little time to plan your soccer weight training program correctly and it will certainly re-pay ten-fold on the field... (hat way the latter stages of pre-season training can focus on power and strength endurance training.Mu!cular Power and Strength 3ou#ve prepared your body well.ase all your other training sessions around it. .ritten by Sports itness Advisor it contains doEens of sample strength1 power and muscular endurance programs to cater for a wide variety of needs .ecause the competitive season can last up to 9 months1 you should split your strength routine into smaller cycles..Maintenance (o become a balanced player you have to accept that you#ll lose a small amount of ma0imal strength to develop more competitive types of strength. )t will last roughly '-. #n-Sea!on . .. At the beginning of each cycle you lift lighter weights and perhaps perform few sets. "ate Pre-Sea!on .. Cemember1 one of the best forms of training is a competitive game. 3ou#ve built a solid strength base.ut it will make you a better player* During the in-season1 the goal is to maintain the gains you#ve made during a strenuous pre-season period without over reaching or over training. Not only that. . (his is not one big1 continuous phase in your soccer strength training routine. Soccer is one of the few sports demands roughly eBual amounts of e0plosive force and strength endurance.. :lyometric training and6or circuit training should replace sessions in the weight room for this phase. 4ne more point before we wrap up.(he aim is to complete this phase before the start of the season.-5 weeks for e0ample. . )t outlines in detail A>> the elements of fitness crucial for soccer on the soccer pitch. )n this phase of soccer strength training1 goal is to convert your strength gains into soccer-specific power and muscular endurance.
During the late pre-season you will probably only have time for one or two weights sessions.if you train with weights there#s no reason why should ad8ust your routine as the year progresses.rather than prescribing a set number of reps1 each e0ercise can be performed for a set period of time $i.ideally upperbody1 lowerbody1 upperbody and so on. "ower weight! and higher repetition! ...either the e0ercise6station time1 rest time or weight ..the resistance should be about F0M of one repetition ma0iumu $!C7% or light enough to perform !F-"F repetitions. Time i! often u!ed in!tead of repetition! . or e0ercises that use freeweights gradually increase the weight as it becomes easier. And if you dont.. (wo is the most.0sec% or decreasing the rest periods.e.)n a previous article we covered the different type! of strength in soccer..N4( all three* • • • • • • • • Pu!h up! Side crunche! "unge! <ernating !uperman! 5ip! 'a!t feet /(li-ue! Shoulder pre!! with dip More /n Soccer 0eight Training .. &0 seconds%.y its very nature it builds both strength and endurance. . As the start of the competitive season draws closer1 the goal is to convert ma%imal !trength gains made during the off-season and early pre-season into performance-boosting !trength endurance. @ere#s the routine.. Gust change one parameter at a time ...e also covered why a soccer weight training program consists of several phases over the course of a season. Same goes for the in-season . >ep!@ &0sec per station $ircuit!@ "-& >e!t (etween !tation!@ "0-&0sec >e!t (etween circuit!@ "min )ncrease the intensity gradually over a period of weeks by increasing the time per e0ercise6station $'F-..each station should work a different part of the body from the station before . <ernate (odypart! . )t doesn#t matter what you play to . 7ost of us are familiar with some form of circuit training but for the uninitiated here#s a recap of the general guidelines. 3ou#re giving up some many of benefits of soccer-specific fitness. Aery often body weight is enough resistance. /0plosive power is important too. . )n this article1 we#ll take a look at a sample late pre-!ea!on?in-!ea!on soccer weight training program. @owever. Any more and you could be using that time to develop1 speed1agilityt and lactic acid tolerance.to develop endurance1 minimal rest is allowed between each stations and circuits.ut ideally you#ll want to keep this type of training . .seperate from your weight sessions.plyometrics for soccer ... Short re!t period! (etween e%erci!e! . (o Buickly recap1 good mu!cular power and !trength endurance is far more benefical than ma0imal strength and huge1 rippling muscles.one weights session or two at most. Sample Soccer 0eight Training >outine 4ne of the most efficient and effective set ups for strength endurance is circuit training.
'. 4ne player is spare and should wear a bib or vest to stand out. and en8oy the game so much more* 'our More Soccer $onditioning 5rill! @ere#s a collection of F soccer conditioning drills that reproduce the physical demands of the game. !.every effort to make soccer conditioning drills more specific to the game will pay off on the field. )t covers every aspect of strength and conditioning for the game. ". 7ark out a space about "00"0 yards $for !F players%. 3ou begin to play with a level of confidence and energy that allows you to perform at your best week in1 week out.)>> happen at first%. (he attackers are given possession of the ball. Something amaEing happens to your game when you are fit1 really fit1 for soccer. (he defenders must dispossess the attackers by intercepting the ball.. (hey should try turns1 faints and tricks. :erform this drill towards the start of a session . )n groups of five1 two players act as attackers and two players act as defenders.. &.Two <er!u! Two with a Spare !. Developed by Sport itness Advisor1 it#s a resource that many players and coaches are calling -the most comprehensive soccer fitness resource available-.Step 3ump! (his is a plyometric e0ercise and should be completed towards the beginning of the session but only after a thorough warm up.. '.. Decrease the siEe of the area after each . )t#s designed to take individual players or entire teams to a new level in performance. <herry-pick those that appeal to you or use them all for an intense fitness session. (his drill is physically demanding but tactically Buite clever.following the warm up and before more physically demanding drills. (hey should change direction constantly and randomly.outs of " minutes is ample and the floating player should change at each interval.. )t features doEens of sample training programs complete with precise sets1 repetitions and e0ercise diagrams..0 second bout and repeat for F or . ".Tight Space 5ri((ling )f you have the lu0ury of having a ball per person this is a great drill to develop touch and fitness simultaneously. F. (hey also receive possession if the ball goes out of the marker area.ut it#s much more than a resource. 5rill B1 . (he defending pair must work hard but smart. (he team in possession can rela0 but they will stay alert because giving the ball away mean hard work. intervals with a "0-&0 second break between. /ncourage players not to running round in a circle $which . . (he spare player is an attacker . 5rill B2 . )#ve included a ball as much as possible1 even if it#s 8ust a token gesture .0 second intervals have the players #e0press# themselves with the ball. Ad8ust the siEe according to the number of players.in effect he or she is always on the side of the team in possession. &. 7ark an area of appro0imately !"-!F yards sBuare.or a complete step-by-step soccer weight training program take a look into ATotal Soccer 'itne!!A. 5rill B8 . . . or .
Now do a cool down to disperse all that lactic acid* ?se these and similar soccer conditioning drills to build strength and power .don#t dip into a full sBuat position. Stand beside a cone or soft ob8ect to be cleared. . &. >eave this soccer conditioning drill until the end of a training session because it can leave legs feeling weak $not ideal for skill practise*%. & lots of shuttle runs with &0 seconds rest between each%. Cest for &0 seconds and repeat.ring knees up and 8ump vertically but also laterally off ground and over the marker.specific to the game. (his is one set. 3ou can perform this drill on your own or as part of a group in a line. ". ". . 5rill B* . Starting on cone !1 run to cone " and back1 then cone & and back1 ' and back1 then F and back. :lace F cones out !0 yards apart. (he sprint should be flat out and players should turn sharply off a different foot at each cone. =round contact time should be minimal .!. &.ut very effective. Cest another &0 seconds and repeat for a third time. >and on both feet and 8ump back in the other direction.'. speed1 .e.Ciller Shuttle! Simple. F. '. Now rest for " minutes and repeat for a second set $i. !. F. /0cruciating. Cepeat for &0 seconds ma0imum and a total of & sets.
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