Soccer has got to be one of the most demanding sports played today. When you consider the players in a soccer game cover an estimated 8-12 km of ground in a single game, you realize just how physically demanding the sport really is.
Coaches drill into the players head the message that to keep your mind in the game and stay competitive, you need to be mentally tough. They also say things like “The Harder you Train, the Harder it is to be a Quitter.”
Women who play the beautiful game do not have as many rest periods in a game as are typical in other sports, so the conditioning of the athletes is crucial for them to be able to play a good game.
It is important for these players to find a good soccer weight training workout that will help them to improve their endurance and strength.
Building Endurance with Strength Training
Although aerobic training is very important to a soccer player to be able to stay in a game, muscle strengthening and building is just as important for endurance, not to mention giving them the ability to sprint and kick the ball with necessary force to be at the top of their game.
Strength training has become a very crucial part of the soccer players’ training program. They need to have balance and power in their bodies in addition to the endurance to cover the ground required in a game.
Soccer players are prone to having larger quadriceps muscles in relation to their hamstrings, which can put them in danger of injury to the smaller muscles. That is why muscle strengthening and building is very important for creating balance in the muscle groups for a soccer player.
While it is true that upper weight training is not as important to the game as lower muscle workouts, it is still important to work out the upper body to improve overall performance and stamina.
It is advised to do a lower body workout one day, with one day off in between, and an upper body workout the next day, with another day off, and so forth during the training program.
The Hang Clean
1. Beginning with feet placed hip width apart:
2. Stand with Chest tall, shoulder blades pinch, bend at the waist lowering the bar to above the knee. The shoulder should stay over the bar while lowering.
3. Once there, stand up tall and get triple extension of knee, hips, and ankle.
4. While in triple extension shrug and pull the bar upward while at the same time whipping elbows through in the Front Squat position. Feet should shift from hip to shoulder width.
A good rule of thumb is to do 5 sets of two reps each, resting 15 seconds between reps, and one minute between sets.
This is just one of the strengthening exercises that is done for the upper body.
Lower Body Strengthening
One of the most effective exercises for the lower body is performing squats with a weight.
1. Lift the weight with your legs about shoulder width apart, with the weight resting on the back of your shoulders.
2. Then lower your body into a squatting position
3. Rise back up slowly to a standing position.
It is recommended to start with a weight that you can comfortably lift, and do 20 squats per session. Take a 5 minute break between sessions, and repeat each session 2 more times.
That is just one of the weight strengthening exercises that work on the lower body.
If you are starting a soccer weight training workout, it is important to consult your coach who will assign a training program that will be tailored to your specific needs, and which can help to improve your overall performance and soccer playing abilities when the season starts up again.
For More Information:
BodyBuilding.com: Training Like a Pro
New Mexico Youth Soccer US Youth Soccer: Soccer Weight Training
One REsult: 5 Reasons Soccer Players Should Lift Weights
Visual Impact for Women: my recommended training program
Top Photo by James Boyes