Weight Training to Improve Your Game

The story picked by Girls Soccer Network — Soccer players are known for their amazing cardio fitness. The sport requires them to be in constant motion, as well as shifting between consistently paced running and top-speed sprints. This means that every muscle found on a soccer player’s body is being used at all times during practices and games.

All that running and all those drills are enough to keep your body prepared for top competition, right?

Wrong.

Weight training should be a regular component of your soccer training regimen to not only keep your muscles in tip-top shape, but to also increase their ability to fluctuate between endurance cardio and speed-based cardio. Strength training will also improve your explosive power, which is incredibly important for a soccer player to be truly fierce on the field.

It is also important to make sure you are training your entire body and not just your legs. Your weight lifting routines should encompass the full body to increase the strength and efficiency of every muscle. For example, kicking the ball doesn’t just involve your legs. Your core muscles are an important component of this essential soccer element, too!

More specifically, soccer players need to complete weight training for their upper and lower body for the following reasons:

  • Upper Body: shielding the ball, holding off opponents and throw-ins
  • Lower Body: kicking, jumping, tackling and running

Although this seems pretty straight forward, weight lifting isn’t just as simple as incorporating some squats and bicep curls into your workouts. There are three phases of strength training in which all soccer players should participate:

  • Maximal Strength:
     This is the maximum force that a muscle group can put out in one contraction. The goal of building maximal strength is to increase explosive speed and power. In soccer, maximal strength is useful for shielding the ball and holding off other players.
  • Muscular Power:
     This is a combination of both speed and strength. Muscular power can be converted into soccer-specific variations.
  • Strength Endurance:
     Strength endurance is your muscles’ capacity for repeatedly performing high intensity movements. This is important for soccer players, as they perform high intensity movements over and over again throughout a game or practice.

It may seem overwhelming at first: How in the world will you fit all three of these types of strength training into your already full practice routine?

You can. Don’t worry! You just have to think about your long-term training goals and plan accordingly. A balanced weight training routine is important for all soccer players to build overall strength, be more explosive on the field and improve technical skills. Incorporating weight lifting into your training regime will make you quite the force to reckon with.