The internet's first soccer coaching website, online since 1997

STRENGTH TRAINING

Strength training will allow the soccer player to accelerate quickly, run fast for a long time, and be an all round stronger athlete. Increased strength permits the athlete to: produce more powerful contractions (they can accelerate quicker due to a more powerful push-off); produce muscle contractions more rapidly (they can run faster); and do the same work at a lower percentage of his maximum strength (they can continue exercise for a longer period of time).

Mock
 

Strength will allow the soccer player to accelerate quickly, run fast for a long time, and be an all round stronger athlete.

Soccer players must be able to accelerate quickly, be fast, and run for a long time. Increased strength permits the athlete to: produce more powerful contractions (they can accelerate quicker due to a more powerful push-off); produce muscle contractions more rapidly (they can run faster); and do the same work at a lower percentage of his maximum strength (they can continue exercise for a longer period of time). Improvement should be sought in these three areas, therefore the soccer player should benefit from a strength-training program in the months prior to competition. Strength training programs should be designed specifically for each individual athlete, taking into account his current strength and what improvement is sought. To be able to accelerate, stop, change direction, and sprint well, soccer players need strong ankles, knees, and hip muscles. In short, a soccer player must be strong in many muscle groups to reach his maximum playing potential.

Weight training is an excellent way to increase strength in specific muscles or through specific movements. Several books have detailed weight-training programs which can be adapted to suit soccer strength programs. Weight training consists of lifting weights a given number of times (or reps), then after a rest, repeating the same set of exercises. For optimal results on the field, the weight training schedule must be adjusted to the time of year and the individual athlete.

In strength training, overload can be applied by: adding more weight and continuing the same workout; increasing
the number of repetitions while using the same weight and movement speed; keeping weight and reps the same, but completing the work faster; decreasing the rest intervals between exercises; or any combination of these. Muscle strength increases only through the angle at which the muscle is worked; so all exercise should be performed through at least the range of motion the joints will cover in play. It is best to strengthen muscles through their full range of motion. This will prepare the body for any unexpected movement that might occur during the game. Avoid strength training before an activity workout. Tired muscles predispose the joints to injury, so plan your strength workouts for the end of the day or allow at least 4-6 hours recovery time before any agility work. If weights are not available to the athlete, or they hate the weight room, they need not despair. Workouts can be adapted to increase strength in surroundings, which may suit them better. They can try an agility routine on a sandy beach or in the shallow end of a swimming pool, or run up hills and bleachers. Push-ups, sit-ups, and step-ups can all be done in the home. However the athlete chooses to increase their strength, they must stress the intensity of the work, increase the workload as they gain strength, and must not work to the point of physical exhaustion. Muscles have been shown to retain their strength well; strength is lost slowly after terminating a strength program. One intense strength workout a week, lifting maximum weights, has been shown to maintain strength after an initial strength program has been completed. This is important for the soccer player as the strength gained during a pre-season or off-season program will benefit him throughout the season with few strength workouts.

The Body Weight Circuit
Variety of Strength Training Exercises
Muscle Chart and Recommended Exercises
Terminology

© Copyright SoccerClinics.com 2015