If you’re a soccer player, the time between seasons is the perfect time to focus on strength-building workouts. Adding these 5 exercises to your winter workout routine will increase your power and put you back on the field even stronger than before.
And the best part is, you can do them all from home or in the gym, so ice and snow are no excuse not to up your game.
1. Trap bar deadlifts
Deadlifts are a classic strengthening exercise that are known to be highly effective. This variation on the traditional deadlift using the trap bar allows you to use more weight while putting less stress on the spine. This exercise can increase a soccer player’s back and lower body strength while decreasing the risk of injury.
Start by standing in the center of the trap bar with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your hips and grab both handles. Keeping your chest and head up, use your weight in your heels to push yourself up. Push your hips forward as you come to standing. Lower your hips back down and repeat for 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps.
2. Goblet squats
This squat exercise has all of the amazing lower-body benefits of a traditional squat but puts less of a strain on your spine.
Start standing with your feet shoulder width apart and hold a dumbbell or kettlebell under your chin, in the middle of your chest. Keeping your back straight, squat down then press back up to the starting position. Repeat for 2 sets of 8-10 squats.
3. Medicine ball squat/slam
Another squat variation, the medicine ball squat/slam adds a fun, explosive element that works your whole body, especially your core.
Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a non-bouncing medicine ball above your head. Keeping your core engaged the whole time, Throw the ball to the ground right in front of you as hard as you can while you squat down. Pick up the ball on the way back up to standing. Repeat for 3 sets of 15 reps.
4. Dumbbell lateral lunges
Leg flexibility, strength, and mobility are huge assets for soccer players and lunges as the perfect exercise to increase all 3. This lunge exercise will also strengthen your back, core, and obliques.
Start standing with your legs shoulder-width apart, holding a 5-15 pound dumbbell in each hand. Lunge to the right side while lowering the dumbbells toward the floor. Push hard off of the lunging leg to return to starting position. Repeat 8-10 times on each side.
5. Kettlebell swings
Kettlebell swings are a perfect example of how you can use a workout in the gym to up your performance on the field. This exercise works your hips, glutes, shoulders, back, and core and will improve your explosive power movements.
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and a 20-25 pound kettlebell between them. Keeping your back flat, squat down to grab the kettlebell with both hands. Engage your legs and glutes to explosively bring your hips up and forward to swing the kettlebell up to eye level. Repeat 10-15 swings, being sure to use the power in your hips and legs to move the kettlebell, not your shoulders.
Strength is the foundation for the speed, agility, and power that are crucial for all soccer players, regardless of what position they play. however, a lot of players overlook the importance of strength-building exercises in their training.
This winter, put your strength training front and center and build the foundation that will help you outplay and outlast your opponents.