If you want to be at your best physical condition, no other sport can give you a complete body workout than soccer. From upper and lower body strength, to cardiovascular endurance and core strength — soccer works your body out from head to foot.
Since human movement is heavily hinged on hand-eye rather than foot-eye coordination, learning to execute the many skills and techniques in soccer will give your body a complete range of new movements. But aside from the new sets of skills that you will acquire by playing the sport, your body will also go through a complete transformation in terms of its fitness level.
Here are some examples of what comprises a good soccer workout.
Since playing a full game of soccer involves a lot of running, having great endurance and stamina is of utmost importance. There are 22 players on the field and only one ball. The likelihood of you actually touching and carrying the ball makes up a small percentage of the whole 90 minutes of a full 11-aside game. Most of that time will be spent on running, making sprints, and jogging. A good soccer workout should always have running or endurance exercises.
Plyometrics are great exercises for soccer players. These exercises will build your leg muscles and are great cardio exercises, giving you the endurance, strength and speed that you need to last through an entire game of soccer. They are made up of explosive and fast movements that will give your lower body muscular power for those highly needed sprints and power shots on goals that will help your team win games.
Examples of plyometric workouts include running up and down the stairs of a stadium, jumping over a soccer ball with only one foot (carrying the entire weight of your body on that foot) and jumping on and off a platform. After a few seconds of doing these as fast as you can, you will immediately feel the strain that the exercise puts on your legs and your lungs, as well. You can infuse plyo exercises with an agility drill by using an agility ladder, helping you practice fast feet while also adding muscle to your legs.
One important tip, though, is that plyometrics are not always ideal soccer exercises that you can add to your soccer workout every time. If you’re doing long distance runs today, avoid incorporating plyometrics to your exercise as you wouldn’t want to strain or put too much load on your legs in a 4-hour practice. If you do long distance runs, avoid plyometrics, and vice versa.