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Importance of In-Season Strength Training for Soccer Players

Most injuries in soccer occur during season because of the amount of practices and games played increases. However, majority of those in-season injuries are non-contact and can avoided, such as muscle strains. The assumption is that because you are practice 3 to 4 times a week and playing up to 2 games a weekend, that there is no way that you are out of shape or that your muscles are weak. Contradictory to that common assumption, in-season strength training is just as important as it is in the off-season. Strength training is not an aspect of training that can be ignored but needs to be maintained throughout the year. It should be integrated into your in and off season training programs in order to prevent injuries and maintain/increase performance. If your muscles are not strong enough and not ready to meet the demands of competition, that is where injuries occur. One to two days a week is sufficient to maintain strength during in-season (not the day before competition).

 If you have access to a weight room or a sports performance facility, low repetitions (3-6 reps) with 3-4 sets at a heavy weight is enough to maintain strength and power. Low repetitions is essential because you are not trying to build strength but maintain it and allow the body to recover so it is ready to perform the next day.

 Sample workout:

Weighted squat jump: 3x6

Dumbbell Chest press: 3x10

Hamstring stretch: 3x5 each side

 

Rear foot elevated split squat (RFESS): 3x6 each side

Dumbbell Bent over row : 3x15 each side

Glute Stretch: 3x5 each side

 

Single Leg Straight Leg Deadlift (SLSLDL): 3x6 each side

Plank: 3x30 sec

Spiderman: 3x5 each side

 

If you have no access to weights or a gym, perform body weight exercises. However, since there is no weights the repetitions will be higher because the intensity of the exercise will not be as high.

 Sample workout:

Rear foot elevated split squat (RFESS): 3x15 each side (use a bench, or step, or just perform standing)

Squat jumps: 3x10

Glute Stretch: 3x5 each side

 

Lunges: 3x15 each side

Plank: 3x30 sec

Spidermans: 3x5 each side

 

Single Leg Straight Leg Deadlift (SLSLDL): 3x15 each side (use a cone or ball as reference)

Push ups: 3x15 each side

Hamstring Stretch: 3x5 each side

Melissa Garcia is a certified Strength and Conditioning Specailist at Compete Sports Performance and Rehab