Strength Training for Soccer Players: Important Questions Answered!
Soccer is not only a sport that requires a lot of skills and endurance, but you can also benefit from a lot of strength. World-class soccer players like Cristiano Ronaldo are known for investing much time in strength training.
In the following article, we will discuss how important strength is in soccer and how to train it efficiently. After all, strength training is part of everyday life, even for the team, to be able to convince on the playing field through physicality.
Should soccer players do strength training?
This question can be answered with a very simple "yes." You can assert yourself better in the game if you have more power. In addition, you can specifically train muscles that may otherwise hardly be used and thus reduce the risk of injuries. This is because you often injure yourself with a sudden load on a little trained muscle.
All this helps to improve your own game. You become more self-confident in your appearance and are not afraid to go into a robust duel. If you train the strength of certain body parts in a targeted manner, you can run faster, jump higher or shoot more firmly. The little Brazilian on the outside track, Roberto Carlos, was notorious for his bombastic shooting power. No wonder you take a quick look at the toned muscles of his legs.
That's why every soccer playershould strengthen his body with strength training. The advantages are visible to everyone, and increasing one's strength is simply part of modern soccer. Professionals spend a lot of time in the weight room every week, but not to build as much muscle mass as possible. Instead, they want to optimize their muscle for soccer, concerning maximum and rapid strength and endurance.
Which muscles are important for soccer?
Soccer is a sport that takes a toll on the whole body. However, some muscles play a particularly important role because they are used more often than others. Of course, this includes the leg muscles, the upper and lower legs and calves, and the knee tendon. Equally important are the back and abdomen because they stabilize the body. First, however, one should train their important body muscles in three types of strength:
Maximum force - How much weight can I move.
It describes the ability to apply as much force as possible against resistance. With the squat, that would be how much weight you can move. If you manage to load it with 100 kg instead of 50 kg, then you have a higher maximum force.
Speed - How fast can I move the weight
Just as important as moving a lot of weight is how fast you can move it. So, it is advantageous for soccer players to do ten squats in 30 seconds instead of 60 seconds. Transferred to the pitch, you benefit from the speed, for example, in fast sprints.
Strength endurance - How often or how long can I move the weight
The last form of strength is about the endurance with which you can strain the muscle over some time. This can be counted by duration or by the number of repetitions. In our squats example, this would be how many of them you manage before the muscle tires.
Summary: All three types of power are important
For soccer players, the focus is not on how much weight they can move once at most. Instead, a balance of maximum and fast force is much more important, supported by good strength and endurance.
It is much better to do the squat with 50 kg 10 times in a quick 30 seconds than to make after a 100 kg squat already weak. After all, half-time in soccer lasts 45 minutes before you get a break.
How should you train as a soccer player in the gym?
There are some exercises for important muscles that work out particularly well in the gym. Here are some of them that can be used to optimize the whole body for soccer. If you have suitable equipment at home, then, of course, you can also train there.
Legs - Strength training for soccer players
The most classic of all exercises is the squat, where you train almost the entire leg muscles. However, the focus is on the thigh, which does most of the work. If the simple squat is too light, you can make the exercise more difficult with the help of a barbell on the shoulders. By balancing the extra weight, you also train the whole trunk.
Other great exercises are power jumps, in which you train the height and speed of your jumps. Also, try a Romanian deadlift to target the back of your thighs (hamstrings).
Back - Strength training for soccer players
To strengthen the back, all forms of pull-ups are available, whether without or with the help of a machine. You train the upper back, supported by the biceps.
As a soccer player , you don't need further practice for the biceps because it is already being trained. Likewise, the lower back can be trained with the conventional deadlift, which is also good for the shape and the trunk.
Belly - Strength training for soccer players
You can train your stomach with the help of sit-ups and planks. Sit-ups are much more focused only on the abdominal muscles, while planks train the core stability as a whole, including the abdomen. However, the exercises must not be too simple. If you manage 50 sit-ups or can hold a plank for 5 minutes, you should use extra weight as resistance.
Upper body - Strength training for soccer players
Your chest is best trained with the classic bench press. You also train the triceps at the same time. So, you don't need another exercise anymore. In addition, you can train your shoulders by incorporating the so-called Overhead/Military Press into the training. In German, these are often summarized as shoulder presses.
How do you combine soccer and weight training?
For professionals, strength training is built into the everyday training plan. So, they train in addition to soccer training, as Cristiano Ronaldo mentioned at the beginning, who sometimes still hangs on for several hours a day.
On the other hand, it is better for amateurs to incorporate strength training on non-training days. You probably don't have the time to do it after soccer training. As an amateur, you may not even have the stamina to put it on the back after training.
Conclusion: Strength training is important for every soccer player
Whether professional or amateur, every soccer player can benefit from strength training. It helps to make your own game better and protects against injuries. That's why a few hours a week of strength training should be on every training plan.
After the training, you can register for our World Cup prediction game and have fun with your colleagues.
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