How to get Faster for Soccer
Speed is one of the most dangerous weapons any player can have in their arsenal. Whether you’re running to get a through ball or chasing down an opponent, speed can give you a vital edge. Luckily, you can improve your speed if you’re willing to put in some hard work and training. In this article, we’ll go through how to get faster for soccer using a variety of training techniques.
Sprinting is a total body workout that focuses on multiple muscle groups. In order to improve all aspects of your running there are three important areas to focus on.
- Resistance Training
- Plyometric Training
- Sprinting Drills
Strength is crucial for being able to sprint both safely and effectively. Muscles used in sprinting include the hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, hips, abdominals and calves. The following exercises are great for targeting these muscle groups.
Split squats are a single leg exercise that will put an emphasis on strengthening your quads and glutes. This will also help address strength imbalances that may exist in your body.
Strong glutes are crucial for explosiveness when sprinting, and this exercise can help you get there. Check out this video for instructions on how to safely and effectively perform the exercise.
The benefits of Romanian deadlifts are 2-fold. They will strengthen your hamstring muscles, while also increasing your lower body flexibility and range of motion.
Hamstring tears are extremely common when running, so strengthening them is important to prevent injury. If you’re looking to nail the proper form for performing this lift, check out the following video.
In addition to resistance training, plyometrics are crucial for improving your athleticism. Keep in mind that due to its explosive nature, sprinting is in many ways a plyometric exercise itself. Check out the following exercises to help develop explosive power and prepare your body for the impact of running.
Box jumps use the same fundamental starting position as a squat. Standing about a foot away from a box, bend your knees with your feet about hip width apart.
Once you have lowered into a squat, swing your arms forward and press through your feet to jump on top of the box. be sure to keep your knees bent upon landing to soften the impact of the jump. Once you have stood up, carefully step back down to perform another rep.
The skater hop is great because it isolates the muscles associated for each leg. It also helps prepare your body for lateral movement that you will inevitably encounter when playing soccer.
Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Lift your right leg and proceed to jump to the right side. Allow your left leg to lift and follow. As you land on your right foot, let your left foot swing behind you while keeping it low to the ground. Swing your arms naturally in front of your body as you land.
Continue to do this, alternating from left to right. Be sure to stay low and keep your knees bent throughout the exercise.
If you want to become a faster runner, you need to include sprinting drills in your routine. There are many different variations of these drills that can help you progress with your speed.
High Intensity Interval Training
High intensity interval training (HIIT) is great for replicating the sprinting thats commonly performed in soccer. This involves intense sprinting followed by a brief cool down. The steps are as followed.
- Set up 5 cones, each approximately 5 yards apart
- Sprint from cone 1 to cone 3, then backpedal to cone 2
- Sprint from cone 2 to cone 4, then backpedal to cone 3
- Sprint from cone 3 to cone 5, then backpedal to cone 4
- Jog back to cone 1 and rest for 20 seconds before performing another set
Start by performing 8 sets of this drill, and gradually increase the volume as your stamina improves. Focus on leaning forward and driving your legs into the ground when accelerating. This will help you achieve an efficient energy transfer while sprinting.
These exercises should help you get started in your journey to becoming a faster soccer player.
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