Muscles Used for Soccer
Playing soccer is a full body workout, which means that it requires activation of multiple muscle groups. Running for 90 minutes can take a tole on you physically, so it’s important that you’re strong enough to handle the demands of the game. In this article, we’ll go over the muscles most used for soccer so that you know what to focus on improving.
Obviously the most important muscles for soccer are in the legs. However, you also need strength in your core and other parts of your body to achieve well rounded athleticism. Check out the following article I wrote on the importance of lifting weights for soccer players. Below is a list of muscles we will be covering in this article.
- Core Muscles
If you’re looking for additional training tips, check out our Complete Guide to Football Mastery. This guide contains dozens of football specific exercises to help you become a better player.
Benefits of Strong Muscles
Multiple studies have confirmed that stronger athletes produce superior performance in sports. If you improve your strength, you’ll be able to physically perform at a higher level.
However, the benefits don’t stop there. Strengthening your muscles will also help protect you from injury. This is because strength training will make your muscles and joints more resilient to impact. So let’s dive into the muscles that are most important for soccer.
Strong glutes are crucial for proper posture and pelvic alignment. The glutes are also one of the largest and strongest muscles in your body. Strengthening your glutes will help improve your acceleration and jumping ability while on the field. Your glutes are also what provide explosiveness during hip extension. Improving your glute strength will in turn improve your explosiveness.
Exercises to Strengthen Glutes
- Bulgarian Split Squat
- Barbell Hip Thrusts
- Glute Bridges
The hamstrings are another important muscle for soccer players. Your hamstrings are responsible for knee bending and hip flexion. Similar to the strengthening your glutes, working out your hamstrings will help improve your ability to run fast as well as decelerate. The hamstrings also play a key roll in stabilizing the knee joint. Without sufficient hamstring development, athletes are more likely to incur knee injuries. This makes strengthening your hamstrings crucial for preventing ACL and Meniscus tears.
Exercises to Strengthen Hamstrings
- Romanian Deadlifts
- Nordic Curl
- Kettle Bell Swings
- Seated Hamstring Curl
Calf muscles are involved in the plantar flexion of the foot at the ankle joint. Improving the strength of your calves will help stabilize your ankle during running. The tibialis muscle at the front of your shin is also a crucial muscle for running. Strengthening the tibialis will help with stabilizing the ankle and knee joints as well.
Exercises to Strengthen Calves
- Standing Calf Raises
- Tibialis Raises
- Single-Leg Calf Raises
- Jump Rope
Regardless of the sport you compete in, core strength is vital for athletic performance. Core stability allows you to control your body position and generate power efficiently throughout the kinetic chain. Core strength also promotes good posture and reduces the likely hood of back injury.
Exercises to Strengthen Core
- Leg Lifts
- Back Extension
- Russian Twists