Should Soccer Players Lift Weights?
There seems to be some controversy surrounding the topic of soccer players lifting weights. When I was growing up, there was a frequently perpetuated myth that lifting weights would result in players becoming slow and bulky. This is far from the truth, and studies have proven that weight lifting can help improve speed, explosiveness, and reduce the likelihood of injury. Most soccer players should lift weights or incorporate other resistance training into their routine.
Weight Lifting for Injury Prevention
Strength is crucial for achieving maximal athletic performance. This is true for soccer along with all other sports. However, the benefits of strength training don’t stop at improved performance.
A 2012 NIH study determined that conditioning programs with progressive resistance exercises are proven to be an effective strategy for reducing sports-related injuries in athletes.
Resistance training helps improve the strength of your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This will help your body hold proper posture and alignment for physical activity. Having stronger muscles and tendons will also protect your joints from impact during exercise.
This is important for soccer players, as many individuals experience muscle and joint injuries while playing. The most common injuries among soccer players include hamstring sprains, ankle sprains, meniscus tears, & ACL tears.
Some of the best exercises to strengthen and protect your body from injury include compound movements such as front squats, back squats, deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, and more. If you’re look for exercises that can improve your overall athleticism and reduce injuries, there are plenty of resources online to help.
Strength training can massively develop your athleticism and fitness. However, it’s important that you do quality exercises with good form. The last thing you want to do is hurt yourself in the gym and be prevented from getting out on the field.
My personal favorite trainers are Ben Patrick and Jeff Cavaliere. They both have an enormous amount of content dedicated to strengthening your body and preventing injuries. If you’re looking to improve your athleticism for soccer, check out their youtube channels.
Great Exercises to Get Started
The following are great exercises to develop strength throughout the whole body. Keep in mind there are many great exercises that can help improve your athleticism for soccer. These are just great exercises to get started.
The squat is considered by some to be the king of all exercises. The main muscles trained in the squat are the glutes and quads. The exercise also requires stabilization throughout the abs and lower back. Check out the following video for tips on squatting with good form.
The deadlift is a great full-body exercise that strengthens the hamstrings, lower back, traps, and more. This lift is key for improving your posture and also giving you more explosive power. Make sure you start light on this exercise in order to nail down the proper form. See this video for instructions on performing the lift safely.
Resistance training doesn’t mean you have to lift heavy weights. In fact, some of the best strength training exercises involve using your own body weight. The nordic curl is another great hamstring and glute exercise that involves hinging at the knees. This movement is great for bulletproofing the ligaments and muscles surrounding your knee. For tips on performing the nordic curl, check out Ben Patrick’s explanation in the following video.