What are Plyometric Exercises?
Plyometrics is a type a type of exercise that is designed to improve explosive power. The aim of plyometric exercises is to produce rapid and forceful muscle contractions through jumping movements. These types of workouts are often used by athletes who need to improve their power and speed. Plyometric exercises have become popular with soccer players due to their many added benefits that translate to the pitch.
Plyometric exercises are beneficial for athletes, as they can help to improve their explosiveness and reactive ability. In addition, plyometric exercises can also help to reduce the risk of injuries. This is because they train the muscles and tendons to absorb shocks, which can protect the body from impact-related injuries. Overall, plyometric exercises are a valuable tool for players who want to improve their performance and help bulletproof their body.
If you’re interested in an even deeper dive into plyometric exercises, check out our Complete Guide to Football Mastery. This guide has dozens of exercises to help you become a better player and a more explosive athlete.
Plyometric Training for Soccer Players
Soccer is a sport that requires a lot of physicality. To be competitive on the field, you need to be able to produce explosive power and strength. Plyometric exercises can help players dramatically improve their athleticism. These exercises are easy to incorporate in your existing training regimen of individual drills and small-sided games. Next time you’re in the gym, try and add these workouts in to your routine.
Benefits: Squat jumps are a great way to increase your power and explosiveness. When you land from a squat jump, your muscles are forced to work harder to control the jump and absorb the impact. In addition, squat jumps can also help to improve your balance and agility.
How to Perform: When performing a squat jump, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower yourself into a squatting position, then explosively jump up as high as you can. Land softly on your feet and immediately sink back down into the squatting position. Repeat this movement for 10-12 reps.
Benefits: Box jumps are a great leg exercise for building lower-body strength and improving explosiveness. This plyometric movement requires your muscles to generate maximum force in a short period of time, which can help to improve your power and agility. Box jumps can also help to improve your balance and coordination.
How to Perform: When performing a box jump, it is important to start with the proper stance. Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Lower yourself into a quarter squat position, then extend your hips and explode up onto the box. Land softly on the balls of your feet with your knees bent, then immediately step down or jump down from the box. Be sure to choose a box height that challenge you without putting you at risk of injury. With practice, you will be able to increase the height of the box as you become more comfortable with the movement.
Lateral Box Jumps
Benefits: Lateral box jumps are a great way to develop strength and stability in a sideways movement plane. This exercise also helps improve your speed, agility, and coordination. They can also help to protect your knees and hips from impacts they may experience while playing soccer.
How to Perform: To perform a lateral box jump, start by standing next to a box or other elevated surface. From there, jump laterally onto the box, landing with both feet simultaneously. Just be sure to start with a low height and progress gradually to avoid injury. With practice, you’ll be able to move faster and jump higher, making lateral box jumps an excellent addition to any workout routine.
Alternating Split Squat Jumps
Benefits: Split squats are a great way to improve you athleticism. They work the quads, glutes, and hamstrings while also giving the core a good workout. The split squat position also helps to improve single leg balance and stability, which is crucial for soccer players.
How to Perform: To perform a split squat jump, start in a split squat position with one leg forward and one leg back. Lower yourself down into a lunge position, then explosively jump up, switching legs in mid-air. Land in the starting position and repeat.
Barbell Squat Jump
Benefits: Barbell squat jumps are another type of plyometric exercise that can help to improve power, agility, and coordination. The exercise is performed by holding a barbell across the back with both hands and then squatting down before explosively jumping up into the air. When done correctly, barbell squat jumps can help to build lower-body strength and improve athletic performance.
How to Perform: To perform a barbell squat jump, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Then, place a barbell across your upper back and hold it with both hands. Next, squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground before exploding up into the air. As you jump, extend your hips, knees, and ankles to assist in the movement. Finally, land softly on your feet and return to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Benefits: Broad jumps are a type of plyometric exercise that can be used to improve explosive power and coordination. They can be performed as part of a jump training program or as part of a general fitness routine. Broad jumps require a lot of space, so they’re great to practice out on the field.
How to Perform: To perform a broad jump, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Swing your arms back behind you and then explosively jump forward as far as you can. Land on both feet and immediately jump again. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Benefits: Skater jumps are another great way to improve your single leg strength and power. With skater jumps, you’ll be strengthening key lower-body muscles while improving coordination and balance. It’s a great way to step up both your training and aerobic activity in one dynamic exercise.
How to Perform: To perform a skater jump, start by standing on one foot with your other foot pivoted behind you. Bend your knees and lower yourself into a squatting position. Then, swing your arms to the side and use your momentum to jump off the ground. As you jump, extend your opposite leg outward and land on the balls of your feet. Continue to jump from side to side, using your whole body to generate momentum.
High Knee Skip
Benefits: High knee skips are a great way to improve your coordination and agility. They also help to build leg strength and increase your range of motion. There is a reason this drill is also a popular warm-up for soccer players.
How to Perform: To perform high knee skips, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and raise your thighs so that your knees are in line with your hips. Swing your arms forward and up as you raise your left knee to hip level. As you bring your left foot down, swing your right knee up to meet it. Repeat this movement, alternating legs as you go. Remember to keep your back straight and abdominal muscles pulled in throughout the exercise.
Benefits: Jumping rope can help soccer players improve coordination, balance, and agility. It also builds leg strength and stamina, both of which are essential for soccer players. In addition, jump rope is a low-impact activity that can be done indoors or outdoors, making it an ideal workout for days when weather conditions are not ideal for playing soccer.
How to Perform: To get the most out of jump rope, it is important to use the proper technique. Start by standing on the center of the rope with the handles held in each hand. Swing the rope over your head and then jump up as the rope passes under your feet. Land lightly on your toes, using your calf muscles to absorb the impact. As you become more comfortable with the rhythm, you can increase your speed and add in additional techniques, such as double jumps or alternating feet.
Benefits: Burpees are a full-body workout that can help improve your strength, power, and agility—all key components on the soccer field. They are also a killer cardio workout when performed with the right intensity.
How to Perform: To do a burpee, start in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your body into a squatting position, then place your hands on the ground in front of you and kick your feet back into a push-up position. From there, return to the squatting position and then jump up into the air as high as you can. Repeat the movement for 30 seconds to one minute. Burpees are challenging, but they’re an excellent way to get your heart rate up and improve your conditioning.
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