Thursday, January 12, 2012

How to Get in Shape for Soccer?

Soccer is a fast-action sport that uses multiple fitness components. When you do not play soccer year-round, it is important to maintain your physical fitness so you return to the sport as strong as when you left.
Exercise at a continuous speed and intensity to improve your overall endurance. Run, walk, cycle or swim at a level that leaves you slightly breathless. The National Strength and Conditioning Association recommend one and a half hours of endurance training twice a week.
Include sprint intervals in your cardiovascular workout. Use a three-to-one rest to work ratio. For example, run three minutes and then sprint one minute for the duration of your workout. Perform an interval workout twice a week.
Perform balance exercises such as standing on one foot with your eyes closed. Incorporate jump training into your balance and jump to land on both feet and then jump to land on one foot.
Besides physical exercise, proper nutrition helps you stay in shape for soccer. Continue to eat healthy meals that contain lean meats, fruits and vegetables, whole grain carbohydrates and drink water to stay hydrated.
Core Strength
All movements in soccer originate from a static position. Strengthen your core using abdominal situps, crunches, leg raises and stability ball abdominal exercises to enhance your core function and your ability to move fast from a resting stance.
Perform stretching exercises on a daily basis after your body is warm. One of the best times to improve your flexibility is following your cardiovascular workout. Complete a yoga workout to maintain your range of motion and strength throughout this range of motion.
Use a variety of movements during your off-season training. Run forward, backward and sideways to mimic the movements used during a soccer game. This will help maintain your balance and force during the game.
Twice a week, perform strength training exercises. Include exercises for your upper and lower body and use a gradual increase in resistance as you are able to complete eight to 12 repetitions with ease.
Add plyometric training into your workout routine once a week. Plyometrics includes jumps such as the vertical jump you use to head the ball. Jump straight up, or jump up and down onto an 18-inch-high box.
Ball Skills
Continue to dribble the soccer ball and practice juggling. This can be done indoors. Teach yourself a trick, such as kicking the ball from behind your body, over your shoulder to the front of your body.

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