Agility, speed, and endurance are the 3 keys to rising to the top in football. Behind the scenes, players who dominate the pitch concentrate on soccer workouts that boost sprint performance and ability to change direction in a split second. And while speed and agility are vital, what's even more critical is performing at your level best throughout the 90 minutes (endurance).
In this comprehensive workout for soccer guide, we focus on football-specific exercises that will help you fine-tune these 3 components.
Speed underpins the most important physical traits for a football player. Whether you're playing offense or defense, you have no chance of getting or shielding the ball unless you're quick on your feet. When you look at it closely, you'll realize that most of the best professional football players like CR7, Messi, and Kylian Mbappe are remarkable sprinters too.
Well, you don't need to hit a blistering speed of 24 mp/h as Christiano did in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. But as a striker, being able to run at full speed while dribbling will surely keep the defenders from relaxing too much. Likewise, defenders need speed to catch up with offensive players and prevent them from sliding through.
These are the best soccer exercises for speed;
Speed hill training is often recommended as one of the best exercises for soccer players who want to build speed. This hill-based type of training may seem simple in theory. But if you can imagine sprinting while lifting weights, this is what it feels like. The gradient makes the sprint difficult, forcing you to push even harder.
When done correctly, this resisted exercise combines speed and strength training to offer various benefits, such as building stamina, increasing ankle strength, and boosting explosiveness. As a coach, these soccer team workouts can also promote your players' mental toughness and cultivate goal-setting behavior.
How to do uphill sprints
The sled push is also known as a prowler press, and it's basically a sled with a load of weights. This exercise for soccer offers full-body strength and speed workouts, making it perfect if you want to challenge your physical fitness.
Sled pushes are among the most versatile exercises and can be customized to deliver different training effects. When done well, sled pushes will rev your metabolism and set your heart and lungs on fire without negatively impacting your muscles like weight-lifting would.
When done the right way, sled pushes will work your lower and upper body muscles, including chest, shoulders, abdominals, quads, glutes, and calves leading to improved sprint performance.
How to push sleds for football speed
Sprinting speed may be a critical attribute for a football player. But remember that soccer is a fast-paced game that demands sudden starts and stops, quick turns, and instantaneous change of direction. It’s not a linear game.
Agility in soccer is being able to change your body's direction while at speed without losing coordination, strength, balance, and the ball, of course.
In essence, attackers need to be more agile than defenders. However, the latter also needs to be both flexible and strong to hold off the strikers. Agility is even more important to goalkeepers than anyone else in the team. Goalkeepers should be able to react super fast by diving and springing in all directions to save goals.
Here are some of the best agility workouts for soccer players to try today;
This is one of the best soccer drills with cones that develop a player's reaction time, footwork,and the ability to change direction quickly. This activity is relatively simple and effective and adds a lot of fun, especially during warm-up.
How to set up and do it
After finishing, the 2 players join the line again, this time switching positions so that the leader becomes the follower.
To make these speed and agility workouts for soccer even more engaging, rotate the players around so that each player faces all the teammates.
An agility ladder is an inexpensive piece of equipment that mixes up your training exercises for soccer by testing your agility, endurance, coordination, and cardiovascular performance.
This is a foldable ladder that you can roll out and spread almost anywhere; in the pitch, at the gym, and even in your bedroom. If you’re yet to buy an agility ladder, you can get creative by drawing one on the floor using tape.
How to do agility ladder in/out drill
The in/out drill explained above is not the only exercise for soccer players that you can do on these ladders. Check out our comprehensive guide on soccer speed and agility drills for other ways to use the agility ladder.
While the entire body is engaged during soccer, it’s the legs that do the most work. Most of the movements that you make when playing demand excellent lower body strength. Think of running with the ball, tackling opponents, blocking your opponents, and even passing or making a shot at the goal.
You’ll be more effective at these movements depending on your lower body strength. Also, you realize that perfecting the best soccer exercises demands a strong pair of legs. Good soccer exercises that make your legs strong will increase your explosion, speed, endurance,and ability to engage in various workouts too.
Here are our recommendations for leg exercise for soccer training
The old box jump training has many benefits and can go a long way in making you a healthy and physically fit football player. Box jumps are among the best soccer drills for beginners as they are fairly simple and can be manipulated to meet the player’s experience level.
Among other benefits that make it a good training exercise for soccer, box jumps can strengthen your legs, promote balance and posture,and help develop a stronger core and powerful arms.
How to exercise for soccer using box jumps
Jump squat is another training exercise for soccer that you can do with sans equipment. This is a power-packed workout that targets your leg muscles, glutes,and lower abs. When done correctly, squat jumps also make one of the best soccer drills for kids because they boost overall physical performance, balance, and mobility.
How to workout for soccer using jump squats
As a physically fit football player, you should sprint, dodge, and jump as fast in the last minutes of the match as you did when the game started. Endurance workouts for soccer players are intensive exercises that help you pull through the game to the final whistle.
These exercises offer several benefits, including faster recovery and better focus and decision-making. The intensity of these workouts also trains your heart to be efficient in delivering oxygen to your muscles, which pushes you to keep fighting to the last second.
Gym endurance workout for soccer
Burpee pull-ups are one of Ronaldo’s favorite soccer conditioning drills for a couple of reasons. First, these exercises comprise a range of upper body, core,and lower body movements. This combination effectively gets your heart rate up super fast. Each rep leaves you stronger because you’re working out your chest, abs, arm, quads, hamstring, and glutes, among other muscle groups.
How to do burpee pull-ups for soccer training
A treadmill is an incredible alternative when the weather conditions screw up your outdoor workout plans. High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT) treadmill workouts can be highly beneficial when building football-specific endurance. This type of exercise works by increasing your heartbeat and testing your fast-twitch muscle fibers to the limit. Regular and consistent HIIT workouts prompt the body to create new muscles to manage future physical demands.
HIIT treadmill workouts can take different structures.
Here is a treadmill speed endurance exercise you can try today.
How to do it
Blazepod offers a brand new approach to achieving the multi-component requisites of soccer. Coupled with the Blazepod App, this fitness training tool features a range of predefined activities with a specific focus on improving your reaction time, agility, speed, and endurance. Find out why Blazepod may be just what you need for your soccer workouts and drills.