Lean and Mean: Soccer Drills Can Change Your Physique

Even if you don’t plan on becoming a pro soccer player, playing on a soccer team can improve your physique from head to toe. In your regular workouts, you can also use popular soccer conditioning drills to tone up, lose weight, and increase muscle strength.

Lower Body Conditioning

Soccer players that need to improve power on the field focus on lower body conditioning two nonconsecutive days a week, like Monday and Wednesday or Friday and Sunday. Strength training can include a total lower body workout in a gym or a number of muscle-building exercises like dumbbell squats, lunges, and squat jumps that can be done at home.

To burn calories and warm up before a lower body workout, do up to 15 minutes of sprints on a field or on a gym treadmill to keep legs toned and limber.

Cardiovascular Strength

To support stamina on the field on game day, soccer players rely on cardiovascular conditioning. Since much of a soccer game is spent sprinting down the field to chase the ball, sprints can be used to condition your heart and help you to quickly lose weight.

When working out with a friend on a track, run 60 yard sprints together while expending 80{70bf3f0de345653d44762dc26ff670ad140dd79bcbd9067b668b28c6672699c3} of your energy. Take 30 second breaks in between each set and then increase your speed to 100{70bf3f0de345653d44762dc26ff670ad140dd79bcbd9067b668b28c6672699c3} to run the length of the field two times. This drill can be repeated as needed, based on individual activity level.

Core Power

Soccer is a rigorous workout that will tone the body from head to toe and relies mainly on exceptional core strength. In order to dodge other players and control the ball at the same time, soccer players must support their abdominal and back muscles to improve power on the field.

For a soccer-inspired ab workout, you can engage in a number of abdominal training exercises before a cardiovascular workout several times per week. Soccer-friendly ab exercises include bent knee crunches, straight leg crunches, and weighted crunches with a medicine ball or weight plate.

Supporting your core strength will not only give you a more attractive midsection come bikini season, but it can help to improve your overall athletic ability, especially when running and kicking. On top of that, a strong core can help to reduce the risk of injury on and off the field by protecting your back in any range of motion.

If you’re looking for a fun and creative way to tone your muscles and lose weight, there’s nothing more effective than joining a soccer team. By playing just 30 minutes of the sport, you can burn anywhere from 250 to 955 calories, depending upon your weight and activity level. A 155 pound person could burn up to 350 calories when playing soccer for a half-hour; in a 60 minute league game, this totals up to 700 calories expended!