Many people consider lifting weights an important part of your training in other sports, like football and basketball, but it can make a huge difference in soccer as well. Here’s how.
Why Should I Lift Weights for Soccer?
There are tons of lifts out there that will help you get stronger, but to get better at soccer there are 3 areas to focus on: core, legs, and shoulders.
First, a strong core for soccer helps with your fitness and running.
In a soccer game, the average player runs anywhere from about 4-8 miles depending on the position you play. (Midfielders usually run more than defenders and forwards.)
Stronger legs help with your fitness, running, jumping, and striking the ball.
Strong shoulders help with strength on the ball so your opponents can not push you off and also help you jockey for air balls.
Soccer players do not need to be big and bulky. They need to be lean.
For an example, look at Lionel Messi, arguably the world’s best player if not the best of all time. He only stands at around 5’7’’ and weighs 148 lbs.
Many soccer stars are smaller than they might appear on TV, which is sort of the opposite of other sports. If you do not believe me, then look up some of your favorite players.
Even though they aren’t massive behemoths, these players are lean and strong in just the right areas, as a result of a career of weight training.
Muscle endurance is key to gaining the physique of a top soccer star like Lionel Messi.
For muscle endurance, you need to perform a higher number of repetitions so you are essentially lifting for a longer period of time.
Reps and Time per Lift for Soccer Muscle Endurance
There are two strategies for gaining muscle endurance: using the number of reps (15-20) or the period of time per lift.
If you using the number of reps technique, then once your reps get into the 15-20 rep range you will need to move up in weight.
If you are using the period of time per lift, then you should plan on performing your exercises ranging from 30-60 seconds.
Start off by performing reps for 30 seconds and then moving up to 60 seconds.
The period between lifts is important because it turns up the intensity of your workout.
Ideally, one should only rest 10-30 seconds between exercises. If this is too intense, then take up to 60 seconds, but you want to train like a soccer match.
The more intense your workout, the better shape you will get in and the better you’re training your heart for an actual match.
Circuit Training for Soccer
Circuit training combines either number of reps or period of time per lift and the period of rest between exercises.
In circuit training, you pick anywhere from 3-10 different exercises and go through these exercises with a range from 3-5 circuits.
The least amount of exercises, more circuits you do. You want your workouts to range from 20-40 minutes.
This is just a brief introduction to the importance of soccer weight training. Stay tuned for more detailed updates in the future.
(Photo credit TanjaS)