With the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ under way in Brazil, the entire globe is getting into the spirit of the game of soccer (aka. football) and yelling “GOOOOAAAAALLLL!” at the top of their lungs as they cheer on their favorite teams!
According to a worldwide survey conducted by FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) in 2007, over 265 million people regularly play soccer around the world, in addition to over 5 million referees and officials. This doesn’t even account for the hundreds of millions more that love the game and support the players out on the field.
For those of you who are not familiar with the sport itself, here are a few basic facts about soccer:
- It is a team game requiring 11 players on each side (10 on the field and one goalie)
- Teams try to score as many points as they can in the time allowed by forcing the ball into the opponent’s goal
- The ball can be propelled by any part of the body except the arms and hands
- The field dimensions (FIFA standards) are 110 to 120 yards (100 to 110 meters) long by 70b to 80 yards (64 to 75 meters) wide
- The goal width (FIFA standards) is 8 yards (7.32 meters) and the height of the horizontal crossbar is 8 feet (2.44 meters)
- Matches consist of 2 x 45-minute halves
Basic skills required as a soccer player include:
If we break these skills even deeper, a soccer conditioning and training program (in addition to soccer drills) would need to focus on the following:
- Running (agility and speed)
- Cardiovascular endurance
- Starting and stopping (concentric and eccentric loading of the lower body muscles)
- Foot-eye coordination
- Balancing on one leg
- Generating power through the hip flexors
- Core strength and stability
- Jumping and landing
Lower Body Resistance Workout (inspired by the 2014 FIFA World Cup)
Although soccer requires good overall strength and fitness, today’s workout is focusing on functional strength of the lower body. No additional weights are required (a few pieces of equipment are required) and this workout can be done in your living room or open area in your back yard.
- Five Way Lunges – bodyweight only, 10 to 15 repetitions (each leg), 2 to 3 sets
- Split Squat, Jump – bodyweight only, 10 to 15 repetitions (each leg), 2 to 3 sets
- Squat, Saigon Spassov – bodyweight only, 10 to 15 repetitions (each leg), 2 to 3 sets
- Tuck Jumps – bodyweight only, as many as possible (with good form), 2 to 3 sets
- Step Up, Explosive, Sideways, Alternating – bodyweight only, as many repetitions as possible in 30 seconds, 2 to 3 sets
- Glute Kicks – bodyweight only, 10 to 15 repetitions (each leg), 2 to 3 sets
- Mountain Climbers – bodyweight only, as many repetitions as possible in 30 seconds, 2 to 3 sets
- Russian Twist – bodyweight only, as many repetitions as possible in 30 seconds, 2 to 3 sets
- Plank, Elbow – bodyweight only, maintain good form for as long as possible (aiming for a minimum of one minute), 2 to 3 sets
- Bent Knee Hip Raise – bodyweight only, 10 to 15 repetitions, 2 to 3 sets
Cardio Workout (designed for soccer players)
Training cardiovascular endurance is essential for soccer to ensure participants can last the 90 minutes of total game play and the amount of distance that is required for them to get the job done! In a typical soccer game, players (not including the goalie) will travel a total distance of 5.5 to 6.8 miles (approximately 2.4 miles are spent jogging, 1.2 miles are running at a fairly high speed, 0.6 miles are spent sprinting at top speed, 1.5 miles are used up walking, and 0.3 miles are spent moving backwards) and maintain an average heart rate of 160 beats/minute. Below is a cardiovascular workout program to help improve your ability to maintain speed and endurance on the soccer field.
- Warm up & stretch – jog around the perimeter of the soccer field (building up to 65% HRmax) for 5 minutes followed by 5 minutes of stretching
- Sideline sprints (50/60/70/80/90/100) – traveling the distance from one sideline to the other (64 to 75 meters), sprint to one sideline and then walk/jog back; complete 6 repetitions increasing from 50 to 100 percent maximum speed
- Goal line sprints (50/60/70/80/90/100) – traveling the distance from one goal line to the other (100 to 110 meters), sprint to one sideline and then walk/jog back, complete 6 repetitions increasing from 50 to 100 percent maximum speed
- Recovery/endurance – jog/run around the perimeter of the soccer field (in the opposite direction of the warm up) maintaining an average heart rate of 160 beats/minute; run continuously for a minimum of 20 minutes
You don’t have to be a world class soccer athlete to get the benefits of what this workout has to offer. Simply lace up your running shoes, find an open space in a park (with room to run) and you’re good to go!
Stay tuned for more sports-specific workouts in the upcoming months from TodaysFitnessTrainer.com!
Resources and References:
- FIFA Laws of the Game (http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/affederation/federation/lotg_en_55753.pdf)
- FIFA Facts 2007 (http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/fifafacts/bcoffsurv/emaga_9384_10704.pdf)
- Design of a Soccer Training Session Based Upon the Physiological Match Demands of Competitive Soccer (http://www.edb.utexas.edu/ssn/CCA%20PDF/Soccer-Competitive%20Training.PDF)