Now that soccer season has ended, how would you grade your overall performance? Would you benefit from building more upper-body muscle to throw the ball farther downfield? Greater leg strength for a more powerful kick? Or perhaps improved agility and endurance? (See Strength Training for Soccer with Functional Circuit Workout.)
Get a jump-start on next year's season by addressing these issues; and make sure you're in top shape when soccer resumes with the following exercise combos. This offseason-conditioning program focuses on core, upper- and lower-body strength, vertical leaping ability, endurance and agility—all key components when you're running in multiple directions up and down the field.
The only equipment needed for the combos are a one- or two-foot box or weight bench; a moderately heavy (12- to 15-pound) medicine ball; and six cones for agility movements. Do a dynamic warm-up beforehand and finish with cool-down static upper- and lower-body stretches to promote flexibility.
Sets/Reps: Perform sequence without resting in five reps, then four, three, two and one. Rest 60 seconds and repeat both movements.
The exercise combination will help your ability to decelerate to a sudden stop on the soccer field, then reaccelerate quickly. This is because it builds endurance while also strengthening the hips, legs, shoulders, arms and chest through an explosive plyometric movement.
An effective upper-body and core strengthener. The sprints enhance endurance and multi-directional agility, both critical on the field.