How to Train Like a Soccer Player

February 18, 2013 | Alessandro Brazzit

Must See Soccer Videos

If you look at most soccer players, you will see lean, strong athletes. Why? Soccer players are constantly on the move, so they have to be strong and light on their feet.

Soccer players don't need to perform max effort lifts that build maximal strength and size. Instead, they should focus on developing full-body strength, improving single-leg stability and improving overall coordination. (See how Abby Wambach trains.)

The exercises below will help prevent lower-body injuries and improve speed and power on the field.

Reverse to Forward Lunge

  • From a standing position, hold kettlebell against chest just under chin; step backward into Reverse Lunge
  • Drive through heel of front foot to rise out of Lunge and immediately bring back leg forward to step into a Forward Lunge
  • Repeat with opposite leg

Dumbbell Step-Up to Knee Drive

  • Stand holding dumbbells at sides with knee-high plyo box in front
  • Step onto box with right leg, straighten leg and simultaneously drive left knee up
  • Step down under control
  • Perform with opposite leg
Check out the Airex pad version of this exercise.

Kettlebell Single-Leg RDL

  • Stand on left leg holding kettlebell in right hand
  • Hinge at hips and lower kettlebell down left leg in line with body
  • Contract glutes to rise out of RDL
  • Perform set with opposite leg
Watch Drew Brees perform this exercise.

Elevated Single-Arm Row to Knee Drive

  • Stand on right leg and grab cable handle with left hand
  • Pull left elbow back to perform row and drive up your left knee; Return to start and repeat
  • Perform set on opposite side

Kettlebell Speed Band Pullover

  • Lie down on bench and hold kettlebell with both hands in front of face with arms extended
  • Have partner stand on resistance band attached to kettlebell
  • Lower kettlebell in an arc overhead
  • Return kettlebell to start position in same arc motion

Dumbbell Kneeling Arm Swings

  • Kneel and hold dumbbells at your sides
  • Swing arms in alternating pattern as if running
  • Keep back straight and core tight

Standing Cable Lift

  • Stand and grab cable handle with both hands at left hip
  • Pull cable up and diagonally across body
  • Return to start position through same motion
  • Repeat on opposite side

Half-Kneeling Cable Chop

  • Assume half-kneeling position and grab cable handle with both hands at 10 o'clock position above shoulder
  • Pull cable down and diagonally across body to opposite hip
  • Return to start position through same motion
  • Repeat on opposite side

Soccer Training Program

Workout 1

  • Reverse to Forward Lunge: 4x3
  • Elevated Single-Arm Row to Knee Drive: 3x8
  • Dumbbell Kneeling Arm Swings: 3x10
  • Standing Cable Lift: 2x6

Workout 2

  • Dumbbell Step-Up to Knee Drive: 4x5
  • Kettlebell Single-Leg RDL: 3x8
  • Kettlebell Speed Band Pullover: 3x10
  • Half-Kneeling Cable Chop: 2x6

View the video below to see how to perform each exercise.

Alessandro Brazzit
- Alessandro Brazzit is the strength and conditioning coach for junior performance development at FC Treviso. He has worked as a strength and conditioning coach with...
Alessandro Brazzit
- Alessandro Brazzit is the strength and conditioning coach for junior performance development at FC Treviso. He has worked as a strength and conditioning coach with...
Must See
Margus Hunt Benches 385 Pounds for Five Reps
Views: 20,391,867
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 9,379,662
Michael Jordan: Mind of a Champion
Views: 546,375

Featured Videos

A Day in the Life of NBA D-League Star Seth Curry Views: 69,070
Kevin Love's Cone Hop Basketball Shooting Drill Views: 9,456
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Views: 133,452
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,308,880
What Ryan Hall Eats for Breakfast
Views: 795,300
STACK Fitness Weekly: How To Do a Muscle-Up
Views: 778,676
Greg Nixon's Hill Training Program
Views: 705,782
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,561,942

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

2 Brutal 10-Minute Workouts That Deliver Serious Results

Train Like a Pro: Dustin Pedroia's Baseball Power Workout

5 Quick Workout Fixes for Faster Muscle Growth

3 Keys to Better Softball Workouts

3 Tips to Blast Through Training Plateaus

Jump Higher After a Month With These 3 Exercises

Todd Durkin's Complete Football Strength Training Program

Build Athletic Strength with the Playground Sandbag Workout

Abby Wambach's Soccer Power Workout

Train Like a Pro: James Harden's Basketball Maintenance Workout

8-Exercise Advanced Chest and Back Workout

Is It Too Soon for Olympic Lifts?

3 Reasons Why You Should Do Full-Body Workouts

Add Surprise Sets for a Great Workout Finisher

The Top 10 Mistakes Athletes Make in the Weight Room

Tobin Heath's Powerful Leg Workout

3 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

Train Like a Pro: Julio Jones 3-Day Sandbag Strength Program

Build Muscle With the 2-Second Pause Workout Program

Increase Athletic Strength with Rotational Bodyweight Training

The 4 Best and Worst Cable Machine Exercises

How You Can Olympic Lift With an Injury

Kevin Love's In-Season Workout

Train Like a Pro: MLS Soccer Strength Program

Get Faster to Pitch Harder

Paul Rabil's Powerful Rotational Strength Workout

Speed Drill of the Day: Weighted Arm Swings

Use Sled Pushes to Increase Speed, Strength and Power

Build Strong Legs with the Leg Press Lockdown Workout

Train Like a Pro: Los Angeles Lakers Strength Training Program

Not Making Bench Press Gains? Try These Strategies

Train Like a Pro: Baseball Strength Workout Program

3 Keys to a Solid Squat Setup

The Un-Liftable Inch Dumbbell: Can You Handle Its Challenge?

Bicep Curl Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

Build a Strong Upper Body With These Landmine Exercises

How to Recover From a Soccer Game or Workout

Speed Drill of the Day: Reverse Lunges

4 Tips for Reducing Deadlift Back Pain

Get Faster With This Weightlifting Technique

Abby Wambach's Strength and Speed Workout

Build Bulletproof Chest Strength With This Unconventional Method

Train Like a Pro: Henrik Zetterberg's Hockey Strength Workout

How to Use the Pallof Press for an Iron Core

Use Wave Loading to Take Your Strength to the Next Level