3 Exercises for Soccer Injury Prevention

April 10, 2013 | Piotr Damek

Must See Soccer Videos

Playing and practicing soccer skills for several seasons may do wonders for your game, but it also takes a toll on your body. Repeating the same movement patterns over long periods of time creates muscle imbalances, especially in the glutes, hamstrings and vastus medialis obique muscles.

The nature of soccer makes these muscles weaker in relation to others, subjecting players to greater risk of injury. (See also Eliminate Muscle Imbalances to Improve Performance and Stay Injury-Free.) Correct imbalances (and avoid the ER) by including the following three exercises in your workouts. As the old saying goes, "Your body is only as strong as it's weakest link."

Single-Leg Deadlift

Sets/Reps: 3x10 per leg

  • Stand on one foot with about a 20-degree knee bend
  • Keep your arms relaxed at your sides
  • Fully extend your other leg behind your body
  • Hinge at the hip, push your butt back and reach down, keeping your back straight
  • Return to start position

Step Down

Sets/Reps: 3x10 per leg

  • Find a low platform, around eight to 12 inches high
  • Standing on one leg, extend your other leg in front of your body
  • Bend the knee of your standing leg and step down to where the heel of your extended leg touches the ground
  • Don't let your knee buckle or cave in; keep it in line with your foot throughout the movement
  • Lift yourself up and return to start position

Split Squat

Sets/Reps: 3x10 per leg

  • Stand with one leg forward and the other toward the rear
  • Squat down by flexing the knee and hip of your front leg
  • Allow the heel of your rear foot to lift up and the knee of your rear leg to bend slightly until it almost makes contact with the floor
  • Return to the original straddle position by extending the hip and knee of your forward leg
  • Keep your torso upright and your knees in line with your feet throughout the movement
Must See
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 11,391,843
Skylar Diggins Attacks the Off-Season On and Off the Court Skylar Diggins Attacks the Off-Season On and Off the Court
Views: 8,115,396
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,577,083

Featured Videos

Kevin Love's In-Season Basketball Workout Kevin Love's In-Season Basketball Workout Views: 1,018,026
A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce Views: 15,983
Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Views: 70,834
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

Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,362,770
Paul Rabil's Box Jumps Paul Rabil's Box Jumps
Views: 851,480
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,577,083
Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles
Views: 4,333,163
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,499,164

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
How to Treat Piriformis Syndrome

How to Treat Piriformis Syndrome

If you have ever had tightness or sourness in your glutes that may or may not have radiated into your hamstrings, you might have suffered from...

How to Train With Running Blisters

How to Train With Running Blisters

Evan Gattis's Protection-Enhanced Catcher's Helmet

Evan Gattis's Protection-Enhanced Catcher's Helmet

Outsmart Injury With These 4 Predictive Tests

Outsmart Injury With These 4 Predictive Tests

Why Tommy John Surgery Is Ruining Pitchers

Why Tommy John Surgery Is Ruining Pitchers

Preventing ACL Injuries in Soccer Players

Preventing ACL Injuries in Soccer Players

5 Things You Can Do to Prevent Muscle Injuries

5 Things You Can Do to Prevent Muscle Injuries

4 Tips to Relieve Muscle Stiffness

4 Tips to Relieve Muscle Stiffness

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Hamstring-Focused Workout

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Hamstring-Focused Workout

6 Ways to Prevent Common Sports Injuries

6 Ways to Prevent Common Sports Injuries

Quarterbacks: 4 Tips to Keep Your Throwing Shoulder Healthy

Quarterbacks: 4 Tips to Keep Your Throwing Shoulder Healthy

Achilles Tendon Ruptures: Prevention and Recovery

Achilles Tendon Ruptures: Prevention and Recovery

Impressive Advances in ACL Rehab

Impressive Advances in ACL Rehab

STUDY: Imaginary Exercise Helps You Recover Faster From Injury

STUDY: Imaginary Exercise Helps You Recover Faster From Injury

Avoid Low-Back Pain With These 7 In-Season Exercises

Avoid Low-Back Pain With These 7 In-Season Exercises

5 Bodyweight Exercises to Prevent Baseball Injuries

5 Bodyweight Exercises to Prevent Baseball Injuries

How to Keep Your Feet Healthy On and Off the Field

How to Keep Your Feet Healthy On and Off the Field

How to Prevent In-Season Volleyball Injuries

How to Prevent In-Season Volleyball Injuries

Eliminate Elbow Pain with These 3 Methods

Eliminate Elbow Pain with These 3 Methods

8 of the Most Ridiculous Off-Field Athlete Injuries of All Time

8 of the Most Ridiculous Off-Field Athlete Injuries of All Time

10 Ways to Fix Back Pain

10 Ways to Fix Back Pain

Predicting the Impact of DeMarco Murray's Hand Injury

Predicting the Impact of DeMarco Murray's Hand Injury

3 Steps to Prevent Soccer ACL Injuries

3 Steps to Prevent Soccer ACL Injuries

How to Prevent Baseball Injuries During the Off-Season

How to Prevent Baseball Injuries During the Off-Season

Basketball Players: Prevent Ankle Sprains With These 3 Exercises

Basketball Players: Prevent Ankle Sprains With These 3 Exercises

6 Steps for Recovering From a Season-Ending Injury

6 Steps for Recovering From a Season-Ending Injury

Dry Needling: Powerful, Drug-Free Pain Relief for Athletes

Dry Needling: Powerful, Drug-Free Pain Relief for Athletes

Coaches: Prevent Injuries With the Recovery Management Tool

Coaches: Prevent Injuries With the Recovery Management Tool

4 Sports Massage Techniques to Relieve Tight Muscles

4 Sports Massage Techniques to Relieve Tight Muscles

Pectoral Tendon Ruptures and Injury Prevention

Pectoral Tendon Ruptures and Injury Prevention

STUDY: Female Athletes Are at Higher Risk of Overuse Injuries

STUDY: Female Athletes Are at Higher Risk of Overuse Injuries

7 Ways to Fix Back Pain

7 Ways to Fix Back Pain

The Secret Weapon Powering Stephen Curry's Resurgence

The Secret Weapon Powering Stephen Curry's Resurgence

Connective Tissue: The Key to Preventing ACL Injuries

Connective Tissue: The Key to Preventing ACL Injuries

Reducing Low-Back Pain: What You Need to Know

Reducing Low-Back Pain: What You Need to Know

Avoid ACL Injuries in Softball with PREP

Avoid ACL Injuries in Softball with PREP

Megan Rapinoes Secret to Staying Healthy

Megan Rapinoe

The Future of Sports Injury Rehabilitation

The Future of Sports Injury Rehabilitation

5 Tips to Intelligently Train Through Lower Back Pain

5 Tips to Intelligently Train Through Lower Back Pain

Sports Hernias: What You Need to Know

Sports Hernias: What You Need to Know

2 Ways to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

2 Ways to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

4 Strategies to Prevent Tommy John Surgery

4 Strategies to Prevent Tommy John Surgery

6 Simple Tips to Prevent Knee Injuries

6 Simple Tips to Prevent Knee Injuries

YardBarker