Tar Heels' Split Squat

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Soccer players play the game from one foot to the other—so training that way makes sense. According to Greg Gatz, North Carolina men's soccer strength and conditioning coach, combining single-leg exercises with balance and coordination concepts makes the Tar Heels' training sport-specific.

"You don't see an athlete in a parallel foot position very often, so we train single-leg movements where they get some strength and balance off one leg," Gatz says.

Gatz has his players perform a Split Squat with some added twists once a week in the off-season. Complete 2 sets of 10 on each leg with 60 seconds rest between sets.

Advanced Split Squat with Dumbbell Curl and Overhead Press
• Place back foot on plyo box and assume split-stance position, holding dumbbells at sides
• Lower body with control, keeping front knee behind toes
• While pressing up with front leg, curl dumbbells to shoulder level
• In continuous motion, rotate dumbbells forward and press them over head
• Lower dumbbells toward head and rotate down into reverse curl for one rep
• Perform 10 reps; switch legs
Benefit: This trains you for the total body movements you make on the field, while increasing your balance and coordination. It is meant to work in conjunction with other leg work.

Gatz's Tips
1. Your feet should be split far enough so your back foot is extended with the heel off the ground and your weight on your toes. // 2. Control your movement down and explode up from the ground. // 3. Keep your core tight, chest up and eyes focused forward.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock