How to Maintain Strength During Your Soccer Season

These adjustments to your training program will help you stay strong and avoid injury during soccer season.

Training during your soccer season can be a tough task. You have a busy game schedule, practices and other commitments. And as the season goes along, your body becomes more and more beat down.

Hitting the weight room might be the last thing you want to do, but it's essential. In-season workouts will help you recover, maintain your strength, prevent injuries and peak for the most important time of your season: the playoffs.

However, your in-season workouts need to look a bit different than your offseason lifts. You need to minimize fatigue, account for your schedule and how your body feels and create short and efficient workouts that you can actually do.

Here are the keys to the perfect in-season soccer training program:

  • One to two strength training days are ideal. Starters playing more than 60 minutes a game may only be able to handle one workout a week, while a bench or reserve player can handle two.
  • Focus on full-body workouts to train as many muscles in as little time as possible. This ensures you don't miss a body part throughout the week and don't overdo it on a single muscle group.
  • Perform exercises for fewer sets and reps that you normally use, with a moderate to heavy weight. This will challenge your muscles without creating muscle soreness.
  • Minimizing fatigue and preventing injury is critical. Never train through pain under any circumstance.

Sample In-Season Soccer Workout

Here's a sample training day—with multiple exercise examples—so you can see how the guidelines above are put into action. Make sure to start the workout with a dynamic warm-up and finish with a cooldown.

1. Explosive/Power Exercise: Dumbbell Jump Squat/Med Ball Throw/Power Clean:  3x3 @ 60-70%

2. Main Lower-Body Lift: Back Squat/Front Squat/Trap Bar Deadlift: 3x3 @ 70-80%

3a. Upper-Body Pull: Pull-Ups/Inverted Row/Dumbbell Row: 3x4-6@ 70-80%

3b. Upper-Body Push: Dumbbell Bench Press, Push-Ups, Dips: 3x4-6@ 70-80%

4. Single-Leg Lower-Body Exercise: Walking Lunge/Pistol Squat/Bulgarian Split Squats: 3x8-12 @ 65-70%

5a. Glute/Hamstring Exercise: Single-Leg RDL, Nordic Hamstring Curl, Barbell Glute Bridge: 3x 6-12 @ 65-70%

5b. Core: Plank, Side Plank, Standing Cable Rotation: 3x30 sec.