Tobin Heath is the only member of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team who’s won NCAA, NWSL, World Cup and Olympic titles. ESPN recently dubbed the 31-year-old midfielder the USWNT’s “most complete player”.
Once known mainly for her creativity on the ball, Heath’s game has evolved over the years to include elite defending, endurance and assist-making. A few years back, she provided STACK with a closer look at her training. “A lot of soccer movements are very explosive, and it’s a lot of changing direction,” Heath says. “Anything you really want to do with the ball, you need that leg strength and that leg endurance.”
Tobin Heath’s Workout
In addition to lots and lots of running, Heath uses a variety of exercises to strengthen her lower-body. The moves also increase her quickness and agility for when she needs to turn on a dime during games. To improve your own performance on the pitch, follow her lower body circuit, performing 6 to 8 reps of each move before immediately moving on to the next. Rest 60 seconds between rounds. The circuit is more for endurance, but dumbbells can be used to add weight to the Box Squat (use one dumbbell in a goblet-style position) as well as Step-Ups and Lunges (holding an even pair of dumbbells by your side).
Stand in an athletic stance 6 to 12 inches in front of a box. Bend your hips and knees to slowly lower into a Squat. When your butt taps the top of the box, explosively drive out of the Squat.
Stand with your right foot on top of a box and your rear leg on the ground behind it. Contract your right quad and glute to explosively drive your body up until you’re standing on one leg on top of the box. Drive your left knee up until your thigh is parallel to the ground. Bend your right knee and hip to lower your left leg to the ground and return to the starting position. Finish your reps for the set, then switch sides.
Starting from an athletic stance, step forward with your right leg until your thigh is parallel to the ground. Extend your left leg behind you one to two inches above the ground. Push through your front leg to return to the starting position. Repeat, then perform your reps with the opposite leg forward.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart about an arms-length away from a plyo box. Lower into a quarter-squat, then explode through your hips, knees and ankles to jump on top of the box. Land softly with bent knees. Step down slowly and repeat.
If you’re a soccer coach, player, parent or league administrator, make the most out of your experience by signing up for U.S. Soccer Connect.