Monthly Archives: November 2017

Soccer Fitness Training Tips

Soccer fitness training will help your players optimize their overall strength, speed and stamina. Such training plays a very major role in soccer and is in fact an essential component when it comes to coaching soccer. Let me give you a brief insight into different types of fitness training for soccer players.

  • Maximal Strength Fitness Training

In one momentary contraction, there is a specific level of force that a muscle group can generate. This optimum force of a muscle group is termed as maximal strength. Maximal strength plays a very important role in the game of soccer.

It helps the players hold off opponent and steal the ball from them. However, the objective of the maximal strength fitness training should not be just to enhance the maximal strength. Instead, the training should focus on enhancing both power and speed to optimum level.

  • Power Training – Plyometrics

This fitness-training program for soccer is highly effective in building both strength and speed in the players. What is more, unlike most people think, it is not a very difficult training process. The training becomes much easier when both the coach and the players follow the guidelines associated with the same religiously.

Plyometrics exercises are designed in a way to stretch the muscle of the players before the contraction and this simply results in more forceful and instant contraction. For example, one easy way to do this exercise is to keep jumping off the ground without bending the knees. However, one good way to maintain the speed and flexibility of the players is simply to follow a specific weight routine.

This is the best way to enhance as well as maintain the speed and strength of the players. Last, but not the least, there are certain cautions that you must take note of while you are doing the Plyometrics exercises. For example, it is not good to use weights – no matter how light it is – while doing this exercise.

  • Some Examples Of Plyometrics Exercises

The simple yet best example of Plyometrics exercises is that you should run in slow motion, jumping on alternate feet. While doing this exercise, the players should aim to achieve as much height and distance as possible at each step.

Overall, there are various ways in which soccer fitness training can be organized. However, the only thing that both the coach and the players must keep in mind is that they have to follow the guidelines religiously.

The Best Fitness Training Information

Why Fitness Training? I am passionate about sports. I have studied, learned, practiced and coached a lot of it. I still do it. I decided to share my passion and knowledge with those that have an interest in that. The subject of sports, alone, is huge. I can not even think of ever being able to cover it.

People’s health and general well being is dramatically improved by fitness training. Every individual should have it in his or her life.

It is usually performed in a gym or club, but it may very well happen (sometimes with much better results) in a Track and Field Center. A home (that has proper fitness equipment) can sometimes be used as a training facility.

Fitness training requires commitment, discipline and patience to see results. Different people train at different paces. Anybody following the requirements and instructions will see positive results. The higher the motivation level is, the stronger a training program can be. For some people, especially those who have not done any physical training in a while, the beginning of a new fitness program may be hard. However, achieving your goal is much more rewarding, and motivating for future sessions. Besides any goals people may have, their health improves in so many areas, that it is impossible to not feel and enjoy it.

People may need fitness training to become good or better in sports or to make them be and feel healthy, strong, thin, lean, flexible etc. Based on people needs and goals there are lots of different fitness programs. For every program there are specific workout routines, exercise programs and equipment. Every program should start with a warm-up period and finish with a cool-down period. The routines and exercises involve (but are not limited to) running, weight lifting, stretching, jumping etc.

Fitness classifies into physical and performance related components. All the components have to be considered when assessing an individual’s training needs and goals, to create an adequate program. The job of a trainer/coach should be to create a program with the right composition for each specific individual.

Please, feel free to leave your comments, thoughts or suggestions, as they are really valuable for me. Thank you for reading this article and stay tuned for many more to come.

Functional Fitness Training

WHAT IS FUNCTIONAL FITNESS TRAINING?

Functional fitness training can be described as any program that includes exercises designed to mimic and/or help you to perform daily tasks or activities safely and efficiently. Examples of these types of tasks or activities include loading and unloading furniture from a truck, or picking your kid up and carrying them up the stairs.

Functional exercises are generally multi-joint movements that involve using both upper and lower body muscle groups simultaneously while engaging the core.

For example, while an exercise like a dumbbell curl ONLY works the bicep and is performed in most cases for aesthetic purposes, an exercise like a dumbbell farmer’s walk trains the body to lift heavy objects properly off the ground, engaging the core, driving through the heels, then moving those heavy objects from point A to point B. Muscles worked: glutes, quads, hamstrings, upper traps, forearms, and core. In addition, it’s not a bad high intensity cardio workout either. In a real world scenario, an exercise such as this is much more likely to transfer over to a common task such as carrying two heavy grocery bags from the store to your car.

SHOULD YOU BE INCORPORATING FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENTS IN YOUR EXERCISE PROGRAM?

Everyone can benefit from performing functional movements. Don’t wait until you slip a disc in your back trying to pick up that 50 pound bag of dog food before you decide it’s time to learn how to deadlift properly. Lower back injuries are the most common, nagging, reoccurring injuries in our society today. In fact, 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time.Experts estimate that as many as 80% of the American population will experience a back injury at some point in their lives. Knowing the reasons why people experience these injuries and training your body in ways that will help you to avoid them is something everyone can and should do.

If you’re a bodybuilder, does it make sense to perform only functional movements in your routine? No. You’ll most likely be going with a split routine of some sort. However, for most everyone else, whether you’re a stay at home Mom with two kids, or the owner of a refurbished vintage furniture store (had to throw some of my real life client examples in here), you need to know how to properly squat down and pick up your kids or your furniture, then properly lift them up and carry or load them off somewhere.

The answer for 99% of us is yes, at the very least, the two foundational functional movements, the squat and the deadlift, should be incorporated in your program somewhere.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF FUNCTIONAL FITNESS TRAINING?

  • Reduced risk of injury.
  • Improved ease of daily tasks.
  • Safe, efficient and effective performance of common activities.
  • Improved balance, agility, and strength.
  • Improved quality of life.

EXAMPLES OF FUNCTIONAL EXERCISES

  • Squat, deadlift, lunge (all variations)
  • Push-up, pull-up, dip
  • Kettlebell swing
  • Dumbbell carry
  • Medicine ball slam
  • Box jumps
  • Sled push
  • Battle rope
  • Core rotation exercises
  • Cable machine
  • Medicine ball
  • Resistance bands
  • Body weight
  • TRX Rip Trainer

Specific Strength & Fitness Training

Soccer-specific strength and fitness training for soccer players is a hotly debated topic. Off season strength training for soccer athletes has been the source of debate for many years and it still unresolved. The first question to be addressed is whether there really is an off season for top flight soccer players? At any level? Male or female? In my opinion the answer is no! Should there be? Well, that’s a topic for another article or series of articles and is part of an ongoing and intense debate.

For the purposes of this article, let’s assume there is something of an off season, even if it is simply a period when a soccer player plays less often. Once established, then the next issue to be addressed is: What sort of training will provide the greatest edge when the next season begins? The answer is complex but, in addition to continuing to keep your foot on the ball, and yourself on the pitch, at least a couple of times a week minimum, it is time to hit the gym!

I receive interesting questions and comments from time to time on this topic. Interestingly, many soccer coaches are still in the Dark Ages when it comes to strength training for soccer players.

I routinely receive and letters from colleagues and the information I receive generally falls into three categories:

1) The old soccer training school: “All you have to do is play soccer!”

2) The conservative soccer training school (usually voiced by parents): “My child is already doing too much, he (or
she) doesn’t need any more training!”

3) The informed soccer training school: “I realize the players are bigger, stronger, and faster than ever before and if I want to compete at the highest levels, I need an edge!”

It shouldn’t take a genius to guess which position I take on this subject? Yup, number 3!

The most misinformed comment I have received to date came from a “coach” who was critiquing an article I wrote on leg training is illustrative of the first school of thought, the old school. The coach maintained that because soccer players do not engage in muscle movement similar to the muscle movement used in the performance of a specific exercise, or use the muscles to prompt such movements in exactly that way on the pitch, there is no need for leg extensions and leg curls!

WRONG!

That’s like saying football players don’t need to bench press because there isn’t a bench on the fifty yard line or goalkeepers don’t need to be aerobically fit because they almost never leave the box! I could go on for days on this one but you get the message…I hope? It is old school and misinformed.

The old school point of view not only neglects to take into account the synergy between muscle groups and their actions, it fails to take into account that muscle movement is complex and not only involves other muscles, other than the ones you are working, it impacts the connective tissue as well.

And where do most profound and career ending soccer injuries occur? The knees! And what portion of the knees are most profoundly affected? The connective tissue! And how do we strengthen the connective tissue? By engaging in strength training directed at strengthening the muscles and the connective tissue associated with those muscles and the adjacent, synergistic musculature!

The fact is, if you do not strengthen the overall musculature, and the associated connective tissue, you are more susceptible to injury and, and this is the big one for this article, for the soccer players who are engaging in strength training? They are going to be what? Yup! Bigger! Stronger! Faster! And, if not faster…certainly more…Powerful!

So, hit the gym but do it right. Find a knowledgeable strength and fitness coach, someone familiar with sport-specific, and, in particular, soccer-specific strength and fitness training, and start hitting the weights and the machines (there are benefits to both).

Ultimately, it depends on how far you want to take it but competition is intense and to play at the highest levels, you need an edge.

Just go to any soccer complex in almost any city or town across the US, and certainly abroad, on a Saturday morning and ask yourself these questions:

1) What makes me so special?

2) How am I going to stand out against all of this competition?

3) What do I have to do to gain an edge?

The answer is quite simple really and is two-fold:

1) Play often and at the highest level possible.

2) Find a competitive advantage and then work at it until it separates you from the pack!

The combination of the two will pay dividends you can only hope for at present but from one who has coached soccer athletes at every level, on the pitch and in the gym, you have to remember that one question: “What makes me special?” Answer that and you will be among the top 1% and will have an opportunity to play when everyone else is sitting on the bench or in the stands.

Sport-specific training programs to be effective must be tailored to an individual’s needs. I have had over 30 years experience training athlete at all levels, amateur to top-level professional. I hope the article above helps or at least informs you. Perhaps it will also inspire you to take action.