Hey there, are you reading this from your computer screen or on your phone maybe seating on a comfortable sofa? Well, guess what, it’s time to get some stretches done. So let’s get up at 3…2…1.
Ah okay, relax, you can continue to read through for a bit and instead implement these techniques tomorrow in the field.
We are talking about some excellent soccer stretches and in a bit, we would walk you through them.
Soccer or kick-ball (mostly claimed as the earliest form of soccer) heavily involves the core muscles of the stomach and back and yes it also involves the muscles of the feet.
Sports in general and soccer specifically is a demanding sport that requires you as an athlete to be agile, flexible, and build that endurance and strength.
As a soccer player it’s equally important to warm-up and cools down with the right set of exercises and this will benefit you regardless of the fact how pro or an amateur you are as a player. Soccer warm-up stretches are extremely crucial for the activities of the athletes.
These muscle-building exercises help the athletes to make that move in the game with much more power and flexibility. The stretching exercises are best to perform after a power work-out reason being it helps the muscles to move the entire range especially when they are warm and relaxed.
Not only that but stretches also helps to reduce the risk of injuries to a higher extent. These include cramps, pulls, tears, and sprains because stretching helps the athletes to reduce the pain around the joints they use the most.
Soccer warm-ups exercise when done properly helps a quick recovery after the exercise, a game, or a competition. Although the exercises are simple to perform many athletes do not dedicate a lot of time to learn the basics of a quality stretching program.
These basic soccer dynamic warm-up exercises include a variety of balanced stretches, slow movement through the full range of motion, and also holding the stretch for around 30-45 seconds. Lastly, it’s also important to release the stretch slowly and steadily.
Soccer warm-ups exercises are very effective provided it’s performed at the right time and there has been a lot of debate on what exactly is the right time and although it’s inconclusive, experts suggest the best time for these warm-up stretches or exercise is right after exercising.
They also suggest light exercises and warm-ups such as jogging, jumping jacks followed by a stretching routine for 5-10 minutes before beginning an intense athletic activity shows the best results. This is why we bring to you a variety of soccer warm-ups exercises as this becomes important to stretch your body to ensure it is both strong and flexible!
Dynamic stretching for soccer
Dynamic stretching in soccer is a new concept introduced which readily involves activity-based exercises which acts as a simulator to increase the speed and reach gradually warming up the muscles for the movement required in the game. Let’s talk about some of the most essential stretching exercises:
Frankensteins: in this technique, we hold the arms straight out in front of us and then stiff leg kick as if to kick the opposite palm. Once this is completed on one side we repeat it with the opposite leg. If you don’t get tired the idea is to continue this one to the 18-yard line and then turn around to make your position back to the starting line.
Butt-kicks: (Don’t let someone else do that to you!) but as the name suggests this one requires you to stand straight and start jogging to a specific mark and back while bringing the feet up to kick your rear.
High-Knees/Knee Hugs: This is where you would be jogging while trying to bring your knees up to the chest (as high as you can) and if you want to take this a level higher you can turn this down a little slow and try to bring each knee to the chest and give it a hug.
Closed-Knees This exercise focuses on the work-out for the hips. Here we will bring one leg up and out (away from the other one) and keep stretching it till the knee is bent to 90 degrees and then push it back to the normal position. Next, we will keep repeating with alternate legs.
Open-Knees: as the name suggests this is pretty much similar to the closed-knee stretch however the primary difference being here we move the leg in to out. We would lift the leg while bringing it in and make sure it’s bent t0 90 degrees and then swing it out. Repetitions will follow this one as well with the opposite leg.
Front-to-Back Hip/Leg Swing: behave like a pendulum clock! Find a fixed position and then kick one leg forward and back like a pendulum-like motion and repeat this for a few seconds. Once it’s done on one side, repeat it with the other leg.
Lateral Hip Swing This one is very similar to the front-to-back leg swing but instead of a pendulum movement here, you move from side to side. It’s preferable to have support to avoid falling off.
Forward, Backward Arm Circles Arms play a significant role in maintaining the overall strength. In this exercise, we rotate the arms at the shoulder and make a full circle forward and then backward for a few movements.
Rotational Windmill once again we are back to the arms and this time we would twist the arms in both directions in a way so that the arms lift up and away from the body and repeat this for a few instances.
Ankle Rotations in this exercise either we stand with the toe pointed into the turf and move your ankle in a circle otherwise hold the foot off the ground and then rotate the foot at the ankle. Feel free to take someone’s support here.
Alright, then we hope the above techniques will take you a long way and help you boost your game. Meanwhile here’s a quick snippet as a summary:
|Best time to stretch||Right after a work-out or exercising.|
|Basic stretching exercises||Jogging, ankle rotations, butt-kicks|
|Stretching durations||Hold the stretch for 30-45 seconds and release slowly|
|Stretching skilset||Beginner or a professional stretching makes the athlete much more efficient.|