Soccer is steadily increasing in popularity in the USA, with more than 25 million Americans partaking in the sport at various levels. Though natural talent undoubtedly plays a role in a player’s performance on the field, adequate training is also of the utmost importance. While it is no secret that regular gym and field drills are an absolute must for players, home workouts can be equally beneficial. Thankfully, exercising at home is surprisingly easy when you have a few basic pieces of equipment and a fervent passion to be the best player you can be.
Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of a jump rope
Soccer is played, for the most part, on the balls of the feet, with players having to be ready to change both direction and speed at the drop of a hat. One of the most effective ways to develop quick feet is through an exercise that can easily be done at home: using a jump rope. Jumping rope is a great full-body workout that not only works the calves, quads, glutes and hamstrings, but your forearms, back, shoulders and core as well. Even skipping for as little as two minutes at a time will help boost your sprint speed, improve your overall fitness, and minimize the risk of injury by strengthening your feet, ankles and knees.
A little bit of cardio goes a long way
If you want to stay at the top of your game year-round, you need to ensure that you engage in a suitable cardio exercise regime that will directly influence both your strength and endurance. Among the most popular at-home cardio exercises for soccer players are swimming, using an elliptical trainer, running on a treadmill, and shadowboxing. If you’re already an eager cyclist, you can easily convert your regular ride into a stationary exercise bike that will give you a superb cardio workout. For the best results, aim to engage in more than one type of cardio exercise that will ensure a full-body, balanced workout.
Embrace the power of plyometrics
As agility is so important to soccer players, plyometric drills should form a part of every home exercise routine. These drills typically consist of a lot of hopping, jumping and bounding exercises that are aimed to improve both explosive strength and coordination. Although plyometric boxes can be bought from any respectable sporting goods store, anyone with a knack for DIY can easily make them at home. The exercises, which entail jumping onto and over the boxes, can boost a soccer player’s performance significantly. Studies have actually indicated that regular engagement in plyometrics can decrease ground reaction times substantially, which enables players to react to plays at a much faster rate.
Maintaining your fitness level through at-home exercise is a lot easier than it may seem. By simply engaging in a varied selection of cardio and strength exercises, you will find yourself being faster, stronger and more agile on the field than ever before.