While 25.3% of outdoor soccer players also play indoor soccer, staying fit throughout the winter months is a goal for many – even if you intend to take the winter off from the field altogether. While many soccer players may resort to a standard workout routine to stay in shape, it’s just as important to maintain your soccer-specific skills as well. Luckily, there are several simple and easy workouts you can do to stay engaged throughout the winter season, and you certainly don’t need a whole field to do so.
Simple Soccer Agility Exercises for Winter
One of the most important skills for any soccer player to have is agility through ball control and speed, which can be difficult to practice through traditional indoor workouts that only involve pushups and weight lifting. With that said, there are a couple of activities that you can incorporate into any workout regime that focuses on maintaining your control skills – like cone drills or the agility ladder – and they don’t require a lot of space, either.
While cone drills are typically thought of as an outdoor exercise, you really only need about 5 cones and a little space to make it work indoors. From there, you can practice your core ball control skills, like dribbling between the cones. Speed can also be practiced through cone drills, and can be a great way to improve your coordination as well. Likewise, working with the agility ladder doesn’t take up much space, and can improve speed, coordination, and provide a bit of cardio at the same time.
Enhancing Your Stamina During the Off-Season
It can be easy to get out of shape and lose your stamina over the winter months, which is why indoor workout equipment can prove to be an asset to any soccer player, whether it be at home or at your local gym. While sprinting or jogging on the treadmill can keep you in shape, using interval training (a technique used by alternating between high and low intensity exercise) can help to further enhance your stamina for the upcoming season – especially since it can help to mock the rhythm of a real game. However, when it comes to getting a more low-impact workout, both ellipticals and stationary bikes can provide a great alternative to a treadmill, while each offering different cardio workouts.
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Soccer Strength Training in the Winter
While ball control and enhancing your stamina might already sound like a complete workout, it’s important to incorporate some strength training as well. Because soccer is a full-body sport and uses all of your muscles, doing simple exercises can be beneficial when it comes to strengthening them – and you don’t need equipment to do so. With that said, push-ups can be a great exercise for enhancing upper body strength, especially since upper body strength is necessary for good throw-ins and plays an important role in balance when running. And, while lunges can be great for working your thigh muscles, and sit-ups for your core, burpees can be more efficient in working all areas of the body by combining exercises in all three areas.
While many soccer players may take the winter off from the field, staying fit for the upcoming season in the meantime is a must for any serious athlete. Luckily, there are many things you can do to keep your soccer skills and fitness in check – from ball control to agility exercises and strength training.