STRETCH MORE

There's not much standing around in soccer. Players are constantly cutting, jumping, sprinting, passThere's not much standing around in soccer. Players are constantly cutting, jumping, sprinting, passing, dribbling, backpedaling. As such, pre-game preparation is critical. Going in cold is a recipe for disaster, but overdoing it can leave your energy levels depleted in crunch time. A perfect middle ground gets players ready for the gauntlet of athletic activity they're about to endure while keeping their legs fresh. 

Benefits:

  • Promotes healthy circulation throughout the body

  • Increases overall flexibility

  • Reduces stress

  • Enhances range of motion throughout the body

Goals:

  • Understand the difference between dynamic and static stretching, and the benefits of each.

  • Apply knowledge of foam roller exercises
    and soccer warm up into your exercise routine.

  • Can you touch your toes? If not, foam roll your calves, hamstrings, glutes, and back.

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Although there are many different ways to perform a stretching exercise, they can all be grouped into one of two categories:

Static or Dynamic.

Foam roller exercises

Static exercises Static stretching means a stretch is held in a challenging, but comfortable position for a period of time, usually somewhere between 10 to 30 seconds. Static stretching consists of stretching a muscle (or group of muscles) to its farthest point and then maintaining or holding that position. This helps realign muscle fibres and there by speed recovery after exercise.

"Stretching increases blood flow, boosts oxygen levels and helps deliver nutrients to your muscles. It also removes metabolic waste such as carbon dioxide, ammonia and uric acid. Sure, stretching helps athletes stay loose, limber and avoid injuries, but it can also benefit others in ways we might not have known."- US Health News March 2015

Dynamic exercises are movements you perform to prepare your body for more strenuous activity. Different than a traditional warm-up, these exercises use integrated movements in an active, full range of motion to prepare your muscles and joints for the work to come. Dynamic Stretching is a form of stretching beneficial in sports utilizing momentum from form, and the momentum from static-active stretching strength, in an effort to propel the muscle into an extended range of motion not exceeding one's static-passive stretching ability. Before any serious workout or practice session, soccer players should always be sure to warm up the muscles that contribute most to strong performance in this game. These include the hip flexors, the hamstrings, the quads and the glutes—all the muscles in the hips, legs, and core that generate drive, agility, and speed.ut this item. What's it about and what makes it interesting? Give people the info they need to go ahead and take the action you want. To make this item your own click here > Add & Manage Items.

Sample warm up 

The following is an example of a dynamic soccer warm up that is designed to raise the body temperature, increase muscle elasticity and neuromuscular function, and mimic the actions used in training and competition. It is performed in three stages starting with general exercises and ending with soccer specific activities.

1. Aerobic activity

Perform a five-minute, low-level aerobic, such as jogging, or technical work with the ball.

2. Dynamic Flexibility

These exercises incorporate active movements to stretch the hips and pelvic region targeting hamstrings, hip flexors, gluteus and groin, which are important injury prevention in soccer. Do the following movements five times for each side or position: 

  1. Hip Circles

  2. Trunk Twist

  3. Alternate Toe Touches

  4. Knee to Chest

  5. Heel to rear

  6. Cradle Walk

  7. Lateral Lunge with Twist

  8. Forward Leg Swings

  9. Lateral Leg Swings

  10. Hand Walks

3. Movement Preparation

Exercises that imitate specific activities performed over a 20-yard distance.

  1. Jog forward

  2. Back pedals

  3. Skip forward/backwards

  4. Jog Forward and circle arms forward

  5. Jog Forward and circle arms backwards

  6. Lateral shuffles, arms side-to-side crossing over body

  7. Carrioca: standard X-overs

  8. Power skips

  9. Scissor kicks

  10. Forward shuffle