by Kelsea Brajkovich Schroeder, DPT >> Telehealth Details >> Request an Appointment
Since soccer is a game of power and finesse, having a strong core is key to avoiding injury and being stable enough to get good touches on the ball while holding off your opponent. The following exercises focus on strengthening not only the abdominal muscles, but also the hips and shoulders to take your training off the ground and to the next level.
Bridge March (3 sets x 10 reps each side)
Lie on your back with your feet hip-width apart. Alternate straightening one knee at a time, focusing on keeping your waistband level and your thighs parallel. Start with your arms by your sides and once you have enough stability, move your arms to cross your chest or straight up in the air.
Dying Bugs (3 sets x 60 sec)
The goal here is to learn to stabilize your low back and pelvis while moving the arms and legs. When your right leg is extended, your right arm is straight up towards the ceiling; when your left leg is bent at 90 degrees, your left arm is straight overhead. GO SLOWLY and remember to breathe the whole time. Add a weight to your arms for an additional challenge.
Bear Crawl (3 sets x 60 sec)
Again, the goal is to keep your low back and pelvis stable while moving your arms and legs as you crawl forward with knees off the ground. Try to balance your ball or a half-full water bottle on your back while moving. For an additional challenge to the upper body, try going backwards. Remember to breathe!
Side Plank Hip Hinge (3 sets x 8-15 reps each side)
This exercise works the lateral core and glutes to give you the strength to hold off an opponent on your side and stay stable enough to slip that shot past the keeper or hit your forward’s right foot. Lie on your side. Line your elbow and knees up at the edge of a yoga mat with your hips sitting back on the middle of the mat. As you lift the hips into the air, press them forward so that your knees, hips and elbows become aligned. Lift up on a 1 count. Lower down on a 5 count. For an additional challenge, hold the top knee in the air parallel to the bottom leg. For an even further challenge, never fully let your hip rest on the ground between reps.
Bulgarian Squat w/ Rotation (3 sets x 8-15 reps each side)
Set up in a split stance with your back foot raised on a chair or against a wall. Slowly lower until your front thigh is parallel to the ground and then return to standing. Once you have mastered this, add a trunk rotation in both directions at the bottom of the lunge. Be sure to twist through the waist so your hips stay facing forward but your shoulders rotate. Focus on keeping the knees stable so they don’t collapse in or out.
While these are some great core-strengthing exercises, we also recommend adding in exercises like ACL Injury Prevention, perfect for helping to prevent injury in sports like soccer.
Feel free to reach out with any questions or to set up an appointment with a physical therapist.