If you're a soccer player, you know that speed and agility are crucial to your success on the field. Whether you're sprinting down the sideline or weaving past defenders, your ability to accelerate and change direction are essential.
Luckily, there are specific exercises you can do to implement right away to improve your speed on the soccer field.
In this article, I'll show you six of the most effective bodyweight exercises that will help you build strength, speed, and agility, so you can play your best.
High knees are a great exercise for building explosive speed and agility. To perform this exercise, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bring your right knee up as high as you can while hopping off your left foot.
As your right foot comes down, bring your left knee up and hop off your right foot. Continue alternating between your right and left legs, moving as quickly as possible.
Try to keep your knees high and your movements as explosive as possible.
Heel Flicks are perfect for balance, coordination, as well as flexibility and strength of your lower legs.
To do the heel flick, kick your heels up towards your glutes and back down to the ground continuously. Stay upright, moving your knee slightly forward as you drive your heel up each time.
Try to be fast and explosive with your movements, driving your arms and staying on your toes for faster feet.
The broad jump is one of the best and most effective movements you can do for speed and explosive power.
To do this exercise begin with your feet should width apart. Sit into a squat position with your hips and arms back. Once you are ready, jump forward launching from both feet.
Generate power by pushing off the ground as hard as you can with your legs, driving your hips and arms forward for momentum.
The goal is to get as much height, distance, and hang time as possible on each jump.
For this one you are going to use a skipping motion to jump as high as possible, alternating legs each time you touch the ground.
This a perfect exercise to increase your individual leg strength and ground force to make you faster and more explosive on the field.
As you skip keep your body upright with your elbows tucked tight to your body. Push off the balls of your feet and jump straight up in the air driving your knee and opposite elbow each time.
Spend as little time on the ground as possible before repeating each skip.
For Lunge Jumps begin in a low lunge position with one knee on the ground and the other knee out in front of you. You will be jumping straight up and switching leg positions mid air so your opposite leg lands in front when you hit the ground.
The goal is to get as much height as possible with each jump while spending little time on the ground.
Land softly and use your arms for balance swinging the arms in coordination with the opposite foot.
Lateral bounds are another great plyometric exercise for soccer players. This exercise will help you build lateral speed and agility, power, and balance on one leg. To perform this exercise, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Jump to the right, landing on your right foot, and immediately push off with your right foot to jump to the left, landing on your left foot. Continue alternating between your right and left legs, moving as quickly as possible.
Try to cover as much distance as possible with each jump, landing softly each time.
The Workout Plan
Jog for 5-10 minutes to get your heart rate up then add dynamic stretches to prepare for higher intensity activities.
For a full warm up you can check out this post
- High Knee Runs: 3 sets 30 seconds
- Heel Flicks: 3 Sets of 30 seconds
- Broad Jump: 3 sets of 10 jumps
- High Skip: 3 sets of 10 Skips (each Leg)
- Lunge Jumps: 3 Sets of 10 Jumps (each Leg)
- Lateral Bounds: 3 sets of 10 reps (each Leg)
Jog for 5-10 minutes to cool down, then add static stretching including calf, quad, and hamstring stretches to improve flexibility and reduce muscle soreness.
Tips for Improving Speed and Agility
Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you work to improve your speed and agility on the soccer field:
Improving your speed and agility on the soccer field takes time and effort, but it's well worth it. By incorporating plyometric exercises, sprints, and other speed and agility exercises into your training routine you can build the strength and power you need to dominate on the soccer field.
So lace up your cleats, and get to work!
Which of these exercises are you looking forward to adding to your speed and agility routine? Let me know in the comments.