Soccer: Dynamic Warm-Up
Soccer is a sport that requires endurance, strength, agility, and finesse. While your whole body is involved while playing the game, your lower body and core are used the most. Therefore, it is important to warm up those muscles before a practice or game to help prevent injury and maximize performance. Quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves are the three major muscle groups highlighted in this article. Instead of providing stationary stretching examples, we are going to go into a little more depth about dynamic warm-ups, and what makes them beneficial.
Conversely to static stretching, where you perform stretches while stationary, dynamic stretching entails performing stretches while moving. You may be wondering why a dynamic warm-up is preferred over a static one. One of the main reasons is because it prepares your body better for a game-like situation. If you are activating your muscles in a similar way during warm-up as you would during a game, your body is better prepared to react. Your balance, coordination, and muscle memory should improve due to movement incorporated into your stretching (greatest.com). The following exercises are a good foundation for building a dynamic warm-up routine for athletes playing soccer.
A light jog to get your heart-rate up and muscles firing
Heal to Rear (20 yrds):
Reach behind you and pull the opposite heal to your rear; hold for 3 seconds. Take a step forward and repeat this motion with the other heal.
Knee to Chest (20yrds):
Pull one knee to your chest while standing; hold for 3 seconds. Take a step forward and repeat this motion with the other knee.
Walking lunge (20 yrds):
Step forward into a lunge position. Hold for 3 seconds, and step forward with the other leg into a lunge position.
Frankenstein (20 yrds):
With arms out straight in front of you, kick your foot up to touch your opposite hand. Try and keep leg as straight as possible.
Toe grabs (20 yrds):
Step forward and leave your leading foot in front. With the foot flexed to the sky, reach down and grab your big tow for 3 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
Hopefully by making it a habit to perform these five exercises before each and every practice and game, the athletes will notice increased performance and muscle health!
For more information on the above article, and additional dynamic warm-up exercises, click the link below: