Athletes across sports have used weight training over the years to be better, more well-rounded athletes. Most people think of lifting weights as only getting stronger, but there are ways to focus on other attributes as well.
With soccer being a sport mostly focused on speed, stamina, and athleticism, you would assume that lifting weight isn’t a priority, but is that really true?
Do soccer players lift weights? Most soccer players lift weights regularly. This is especially true during the off-season, as players will try to work on their bodies to prepare for the rigors of the regular season. As a soccer player, the goal with weightlifting is to add lean muscle throughout, have strong legs, and a strong core.
Lifting For Bulk
Very rarely do soccer players lift to add any bulk to their body. The only reason that might make a little sense is that a player is extremely lightweight. Maybe a person is looking to add just a little bit of weight, as they are getting pushed around too often on the field.
Everyone else knows that it will hinder performance overall for excess pounds to be hauled around the pitch every match. Adding muscle that only looks aesthetically pleasing, but is not helping with soccer, will ultimately hinder performance.
Lifting To Prevent Injuries
Many athletes believe that one of the only reasons people lift weights is to add muscle and bulk up. For players who are running around and trying to stay as lean as possible, there is a different type of weight training that can help strengthen the core and prevent injuries from becoming an issue.
For a lot of soccer players, this is precisely the type of lifting that they are doing. It is more about maintaining the body and making sure that they are strong. This means doing a lot of repetitions, but not necessarily doing a lot of weight with each repetition. The last thing a person wants to do is put on muscle and bulk up too much. It is just as much about flexibility as it is about strength.
The type of weightlifting can help reduce injuries and keep the body strong enough to survive in soccer. Soccer players put a lot of physical demands on their bodies, and the sport is becoming faster and more intense than ever.
What Training Works For Soccer Players Other Than Weight Training?
Besides weight training, soccer players also like to focus on doing stretches, and working in a significant amount of bodyweight exercises. This is done to help people get in as good a shape as possible. Having a little bit of flexibility as a soccer player helps, and the body is about all the resistance a player needs. Here are some of the most popular soccer workouts.
Soccer is such a technical game from a team perspective that a lot of training happens naturally on the pitch. Soccer players can have legs that look like bodybuilders, but those are built naturally, running miles and miles around the pitch.
How Soccer Players Build Muscle Without Weights
At first glance, it would seem like soccer players do a lot of lifting to focus on their legs. While that is part of their lifting routine, some soccer players have huge legs because of the sport they play in the first place.
Every single step on the pitch is a lot like lifting. A person has to have their bodies supported with her legs, and all that running around means that some muscle will end up being built. Just about every second player has very defined legs.
Strong legs can make it tougher for the ball to be stolen, allow for stronger kicks for passes and shots, and so much more. The legs are the prized possessions of soccer players, which is why they spend so much time building them up and caring for them.
What Are The Major Reasons Why Soccer Players Lift?
Weight training is something that can benefit just about any athlete out there. Soccer players, in particular, treat weight training a little bit differently, but they can benefit in their own ways.
Soccer is a physical enough game that there is always a chance of injury. Building up muscles can make the body stronger and withstand contact to reduce the chance of injury. This can be building strong muscles, tendons, and ligaments that stay healthy throughout the entire match. There is no guarantee that a person will stay completely healthy all the time, but it definitely helps.
The top clubs internationally are putting a huge focus on injury prevention and keeping players as physically healthy as possible. This means more specific weight training at the right times. It is a balance of keeping players strong, yet fresh for the actual matches.
Faster Recovery Time
Soccer players must be able to bounce back if they plan on playing at a high level. Some teams will play twice a week, and there are some instances where even three matches in a week might occur. The only way for the body to bounce back is to be strong and in excellent condition. Strength training can help with that significantly.
Soccer players will stay stronger and healthier if they have the proper body mechanics around the pitch. One of the underrated aspects of strength training is that it will help with balance and stability. Players will also notice that they have better coordination, and even better posture. This all contributes to staying healthier and not suffer any injuries.
Slight Edges on The Pitch
Weight training comes in handy with a lot of the little things that go on in soccer. Some examples include winning a one-on-one battle on the ground, accelerating into an open space, jumping up to compete for a ball in the air, and more decisive moves overall.
Building up strength also means players can become faster. Speed on the pitch makes a huge difference in today’s game, and having the stamina to make a late-match push helps a ton.
Why complete training mattersLifting weights is, without question, part of modern soccer. There was a way to get by without lifting weights in the past, but like most sports, this is now a major part of training. It might not be the same type of weight training seen in other sports, but players need to stay strong to compete on the pitch.