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Core and Functional Strength

This section provides soccer athletes with the effective strength training exercises and programs to make you more stable and powerful on the pitch.


Increase the strength of your legs, hips, and torso with the advanced single leg squat & reach

This advanced  version of the single leg squat and reach does a great job of preventing injury and strengthening your soccer muscles. Your quads, glutes, and torso will all benefit from this exercise. 

Trunk Stability Exercises

Trunk stability plays a major part in an athlete's ability to fend off opponents during a match. Whether you are battling an opponent for a ball, marking a player or going up for a header in front of the goal, good trunk stability will help you get the upper hand.

Shoulder Series for Goalkeepers- Activating Stability For One Hand

Shoulder stability on one hand is trained by doing stability ball walk-outs or the inchworm exercise.  These exercises require the upper body to move and walk along the ground to force one hand to bear the weight of the body and your back rotators to engage for stability.  Good core strength and stability is demonstrated when the hips stay level when walking out or back on the ball.  

Shoulder Series for Goalkeepers- Stability Ball for Overhead Control

The shoulder joint can be compromised easily when you take your hands overhead, catch a ball, and land on outstretched arms.  The structures of the joint itself do not have as strong and stable attachments compared to the hip, which is the same type of ball and socket joint.  The shoulder must rely on strong muscles surrounding the shoulder to be activated and work in unison for joint stability.  Proper training of the shoulder joint and surrounding areas should be incorporated at least two times a week.  These videos show specific exercises for stability when your arms are overhead.

Shoulder Series for Goalkeepers- Unstable Push-Ups For Landing Control

Get your upper body on an unstable surface and engage your core control to simulate the horizontal position before you hit the ground.  The exercises in this video take you from a beginner motion of holding your push-up position to a fully dynamic chest drop.  These exercises train your upper body to maintain an in-line stable position while your hands, arms and shoulders are moving underneath your body.  This is a great series for goalkeepers who are constantly diving on the ground and landing in awkward positions.  Being able to control your body upon landing helps reduce injury to your shoulders, trunk and back.

Train Your Shoulder Eccentrically To Prevent Injury

The posterior shoulder is responsible for slowing down the arm once you have released a ball overhead.  These muscles include the rotator cuff Infraspinatus and Teres Minor, the Posterior Deltoid, and the Rhomboid and Latissimus Dorsi scapular stabilizers.  These muscles should be trained eccentrically to help prevent shoulder injuries.  The eccentric movement is the slowing/lengthening of the arm once you throw overhead.  Think of these muscles as acting as a good set of brakes on your car.  The video demonstrates a simple exercise to strengthen the posterior shoulder.

Don't Forget the Rotational Component to Your Lunges

The lunge is a common exercise involving a split stance, postural control and muscle activation of your quads, glutes, inner thighs/adductors and hip rotators.  Sport and daily living activities are multidimensional and it is important to train the body in a similar manner.  When ready to progress from basic exercises to advanced, you should involve movement on all three body planes.  For example, forward bending, side bending and rotation.  This activates all structures that work in coordination for dynamic sport movements.  These videos demonstrate four lunge sequences that involve rotation, shoulder strength and a medicine ball.


Core Activation Exercises To Include With Your Dynamic Warm-Up

Activate the core muscles with seven exercises designed to engage the hamstrings, back, abdominals, trunk rotators and shoulders.  These exercises require mobility in your trunk and spine.  Do 10-20 repetitions of each exercise after your dynamic warm-up.

Core Strengthening Exercises

The concept of "core strength" has come into popularity recently and it is important to understand the actual function of the “core”.  Core strength is not pure abdominal strength from thousands of crunches.  True core strength involves the entire spine and pelvis, the shoulder joints, the hip joints and muscles of the abdomen and trunk.  These sections of your body work in unison for balance, postural stability and maintaining control should you fall, slide or hit the ground.  Being able to activate these body parts will help prevent injury and allow you to fend off an opponent.

Stabilize Your Landing After a Header

Landing with a solid base of support after heading a ball is key to being able to accelerate into the proper position on the field. The Jump, Push and Land Drill will help you stabilize your landing and decrease the incidence of injury.