Contrary to popular belief, merely lifting weights and attempting to lift more and more each workout will not necessarily transform a Shawn Wright-Phillips, a small, quick winger, into a Didier Drogba, an unbelievable physical specimen at striker. It might make Shawn Wright-Phillips into a bigger player, but he would definitely lose his soccer ability which relies on his speed and technical expertise. Essentially, there are soccer specific workouts particularly in weight training. For soccer, a player’s strength comes into play in a variety of circumstances. For example, a player must be able to jostle his opponent off a 50/50 ball to keep position or shield his defender off the ball to buy time for his team to support him. As a result, there are multiple types of weight training for soccer.
These types consist of basic and maximal strength training, explosive power training, and muscular endurance training. Basic strength training is aimed to build a firm and stable muscular foundation. Because soccer is such as multi-faceted game, some muscles tend to be overused while others are underused. As a result, basic strength training is designed to strengthen the underused muscles. Maximal strength training, however, attempts to develop a player’s basic strength. This type of training consists of using very heavy weight for a small number of repetitions to increase a player’s maximal strength.
Essentially, maximal strength training prepares the player’s body to partake in explosive power training and muscular endurance training. Explosive power training, more importantly, is designed to enable a player to run faster, jump higher, etc. Basically, explosive power determines how fast a player can apply the strength he has built up through basic and maximal strength training in a game. Lastly, muscular endurance training focuses on maintaining a player’s strength throughout an entire match. This training consists of circuit training where lighter weights are used for more repetitions. Typical circuit training exercises include: pushups, sit-ups, and squats.
Overall, soccer players require strength in both the lower and upper body. Nearly every movement in the game from kicking, to tackling, to twisting and turning, sprinting and heading, requires a good foundation of strength and power. Therefore, there are a variety of soccer specific workouts.