Stretching Exercise for Soccer Players
| May 15, 2009
Flexibility stretches for soccer players
It is very important for soccer players to do stretches because of various reasons:
Increases flexibility: A good athlete is not only about being span and fast. Also required is flexibility, which by adding to endurance, agility and speed, will enhance total athletic abilities.
Increases agility: The soccer stretching exercises will have a positive effect on your agility and your performance with the ball. It will give you greater poise, and hone your fine motor skills. It will also add to your range of motion, and add greater consistency and elegance to your game.
Prevents injury: As a soccer player, you are at greater risk for certain sports injuries, especially those of the knees. Lack of flexibility increases your risk of injuries. Stretching exercises help reduce this risk.
There are different types of soccer stretching:
- Ballistic soccer stretching
- Dynamic soccer stretching
- Static soccer stretching
Two Leg Hamstring Stretch – Sit down with your legs extended fully in front of you, and reach forward, trying to touch your toes with both hands. Hold for some time.
Hamstring Split Stretch – Bend one knee, and extend the other leg to the front. Reach towards the outstretched foot with both hands. Repeat for the other side.
Lying Quadriceps Stretch – Lie on one side. Hold your ankle and bend your leg, pulling the heel towards the buttocks. Your thigh should be in line with the body. Repeat for the other side.
Classic Quadriceps Stretch – Stand on one leg, hold the opposite ankle, bend your knees, and pull the heel up to the buttocks. Repeat for the other side.
Standing Groin Stretch – Stand with the legs wide apart. Bend your knee and touch. Your outstretched foot with the opposite hand. Repeat for the other side.
Sitting Groin Stretch – Sit down in such a way that the soles of your feet are together and your knees are bent at right angles. With your hands and elbows, gently push the knees downwards.
Lower Back Stretch – Sit down with your legs stretched out in front. Now, keeping the sole of the foot flat on the ground, bend the right knee. Now, turn the upper body slowly towards the right knees, keeping your right hand placed on the floor.
Some points to remember:
- Hold each stretch for about 20-30 seconds.
- Repeat each stretch twice or thrice
- Do the stretches every day if possible, or at least 3-4 days in a week
- Ensure that your body is warm before starting. Jumping or jogging for about 10 minutes will warm up the muscles.
- Don’t hold a stretch if it feels too tight or painful.
- Drink plenty of water/fluids, in order to keep the muscles well hydrated.
- Breathe evenly and slowly, so that oxygen reaches to all the muscles properly.
Don’t: bounce, over-stretch or over-extend your joints. Consult a doctor if you experience any pain or problems.