Soccer Stretching Routine
Incorporate a regular soccer stretching routine into your soccer training and watch your performance improve.
by Brad Walker | First Published October 14, 2010 | Updated August 31, 2017
Are you following a well-organized and customized soccer training program? Is it working for you? If you want to improve your performance and reduce the chance of injuries, then it is time to incorporate a comprehensive soccer stretching routine into your daily training schedule.
Muscles used in Soccer
Soccer requires agility, endurance and speed. It is crucial to keep your leg and foot muscles conditioned to achieve success in soccer. Soccer performance also heavily depends on the core muscles of the stomach and back. Apart from muscles of the feet, the following muscles have an important function in soccer:
- Abdomen: Rectus Abdominis
- Back: Latissimus Dorsi and Teres Major
- Sides: External and Internal Obliques
- Quadriceps: Intermedius, Medialis, Rectus Femoris and Vastus Lateralis
- Hip flexor/rotator: Iliopsoas and Sartorius
- Groin: Adductor Brevis, Longus and Magnus, Gracilis
- Buttock: Gluteus Maximus, Medius and Minimus
- Hamstring: Semitendinosus, Semimembranosus and Biceps Femoris
- Calf: Gastrocnemius, Soleus
The hamstring muscles are among the most frequently injured muscles in soccer. A regular soccer stretching routine will help to improve the flexibility and range of motion in the lower back, hamstrings and calves.
The Benefits of a Soccer Stretching Routine
Soccer players are susceptible to both overuse and acute injuries. These include ankle sprains, Achilles tendinitis, groin strain, hamstring strain, and injury to the anterior cruciate ligament. Performing a regular stretching routine enhances muscle flexibility, which not only reduces the risk of injury but also helps to reduce recovery time.
Increases in strength and flexibility further enable players to efficiently handle frequent sprinting bursts. Even goalkeepers can better make quick jumps and reaches to save tough goals.
Despite the numerous benefits, it is important to bear in mind that stretching can have detrimental effects when done incorrectly. Improperly done stretches can over time cause permanent damage to ligaments and joint. When performing the stretching routine below, be sure to warm up first and if any of the exercises cause pain or severe discomfort, discontinue immediately. Review my article on the rules for safe stretching for more information.
Watch the Soccer Stretching Routine
Click on the play button below to watch the 10 minute soccer stretching routine video.
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About the Author: Brad is often referred to as the "Stretch Coach" and has even been called the Stretching Guru. Magazines such as Runners World, Bicycling, Triathlete, Swimming & Fitness, and Triathlon Sports have all featured his work. Amazon has listed his books on five Best-Seller lists. Google cites over 100,000 references to him and his work on the internet. And satisfied customers from 122 countries have sent 100's of testimonials. If you want to know about stretching, flexibility or sports injury management, Brad Walker is the go-to-guy.