Lionel Pannunzio PT / SCS
Essential Strength Training for Soccer Players - Part 2 - Lunges
Playing soccer requires specific physical capacities to enable success and minimise injury risk.
For instance, a soccer player requires two important capacities :
1. Adequate muscular force production to counter ground reaction forces for cutting, sprinting and kicking the ball (local tissue capacity), and
2. the adequate muscular and cardiovascular endurance to tolerate the accumulation of steps for the time and distance of the event (sport-specific capacity).
Failing to adequately develop these two physical qualities may result in underperformance and/or increased injury risk.
The must-do exercises for Soccer Players
Hinge ( Hip Thrust and Deadlifts)
Squat ( Half and Full Squats
Lunge ( Front - Reverse - Side )
Pull / Push / Carry
Lunges are important to develop single leg strength, Forward and Reverse lunges translate into better performance regarding acceleration and especially decelerations.
Remember soccer requires a lot of starts and stops , most of the time you don’t reach full speed running therefore the player who can accelerate and decelerate faster will have an advantage.
How-To Do Perfect Lunges
Stand tall with your chest up, eyes forward, and feet about shoulder width apart.
Step two to three feet forward with your right foot. Allow both knees to bend until your front knee is at about a 90-degree angle, with your knee behind your toes, and your back knee a few inches above the floor.
Press into your right foot (keep your foot flat into the floor), and push back to the starting position.
Repeat, stepping forward with your left foot, and alternate legs for 8 to 12 reps per side.
Throughout a lunge exercise your arms and hands can be in any position that helps you maintain your balance.
Some people may prefer to put their hands on their hips while others may prefer to keep their arms held out to the side or in front of them.
When ready, feel free to add some external resistance such as Barbells , dumbbells, kettlebells or a medicine ball. Just be sure the weight is manageable and allows you to maintain good form.
Ideally, your knee should be positioned directly above your ankle. This will help keep the knees in a safe position and prevent injury.
Be sure to maintain proper breathing throughout the exercise by exhaling as you push yourself back up to the starting position.
When you’re ready to take your lunges to the next level, there are many variations that are sure to challenge you such as the reverse lunge, the walking lunge, the lateral lunge, and the rear foot elevated lunge.
Reverse Lunges ( ya esta en YouTube )
Side Lunges are very important to develop a quick and safe Change of Direction ( COD) movement
Equally important with Foward and Reverse Lunges , this side variation while improve your ability to stop and run in the opposite direction
Start by standing tall with your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart.
Your back should be straight and your weight on your heels.
Take a big step to the side and, ensuring you keep your torso as upright as possible, lower until the knee of your leading leg is bent at around 90°, keeping your trailing leg straight.
Push back up and return to the starting position.
The most common form issue with a side lunge is to collapse over the straight knee.
Focus on bending and lowering from the hips, with your back straight and core engaged, as with a squat.
Also make sure you’re keeping the heels of both feet on the floor as you lower.
Side Lunges - Slider
Most of the soccer essential movements are being done unilaterally
Lunges are great exercises to develop single leg strength and power.
As we said with the Squats and Deadlift there is a lunge variation for everyone, starting by the Reverse Lunge and continue with Forward and then Side Lunges to achieve the ability to move in all directions.
Lionel Pannunzio is a Physical Therapist Certified in Sports Injuries.
With more than 20 years of experience helping athletes return to their sports after an injury.
He is the Owner of White Bay Sports Physical Therapy and Fitness, conveniently located in the beautiful City of Weston, where he treats Soccer Player, Runners and Athletes of all ages
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Board-Certified Sports Specialist
Owner of White Bay Physical Therapy
“Keeping Athletes in the game”
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