Soccer Fitness: Training for the Athlete Within

Soccer requires its participants to be in optimal shape due to the intensity of the sport. The soccer fitness training involved in the preparation for a soccer game covers many aspects of physical fitness. Soccer drills work the anaerobic, aerobic, speed, muscular strength and endurance aspects of an athlete. Soccer fitness training can assist any type of athlete.

Anaerobic Fitness

The term anaerobic means lack of oxygen. An anaerobic activity involves a heart rate that is elevated above 75% to 100% of the maximum heart rate for a long period of time. If you are training within this heart rate zone, you are considered to be in an anaerobic state. Your muscles are therefore working in an oxygen deprived state. Energy is being burned faster than your body can replace it by metabolizing oxygen.

While in an anaerobic state, the body gets its energy from stored supplies, mainly glycogen. Lactic acid builds up in the muscles, which eventually burn the muscle out. This is why anaerobic activities cannot be performed for long periods of time. Rather, the activity needs to be performed in short segments.

Soccer provides anaerobic fitness because of the frequent short sprints that are involved in the game. These are bridged with periods of light to moderate jogging, which allows the heart rate to remain elevated. This type of anaerobic conditioning, that is performed during soccer drills and games, is very effective in burning calories and getting an athlete in optimal shape.

Aerobic Fitness Training

Unlike anaerobic activities, aerobic exercise involves the muscle’s use of oxygen. When activities last longer than a few minutes, the body switches from an anaerobic state to an aerobic state. This type of activity allows a person to perform the activity for longer periods of time because of the ability of the muscles to use oxygen. The athlete’s heart rate will usually be maintained between 55% to 75% of the maximum heart rate, which is another reason why the activity can be sustained for longer periods of time.

Soccer involves constant movement for the entire 90 minutes of the game. Jogging and running for long periods of time will promote an aerobic workout, which has great benefits on the cardiovascular system. Soccer fitness drills involve a great deal of aerobic training, which any athlete can benefit from.

Muscle Strength and Endurance Training

Muscle strength and endurance is an important aspect of soccer fitness training. Muscles that are strong have a greater ability to perform many skills and moves involved in soccer. In addition, strong muscles have the capability to keep up with the physically demanding activity that comes with the sport.

Incorporating a strength training regimen into a soccer training program will ensure the development of muscle strength and endurance. This can be done by working with weights. Performing low repetitions with heavy weights will build muscle strength and size. Performing high repetitions with light weights will develop muscular endurance.

Speed Training

Speed is an important factor in the game of soccer to allow an athlete to be competitive. A speed training program can prove to be effective both for the soccer player and for all other types of athletes. Incorporating sprinting, rapid change in direction and acceleration drills in a soccer fitness training program are important and will generate results.


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