When playing soccer, every player usually uses different energy systems and muscle groups. As a game that lasts more than 90 minutes, it is essential that every soccer player combines strength, speed, endurance, power, and talent.
When playing soccer, a player’s body is usually under stress as a result of running at high speeds and trying to maintain stamina. As a result, it is important to know how to breathe while playing
In order to become a successful player, you have to put in your all when on the pitch. Though it is essential that you are talented in playing soccer, it cannot make you an elite soccer player.
An elite soccer player is a product of elaborate drills. One of them and the aim of this article is squats and how they help in strength training.
To be a good player, it is vital that you have endurance and, more importantly, strength. Strength usually starts with a player’s lower body (the legs).
When a soccer player has good coordination and strong muscles in the lower body, they would be able to withstand harsh tackles more often and avoid injuries.
Also, when you train your muscles to be stronger, it would grant you the power and endurance to perform better in every game. For this reason, soccer players train a little during seasons and in high intensity during the off-season.
An exercise that provides a solution to the running that players perform in soccer and also gives explosive contractions is the squat. Including squats in your personal regimen or in a team routine is essential as a soccer player.
Soccer involves a lot of high-intensity physical activities such as jumping, sprinting, and sliding. This makes squatting the perfect example of an exercise that every soccer player should perform.
According to a publication from K.G. Jebsen Center for Exercise, the jumping height of a player and sprint exercise is usually determined by maximal strength in half squats.
Squats are good for soccer players because they can be modified to target various parts of their thighs.
Squats are effective since they target every muscle that a soccer player makes use of when playing the game while also training the cardiovascular system. In addition, squats also help in thorax expansion which is beneficial by increasing your respiratory capacity.
Your strength, sprint, agility, speed, and flexibility improve when you squat. Also, you would improve your posture and flexibility while developing muscles.
Hamstrings and quadriceps are the main mustaches that soccer players use to achieve extensions and flexion while playing the game. The benefits of squats ensure that you play soccer better while developing a promising career.
Do squats help in soccer?
For most soccer trainers and coaches, squats are one of the best ways that players can physically prepare for a soccer game. It helps them build their quad strength, hamstrings, glutes, build size and increase speed.
However, it took time for the soccer world to accept that squat training is an essential aspect of match preparation. Gaining strength also increases speed.
In soccer, players run an average of 7 to 10 km at about 85% maximum heart rate while performing high-intensity physical activities like kicking, turning, sprinting, jumping, etc. Therefore, it is crucial that attention be paid to squats that help in strength training.
There is an argument on using the partial range of motion squat. Some are of the opinion that there is no need for full squats since they are not specific on joint angles a player experiences while playing the game.
Others are of the opinion that a soccer player would experience various degrees of impact when playing or training for soccer. Therefore, it is crucial that the knees are not put under much stress by not performing full-depth squats.
However, it is not advisable to limit the full range motion of any joint from players. One reason is that a person can only be as strong as his weakest link.
Taking a look at it from the perspective of injuries, if a soccer player avoids some specific range of notions because of likely injuries, it can make the range of motion (ROM) that is neglected weak.
Many inconclusive studies have involved partial and full squats because of the distinctive superiority performance difference of one over the other.
However, it is essential to know that a wrong range of motions can lead to loss of strength.
Researchers have concluded that changes affecting maximal squat strength can be seen in the improvement of short sprints. Also, there’s a need to develop maximal strength through squats for improving short sprint performance.
Half-squats maximal strength training usually determines top soccer players’ jumping capacity and height. Also, elite soccer players should put emphasis on maximal strength training while also emphasizing maximal mobilization of concentric movements that might improve their jumping and sprinting performance.
There are various squats that soccer players can perform, and they include; 90-degree squats or the half squat, full squat, back squat, front squat, plyometric squats, overhead squats, goblet squats, and single-leg squats.
These squats involve a lot of muscle mass when repeated. Some of these muscle groups that squats activate include; back of the thighs (hamstrings), front of the thighs (quadriceps), buttocks (glutes), abdominal muscles, and calves.
Squats have a lot of benefits for soccer players and we will look at some of these benefits.
Increases bone density
When soccer players squat while they bear weight, bone growth and bone density increase occur. Every soccer player needs strong bones to shoot properly, jump, and run while playing soccer.
A soccer player with lean and brittle bones is more prone to injuries than those with denser bone mass.
Develops stronger muscles
Squats help to develop stronger and bigger muscles since it focuses on leg movements. In addition, squats ensure that the muscles in your major lower body work together (glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves).
Squatting is one of the ways that soccer players can build strong legs and muscles. Squatting boosts flexibility while also increasing lubrication and blood flow around the joints.
A lot of injuries associated with the lower body are as a result of weak stabilizer muscles and can sometimes lead to joint injuries.
Performing squats helps burn calories since a lot of muscles are being worked on when squatting. Leg extensions and half squats burn more calories than lateral pull-downs and bicep curls.
According to researchers, when adolescent boys perform eight weeks of squat training, their body fat will reduce compared to a control group, revealing that having more muscles is essential in improving metabolism.
Improved core strength
The core is not just a player’s abs but includes the glutes, diaphragm, pelvic floor, obliques, abdominals, and the erector spinae. Core muscles are significant for soccer players, and squats help in developing them.
Back squats help work at the back muscles more than plank isometric workouts (traditional bridge).
Soccer players who regularly lift weights can combine such exercise with squatting to activate their core and strengthen their abdominal muscles and lower back.
Increasing muscle mass
Squats add muscles to your legs since they are one of the best exercises that work on the upper legs and gluteus maximus.
Squats work on various muscles in our body all at once and not just leg muscles. These muscle groups include the arms when weight is lifted with squat, lower body, back, and core.
Squats are very beneficial to a soccer player, whether you are toning up or performing strength training because squats help in improving your ability to complete everyday activities.
Power jump and speed increase
Performing squats increases a player’s ability to jump explosively with power. One squat that does this is the jump squat.
Again, flexion, leg extension, and hip extension are needed when a player is sprinting, jumping, or absorbing force like brakes in sprints and landing after jumping.
Power will not be gained if the lower body (legs) is ignored. Therefore, squats improve power outputs, which also affects a player’s sprinting ability. However, there is a correlation between total squat power outputs and sprint speed.
Flexibility and stamina
Every soccer player needs to be flexible, have stability and good balance. Squatting is a perfect example of an anaerobic exercise that can help a soccer player build stamina.
When you use squats to create a stronger core and lower body, your mobility would be boosted while your athletic abilities would improve. This prevent common fractures and falls.
Are front squats good for soccer players?
For soccer players training their strengths, performing a combination of front and back squats increases sprinting performance.
In front squats, more emphasis is placed on the core and quadriceps than back squats. This is because the front squat usually targets the core more than most squat variations.
However, back squats should not be neglected since they can help in building hip strengths.
From research, it can be seen that squats are beneficial to soccer players as they make you more effective. Front and back squats usually increase strength, power, speed, hypertrophy, and a player’s overall performance.
Calves, quads, and hamstrings are essential for executing most plays when playing soccer. Therefore, performing squats that are beneficial to your lower body would increase the power, strength, and speed needed to perform on the pitch.
As a soccer player, it is vital that you add squats to your training regimen. Adding squats would help to fully maximize your potential.
Soccer player are not expected to load up the squat bar with heavyweights. Regularly performing traditional or conventional front and back squats is enough to increase your performance over time.
Squatting is capable of increasing your endurance, strength, performance, and speed. Therefore, ensure that you perform squats weekly.
When you do not include squats in your training regimen, you will be limiting your motion range. This can result in muscle weakness and lowering of your general performance.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!