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How to Get Match Fit for Soccer Fast?

How to Get Match Fit for Soccer Fast?

Soccer is a demanding and intense sport, and for one to be a good player at soccer the person has to be in top physical condition. Not only a physical condition, but the person also has to keep up his mental health.

Practicing with teams and competitive play can also raise the fitness level, but it is essential that some extra conditioning is done on the side.

By building up your agility, stamina and fine-tuning your footwork, coupled with some mental conditioning, you can perform better during games and stay fit even in the off-season.

In this article, you will find various methods to get match fit for soccer fast.

How to get match fit for soccer fast?

Pro soccer players are always in top shape. The reason for this is that there are specific ways that they train to get their bodies to the top level of fitness.

There are several workouts that pro soccer players do that keep them in top shape. Following these workouts might not make you look like Christiano Ronaldo, but these workouts will get you into top shape and ensure that you are a better soccer player.

Soccer players get match fit for soccer fast by performing high-intensity interval training. High-intensity interval training is to perform short bursts of intense movement accompanied by short periods of rest.

This is one of the best ways that soccer players can stay fit and remain at their peak.

High-intensity interval training is of different methods and covers various body parts, and can be done each week. To get fit for soccer, you have to work on your speed, stamina, and agility.

The following paragraphs will introduce these methods of keeping fit for soccer fast. Since these methods are intense, it is important that your body is given enough time to rest and recover.

Stamina Exercise

The next exercise ensures that your stamina is improved. Soccer is a 90 minutes game. Therefore, you must have enough endurance to be able to play at your top performance for the entire game.

The following three exercises will help you build up your stamina to keep you fit and get you match-ready.

The first exercise to keep your stamina is to exercise on the treadmill. Training on the treadmill conditions the body to be able to quickly switch from aerobic to an anaerobic system and vice versa.

two men are running on the treadmill

Treadmill exercise teaches the body to make use of oxygen more efficiently and helps with the sudden changes that usually occur in a soccer game. The treadmill workout is started by setting the treadmill to a one percent incline.

Ensure that you start slow, then build up your speed as you moderately run for about 10 minutes. After you’re done warming up, run at your maximum speed for about 30 seconds. Then return to a slow run or a walk for about three minutes.

This exercise should be repeated about four to six times.

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The next high-intensity interval training to keep stamina is the burpee pull-ups.

a man is doing burpee pull-up outdoors

This is a favorite for Christiano Ronaldo, and it’s very helpful. Burpee pull-ups help to push the body to the limit and affect several muscle groups, including the chest, arms, hamstring, glutes, and quads.

Burpee pull-up is a great exercise for stamina and conditioning. In addition, it helps to increase the heart rate quickly, similar to how soccer players dash for the ball in a real game.

This exercise is performed by standing directly under a pull-up bar with your feet placed shoulder-width apart. Both hands are then placed on the ground, and then you jump your feet back so that the thighs, toes, and stomach touch the floor with your elbows bent.

Next, make use of your triceps to perform a push-up. Then allow your hips to lift so that your feet can jump back underneath you. As you stand back up, jump, and catch the pull-up bar overhead. Then pull yourself up so that your chin is above the bar in one.

Next, use your triceps to do a push-up. Finally, allow your hips to lift so that you can jump your feet back underneath you.

As you stand up, jump, and catch the pull-up bar overhead. In one smooth movement, pull yourself up so that your chin is above the bar, then return to the starting position (ground) and then repeat the process.

When you add the Burpee pull-up to your high-intensity interval training workout, it should be performed for about 45 seconds with 15 seconds of interval rest before repeating the process.

Another exercise that works on a soccer player’s stamina is the lateral band walks. The medial glutes are activated when this exercise is performed. When these muscles are strengthened, the player is prevented from injuries resulting from muscle fatigue or overstretching.

a woman is doing lateral band walks

This exercise is performed by placing the resistance band either above your knees or around your knuckles. Keep your knees bent, and then place your feet shoulder-width apart. Next, slowly step out to the side while ensuring that your toes face forward.

Next, take five to ten steps to one side, then repeat the process to the other side. Ensure that your feet are kept a few inches apart to maintain the resistance band’s tension.

When you add the lateral band walks to your high-intensity interval training routine, ensure that you sidestep for one minute with 15 seconds rest before repeating the process.

Agility Exercise

Most soccer fans love to watch soccer players who have amazing agility. Soccer fans are excited when they watch a soccer player dance with the ball while darting between defenders. Such agility feats are what make soccer a  beautiful game.

Irrespective of the above, amazing footwork, excellent balance, and the ability to change direction at a moment’s notice does not happen by chance. They happen because these pro soccer players have taken time to train their abilities.

The following exercises will show you how you can build up your agility.

An exercise that helps in building up your agility is the medicine ball push-up. You might be wondering how. Medicine ball push-ups help to build the core strength of a soccer player. Soccer players need their core to be strong in every aspect before playing a game.

A man is exercising with the medicine ball push-up

The medicine ball push-up also helps in building stability and balance. It ensures that soccer players are able to change directions and make quick turns without falling flat in your face. The medicine ball push-up is a favorite for Gareth Bale.

To perform the medicine push-up, you should place both hands on the ball. First, ensure that your hands are kept as close as possible. Next, get into a plank position, then valve your toes and the ball.

Your chest should be slowly lowered till it touches the ball, then pushed back up to the starting position. Ensure that equal pressure is used on both hands. It ensures that the ball does not roll out from under you.

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The next exercise for increasing agility is the lateral hurdle sprints. Lateral hurdle sprints help you be quick in your feet and be accurate in placing your feet. The hurdles are used because they force the feet to be picked up higher than normal.

a soccer player pratices lateral hurdle sprints

To start the lateral hurdle sprint, place mini hurdles on the ground, ensuring that they are lined up with a foot distance between them. Then, quickly step over each hurdle with one foot and bring the other foot along in the same direction.

Ensure that you move to the right and left. As you get more comfortable with the movement, your speed should also increase.

The lateral hurdle sprint exercise is performed by running back and forth over the hurdles for about 45 seconds with a 15 seconds rest period. Ensure that the exercise is repeated a minimum of five times.

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The next exercise that helps soccer players agility is the forward and backward sprint. In soccer, no player will always have possession of the ball all the time. Therefore, there will always be times where the player is needed to sprint backward or forward.

Forward and backward sprints help a player to make abrupt changes in any direction. The exercise also helps in training the body to move in any direction quickly.

Sprinting backward helps in building muscle memory. It helps in keeping your eyes on incoming strikers without losing your pace.

To perform the sprinting exercise, four or five cones are placed in a line 20 meters apart. Now, stand behind the first cone and sprint to the second cone. On getting to the second cone, travel around it, then sprint back to the starting position. Ensure that you sprint as fast as you can.

soccer players practice with cones

The exercise should be repeated to each cone then sprint back to the starting spot. Reaching the final cone means that you have traveled the furthest distance.

After going through every cone (one set), rest for about 30 seconds between each set. Ensure that you perform about five to eight sets in total.

After performing the above exercises, it is also necessary that you perform a ten minutes core workout before you rest for the day. Each exercise should last for at least 45 seconds, with a 15 seconds break in between the exercises.

Speed-Building Exercise

Have you ever wondered why soccer players like Romelu Lukakau and Kylian Mbappe can leave defenders in the dust with their amazing speed? They do it by training their speed.

You will be shown some exercises that are tailored to increase soccer players’ speed and help you run past your opponent’s defense and leave the defenders behind.

Single leg squats are one of the exercises that are added to high-intensity interval training workouts. Single leg squats help soccer players to build their run power. When soccer players start to sprint, strength, and power are usually placed on a single leg at a time.

Jumping squats and regular squats are beneficial since they can activate key muscles like hamstrings, glutes, and quads, but when soccer players perform squats on one leg, it allows the single leg to be trained and takes on the bodyweight just like you start a sprint.

the man is squatting Single leg

Single leg sprints are started by standing on a single leg. Hold the other leg high in front of you. Then your supporting leg should be slowly bent the same way in a regular squat. You have to ensure that your body weight is focused on your heel to activate the glutes.

Holding out your arms in front will help you to balance. Next, go as low as you can and slowly rise back to the starting position. As a high-intensity workout, single-leg squats should be done for 45 seconds with 15 seconds rest before continuing with the other leg.

Another exercise for keeping speed is the dumbbell bench step-ups.

Tony Strudwick, Manchester United’s fitness and conditioning coach, has stated that this exercise helps develop the muscle groups that soccer players use to go from a sprint to a jump motion like we often see in a set-piece header during soccer.

Dumbbell Step-up - How To

This exercise is started by standing next to a bench and holding a pair of dumbbells. Step on the bench with one foot, then bring the other foot in an elevated position.

You should hold your balance for about two seconds, then lower it back to the ground. Step-ups should be done for about 45 seconds with 15 seconds rest before you repeat with your other leg.

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The next exercise that can be added to high-intensity interval training is the weighted sled drag. Weighted sled drag puts heavy resistance on every muscle group that needs to be propelled forward, such as the back, shoulders, calves, core, and glutes.

When these muscles are exercised, it increases your acceleration. It also increases your power output and ground reaction force.

This exercise is started by attaching a harness to your torso. The harness is connected to a weighted sled having two cords. When this exercise is started, ensure that the exercise is light as being too heavy can impede your ability to sprint.

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After hooking up, you keep forward, then take small steps forward, pulling along the sled. As your speed increases, ensure you increase your strides. Ensure that the sled does not move from side to side.

When you add a weighted sled to your routine, run for about 50 yards, then stop and repeat the process. Ensure that you only rest for 15 seconds in between sprints.

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Psychological preparation

Apart from the obvious physical fitness to get fit, soccer players have to get their mental game in order. Physical fitness is nothing if the players crack under pressure or if they have mental, emotional, or other psychological mess in their heads.

To get back in soccer, you also have to spend as much time training your mind as your body.

You have to learn how to manage anxiety, stress, and other psychological aspects of the game so you can perform better than others who only focus on the physical aspect of getting fit.

Below are some of the methods of getting your mind back in order to get fit for soccer.

Ensure that you visualize yourself kicking the ball around all day. Then, when resting, visualize yourself playing the ball with teammates or opponents. It helps in familiarising yourself with various tasks or actions.

Anxiety disrupts thinking and causes bad judgment on the field. Therefore, always ensure that you are alert but relaxed so that when under pressure, you can make quick decisions without anxiety affecting you.

Setting goals is another good way to prepare yourself psychologically. Set achievable long and short-term goals that challenge you and force you to improve.

It is easier to get distracted; therefore, you should prepare yourself psychologically by concentrating.  

Soccer Mentality Tips - Trick To Have A Great Game Every Time

How long does it take to get match fit for soccer?

It usually takes about one month to six months to get match fit for soccer. However, it varies based on your circumstance regarding the league you want to play in and your current fitness level.

If you have played soccer previously, it would only take you about a month to get fit for soccer once again. This is because muscle memory plays a big role in your body’s ability to return to the right fitness level.

And since you have played in the past, you would be able to return to fitness quickly.

It takes about three months for non-professional league soccer players to get to a  state where they are fit to start playing in soccer matches. It takes a little bit longer for those having excess weights.

If you are playing soccer for the first time and are not fit at all, it takes longer periods to get fit for soccer. It still takes longer to get fit or ready for a full 90 minutes soccer game.


It is normal for soccer players to lose their form every now and then. What is important is getting back on track. The best way to achieve this is by approaching it from different angles.

You can make use of regular training sessions, high-intensity interval training routines, gym workouts, and even daily regular playoffs for regular improvement.

However, you must remember that you cannot be fit on the same day that you start your recovery. It usually takes from a week to a few months to get fit in the game of soccer.