How to Get in Shape Fast for Soccer

To get in shape fast for soccer, you need to work on gaining strength, explosive power and cardiovascular fitness. Creating an accelerated workout plan can help get you there. Faster results calls for more frequent workouts, as long as your muscles fully recover between workouts. Speeding up your recovery process and staying motivated to train often will be key to getting in shape for soccer season as quickly as possible without injury.

Soccer player (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Accelerated Timeframe

To get in shape at an accelerated rate, strength train all your major muscle groups two to three times a week. Allow 24 to 48 hours for full recovery between strength-training sessions. Add four to five cardio workouts a week that include plyometrics. To get in shape fast, you'll need to recover from intense workouts quickly so you can work out again without injury. Eat or drink a combination of carbs and protein soon after each workout. Get enough sleep each night, eat nutrient-rich food, and drink lots of water.

Weight Training

Your lower body muscles, including the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps and calves, are all required for sprinting, jumping and other explosive moves during a soccer game. Perform deadlifts, good mornings, calf raises, squats, split squats and single-leg squats for your lower body. You also need a strong upper body and core for explosive power, so add crunches and upper-body exercises with free weights and machine weights. Strength train all your major muscle groups at least twice each week to get in shape.


Soccer's movements and changes of direction rely on explosive power. Plyometrics, sometimes called jump training, appears in soccer training programs because it develops explosive power, increases leg strength and gives you a cardiovascular workout. Do explosive pushups for your upper body by lowering your chest into the ground, then pushing off your hands as hard as you can, keeping your feet on the ground. Land in a lowered pushup position and repeat. For your lower body, do different types of explosive jumps, like squat jumps, tuck jumps, box jumps and split-jumps. To do split jumps, lower into a lunge, jump as high as possible and switch your legs to land in a lunge with the other leg in front.

Cardio Training

Playing soccer involves running and sprinting after the ball, which only a healthy heart can handle for an entire soccer game. Play small-sided games to boost your cardiovascular fitness. Have three to seven players on each team, since fewer players means you'll make more contact with the ball. If you don't have teammates to practice with, do suicide runs by sprinting back and forth between your starting line and progressively more distant lines or objects. These cardio workouts also burn lots of calories, which help you shed any extra weight before soccer season.

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