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 soccer workout plan can help get you there.

Getting in shape for soccer requires you to gain strength, explosive power,and cardio fitness. (Image: fotokostic/iStock/GettyImages)

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.

Accelerated Fitness Training for Soccer

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, recommends Harvard Health Publishing. Add four to five cardio workouts a week that include plyometrics to your fitness training for soccer.

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 for Explosive Power

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. ACE Fitness recommends performing deadlifts, lateral bounds, 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.

Plyometrics or Jump Training

Soccer's movements and changes of direction rely on explosive power. Plyometrics, sometimes called jump training, appears in soccer workout plans because it develops explosive power, increases leg strength and gives you a cardiovascular workout.

Do explosive push-ups 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. ACE Fitness suggests clapping your hands together when they leave the floor, and to make the whole exercise even more difficult, lift your feet off the floor as well.

Land in a lowered push-up 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.

Running and Sprinting 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 fitness drills like suicide runs by sprinting back and forth between your starting line and progressively more distant lines or objects. Do sprint drills to hone your sprinting technique, says Brian Mac Sports Coach. These cardio workouts also burn lots of calories, which help you shed any extra weight before soccer season.

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