Solo Soccer Training looks at the best core exercises for Soccer Players
We’ve put together this easy collection of core exercises which you can do at home without any equipment. This core workout has been specifically chosen because they’re perfect for soccer players looking to improve their physical performance on the pitch.
Please note, there are no sit ups and ab crunches here. While these exercises can be included in your core workout, we don’t believe they provide the same results as these advanced core exercises.
The following core workout for soccer players should be performed in a Tabata style. This means to perform each exercise for 20 seconds, with a 10 second rest between each core exercise. For more information on Tabata training for soccer players click here.
Vertical Leg Crunch – Upper abdominals
A progression on the standard crunch. Lie flat on your back with your knee’s bent and hands behind your head as you would for an ab crunch. Now extend your legs straight up into the air at a right angle to your upper body and slightly bend your knees. Perform the same movement as the crunch by pushing your lower abdominals into the ground and raising your upper abdominals off the ground and slightly forward. Lower your upper back to the ground and that’s one rep!
V-UPs – Upper abdominals
Lie completely flat on the ground, face up with your legs extended beneath you and your arms extended above your head. Keeping your knee’s and elbows locked, raise both your upper and lower body simultaneously while trying to make your fingers touch your toes – remember to keep those elbows and knee’s locked!
Raised Knee-In – Lower abdominals
Lie flat on your back with your arms flat to your side, palms down beside your glutes. With your legs fully extended outwards, raise your heels 3-6 inches off the floor. This is your starting position. Keeping your core locked, lift your right knee up towards your chest, ensuring that your left leg remains fully extended and 3-6 inches off the floor. Briefly hold this position, then straight your right leg back to the starting position, inline with the left leg, fully extended and 3-6 inches off the floor. Repeat the movement with your left leg, bringing your left knee to your chest. Hold, then return to the starting position. That’s one rep.
Lie flat on the floor facing upwards, with your legs extended out beneath you and your arms to your side, palms down beside the glutes. Keeping your upper body firmly to the ground and keeping your legs fully extended, lift your feet up and inline with your pelvis, at a right angle to your upper body. This is your starting position. Lift your lower back off the floor and push your legs up towards the ceiling. Hold briefly and then return your body to the starting position. That’s one rep!
Flutter Kicks – Lower abdominals
Lie flat on the floor facing upwards, with your legs extended out beneath you and your arms to your side, palms down beside the glutes. With your toes pointed, lift your left heel 6 inches off the ground and your right heel 12 inches. This is your starting position. Keeping your core locked and engaged, simultaneously switch each leg between 6 and 12 inches so that as your left heel raises up to 12 inches, your right heel lowers to 6. Begin in a controlled manner and increase speed as you become more efficient at holding your form.
Side Plank – Obliques
Lie on one side with your lower arm bent at the elbow. Creating a straight line from your shoulder down to the floor, raise your upper body so that it is support by your forearm, flat on the ground. Place your other hand on your hip and align your ankles, hips and shoulders. Push your hips up towards the ceiling and hold this position.
Russian Twist – Obliques
Sit on the floor with your knee bent in front of your torso and your feet flat to the ground. Lean backwards so that your torso is at a 45 degree angle to the floor and extend your arms out directly in front on your chest with your palms facing down.This is your starting position. Twist your upper body as far the left as you can, hold, then reverse to the starting position. Twist your upper body as far to the right as you can, hold and then reverse to the starting position. That’s one rep.
Plank – Upper and Lower abdominals
Lie facedown on the floor with your feet together and your forearms flat on the ground. Tighten your abs and upper body while lifting your entire body off the ground except for your toes and forearms. Hold this position, ensuring that your body forms a straight line from your heels, all the way up to your shoulders.
Plank Jacks– Upper and Lower abdominals
Using the above as a guidance, get into the plank position. Keeping your torso tight, hop your feet out wide and then hop back into the plank position. Repeat this keeping your upper body tight and engaged.
Plank With alternating arm and leg raise– Upper and Lower abdominals
Again using the above as a guidance, get into the plank position. This time extend your left arm out in front of you now creating a straight line from your heels right out to the fingertips of your left hand. Keeping your left hand extended, raise your right knee up to your chest. This is your starting position. Keeping your torso tight, bring your left arm back in and extend the right leg so that you return to a normal plank. Now extend the opposite arm while simultaneously bringing your left knee up to your chest. Revert back to the standard plank position and that is one rep.
Superman – Glutes and back
Lie facedown on the floor with your arms extend out infront your body. Keeping your core tight, simultaneously lift your arms, chest and legs off the floor. Pause. Then slowly return to the ground.
T-Bar – Obliques
Get in to the push-up position. Shift your weight to your right hand and rotate your body so that the left hand raises into the air and forms a T. Try to have a straight line from one arm through to the other. Hold this position, then switch and hold on the other side.
Don’t skip out on your core exercises. Continuously look to increase the difficulty of this core workout by trying to increase the number of reps during each interval. Mix up the core exercises and re-order the routine to ensure your body is constantly forced to adapt.