The Best Workouts For Soccer Players

Because soccer is a team sport and cannot be played alone, it can sometimes be hard to figure out what you should do for solo training. There is no doubt that off-field training plays a big role in your on-field performance.

If you do a quick internet search for “soccer workouts,” you will be inundated with all kinds of specific workout plans, each one claiming to be the best. We have decided to take a different approach to this issue. We recognize that different people have different strengths and weaknesses, as well as the fact that a workout must reflect the person.

Crafting A Custom Workout

Today, you will be crafting a soccer workout for yourself based on the exercises and principles that we will outline below. By following these instructions, you can create a workout that is designed to bring improvements where you most need them.

In general, the three most important attributes for a soccer player are speed, stamina, and agility. Therefore, our workout creation method is based on these universal principles. The idea is to maintain your strengths while focusing on the elimination of your weaknesses. The goal, of course, is to produce a well-rounded player who has enough of these three virtues to gain victory.

Speed Exercises

The following exercises are primarily meant to develop speed, although they will probably develop some other aspects of your body and game at the same time.

Single-Leg Squats

Also known as the pistol squat, this is a very impressive squat that requires very good leg and core strength. Most people cannot do this move, and so you will have to go through a progression. Start by doing normal squats with your hand on a bench or railing so as to give you some support. If you can’t do that, you might have to start by sitting on a low stool and getting up with one leg. When you do the movement, put both your hands out in front of you for optimal balance. Take it slow with this one.

Sled Dragging

This is a grueling exercise with an almost infinite number of variations. However, a soccer player should probably concentrate on a simple pull-walk. After all, your goal is to develop a superior running speed, and this exercise will give you that. Like all resistance training, it works on the principle of overshooting. By making the task much harder than it would normally be, you make the normal task much easier. Thus, running and sprinting become much easier and faster on the field. Make sure that you do most of the work with the muscles of your lower body.

High Knees

This is kind of like running in place, but it’s a little bit harder. In fact, that’s the point. To do this exercise, you just stand in one place and run, but it isn’t a normal run. You should bring your knees up as high as you can with each step as if you were going to knee yourself in the chest. Make sure to keep your back straight. Swing your arms forward and backward in coordination with the movement of each knee. This is another exercise that is focused on pure running speed derived from explosive leg power.

Box Jumps

If you want a simple exercise, this one is for you: Just get a box or a stool and start jumping. You should start with a 6-12-inch box for safety reasons, then work your way up to a full 24-inch jump. Stand in front of the box with your spine straight and your feet about shoulder-width. With a quick and explosive movement, jump onto the box with both feet. Keep your arms tucked in as you jump. Come to a full stand on top of the box before hopping down with a backward jump. Be careful at this point, as a fall could be very injurious.

Front Lunges

Front lunges are one of the best exercises for developing all the muscles of the leg at one time. Compound exercises like this are also great for their time-saving benefits. Bring your arms in front of you, in a position kind of like a boxer’s guard. Start with both feet together, and then take a big step forward with one foot. Continue the step all the way down until it becomes more like a kneel. Now, bring your back foot up to that it’s level with the front foot. Repeat the exercise with the other leg.

Stamina Exercises

The following exercises are primarily meant to develop speed, although they will probably develop some other aspects of your body and game at the same time.


Since a soccer player needs to be a good runner anyway, it makes no sense to omit this most basic of exercises. There are many variations on the simple run, and we might recommend wearing a little bit of extra weight to make the run a little more difficult. Of course, you should use caution if you try this method. Going too far could risk damage to your joints. We recommend short bouts of all-out running alternated with short bouts of light jogging. You might also try a Swedish method called Fartlek training, which involves tailoring your run to the conditions of the environment.


Burpee Pull-Ups

This is one of the most grueling exercises that we have ever seen. Burpees alone are pretty rough, but burpees combined with a pull-up can give anyone a run for their money. If you don’t know, a burpee involves dropping from a standing position to a push-up position, and coming back to your feet as you complete the push-up. That’s a normal burpee. For this variation, you stand in front of a bar and add a pull-up at the height of the jump. When it comes to combination exercises, this one is probably the king.

Weighted Carries

“loaded carry” is just a fancy way of describing the process of moving heavy objects. Rather than lifting weights, you lift large objects in the way that a working person would normally do. The most common variation is the farmer’s walk, which is just a form of lunge-walking with a dumbbell in each hand. If you carry the load differently, you can also get a good arm workout, but that isn’t so important for soccer players. You might consider investing in some kettlebells and thick canvas sandbags, as both are perfect for this kind of lifting.


If you want a total-body exercise that will build your speed, swimming is one of the best things you can do. Moving efficiently in the water requires a lot of different muscles, and they have to work together in proper coordination. All of this adds up to a lot more effort exerted for movement gained. From a training perspective, that is a good thing. You might also try practicing kicks in waist-high water to improve your kicking speed and endurance. It’s a method that is borrowed from Shaolin martial arts but should be very effective for a soccer player. By utilizing this method, you can develop feet like lightning.

Stair Climbing

Stair climbing is an exercise that is perfect for soccer players because it helps to develop quick and explosive motion of the feet and legs. Those are exactly the kind of motions that help a person to be quick and evasive on the playing field. As you go up the stairs, lean forward just a little so as to keep your balance from tipping you backward. You do need to be careful about falling, but remember that it’s better to fall forward than to fall back.

Agility Exercises

The following exercises are primarily meant to develop speed, although they will probably develop some other aspects of your body and game at the same time.

Cone Drills

Cone drills are a popular and time-honored method of athletic training. There are almost infinite variations on this exercise, but all of them emphasize fast and agile movement. The key feature of this training method is that you have to learn how to change directions very quickly without losing speed. For a soccer player who wants to cover maximum distance in a shorter amount of time, this type of training offers an ideal solution. We recommend that you practice sprints, side hustles, high crawling, and quick jumps. All of these will help you to develop greater agility, balance, and speed.

Medicine Ball Push-Ups

This is a variation of the push-up that requires a little more agility to perform, hence why it is included here. You start in a normal push-up position, but one hand is resting on a medicine ball. It is best to use a slightly deflated ball for this one so that it won’t roll as much. After all, we don’t want you falling on your face. Go down for a push-up while keeping one hand on the ball. After you come back up, shift to the other side and put the other hand on the ball. Now do a push-up on the other side, much as you did before. Repeat this motion for as many reps as you see fit.

The Agility Ladder

This is another time-honored method that can be used in a half-million different ways. By using the ladder kind of like a hopscotch square, you force yourself to practice very precise stepping. The better you get at controlling your footwork, the faster you can move through the rungs of the ladder. The main thing is to walk over and around the ladder without touching any part. Fast and precise feet are definitely a necessity for any soccer athlete, so don’t neglect this one. A ladder of this sort is really easy to improvise since no one will actually be using it to climb.

Balloon Squats

This is a simple exercise that is meant to develop both agility and leg strength. For this exercise, you will need a balloon. It should be inflated with normal air rather than helium, for reasons that will become obvious. Knock the ballon from below to send it up, then do a squat. As you come up from the squat, hit the balloon upwards again. If the balloon hits the ground, you lose. This one is all about timing the squat with the hit so that everything becomes a smooth and continuous motion.

Single-Leg Jumps

Any jumping exercise that can be done with two legs can also be done with one leg. Jump training of any kind should focus on quick and explosive motion rather than sustained motion. That’s why it’s best to do fast and all-out sets combined with relatively long rest periods for this sort of training. Start with a simple set of one-leg hops in a straight line. Go as fast as you can without falling, but make sure you don’t poke along with this process. Remember, for this exercise; you are supposed to be the hare and not the tortoise.

Conclusion: Putting It All Together

Now that you have a good bank of exercises from which to draw, it’s time to put them all together and make a soccer workout routine that is perfect for you. Start by rating yourself as a player in terms of the three attributes presented earlier: Speed, agility, and stamina. Rate yourself in these three areas on a scale of one to ten, and be completely honest.

Your overall routine should consist of ten of these exercises. As for which ten, that will depend on how you rated yourself. So, which attribute had the lowest score? If your speed is the lowest score, use all five exercises from the speed category. If your stamina is the lowest, take five exercises from that category. If your agility is the lowest, take five exercises from that category. Now take three exercises from the category of your second-best attribute. Finally, take two exercises from the category of your highest attribute. This should give you a routine of ten exercises that you can use until you see fit to create another one. If you have enjoyed this article, please follow us on Facebook using the link below.

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