6 Stretching Exercises for Soccer Players
If you play soccer, you'll know how important it is to stretch properly. To avoid tears and even fractures, discover some of the best soccer stretching exercises to prevent injuries.
A game played for longer than 90 minutes, with a small break in the middle, constitutes the basis of the most popular sport in the world. Soccer is one of those sports in which players use their legs until they can no longer run. For soccer players, stretching exercises are of the utmost importance.
Most soccer injuries are connected with making sudden movements that tear the muscles. Players also become injured after extenuating their muscles to a dangerous level. Therefore, if you’re a soccer player, it’s important to know several of the soccer stretching exercises used by professional players.
Soccer stretching exercises
Let’s start with the basics: the limbs
We see it every day in live broadcasts of the matches of the European and Latin American leagues. When entering the field, before a game, the first thing professional players do is simply to stretch their limbs. They do it by extending arms and legs to their sides.
This is the easiest exercise to start with. Lift your arms up and extend your legs to the sides. While you do this, make an effort to stretch your muscles as much as you can. Of course, bear in mind this is the first of many soccer stretching exercises you’ll have to do.
Hamstrings: learn how to prevent injuries to your pelvis
The hamstrings are a group of muscles placed between the pelvis and the tibia. Hamstrings are also between the femur and the fibula. This is why stretching them is very important if you practice any sport similar to soccer, you’ll have to stretch your hamstrings to be able to stay in the game for longer.
We can stretch the hamstrings through two main postures. The first is the good morning stretch. Keeping your back straight, you should bend forward from the hips. Ideally, you should touch your feet with your hands and hold the position for a few seconds.
The second posture to stretch your hamstrings is to crouch; placing your hands by your feet. Then, keeping your back as straight as you can, straighten your legs slowly.
Soccer stretching exercises for your knee flexor
Professional athletes pay special attention to stretching the knee flexor, as doing so can prevent many terrible injuries. Right before the game, you can flex one knee while fully extending the other. The point of this stretch is to apply pressure to the knee that’s extended.
The knee flexor is behind your knees, and it’s often overlooked in many soccer stretching routines. Still, it’s very important that you stretch them properly before and after every game. Among all the stretching exercises for soccer players, this is one of the most important.
Quads stretching exercises
After doing the first two exercises, you have to make sure your quadriceps are well stretched. As you might know, there are some routines that focus specifically on stretching the quads.
The main stretching exercise to stretch your quads is to lean against a wall on one hand. With the other hand, grab your feet while you bend your leg by the knee. You can see many players stretching their quads this way, even during the game.
The adductors also give many injury problems
Although quite treatable, one of the most frequent injuries in soccer players is adductor injuries. Fortunately, the exercise to stretch these muscles is quite simple.
Basically, you should sit down on the grass and stretch your lower limbs. Place your legs in a ‘V’ shape and try to touch your feet with your hands. After that, stretch forward with your hands in front of you.
Stretching exercises for your glutes and psoas
The psoas muscle is one of the most important muscles in your body. Many physiotherapists believe stretching your psoas will release any stress you may have, and they call it the happiness muscle.
To stretch your psoas, bring one leg forward take a large step. The leg in front of you should be bent by the knee at a 90-degree angle.
The leg that you are stretching with this exercise is your back leg. It should be stretched back, with the upper side of your foot facing down.
Before playing, all athletes need to warm their gluteal muscles very well. But it’s just as important to stretch them well afterward too.
To stretch your gluteal muscles properly, you should lie down on your back and pull a leg to your chest. Hold your knee up and press inwards for 10 seconds and then release it.
With these practical soccer stretching exercises, players can easily prevent injuries. Plus, they’re very easy to do and you don’t need any special equipment.