Stretching Muscles for Soccer

Soccer Conditioning: Stretching Muscles    Back to Soccer Conditioning
 
The following drills are for stretching muscles, and teach proper muscle stretching technique.  
stretching muscles
Stretching Muscles for Soccer

There are two types of muscle stretching that soccer players can do.  The most important
muscle stretching to use before a soccer game or practice is
ballistic muscle stretching,
which is to simply work all joints through their full range of motion.  This type of muscle
stretching can reduce muscle stiffness injury.  The second type of muscle stretching is
called
static muscle stretching, which is to slowly stretch out a muscle and hold it in that
position for a short amount of time.  Static muscle stretching should be used regularly to
promote muscle flexibility.  This type of muscle stretching during
warm up has little benefit
before a game or practice, but does tend to help relieve muscle pain.  With both types of
muscle stretching, neither should be used on muscles that have not been warmed up first.  
Cold muscles can be injured if stretched.

Stretching Muscles: Abdomen
To stretch the stomach muscles, lay face down on the ground and straighten the arms
straight up, arching the upper body inward (opposite of a cat stretch).

Stretching Muscles: Back
The trunk-sided bend will stretch the back muscles.  With one arm behind the back and the
other arm over and around the head, slowly stretch to the right, then the left.

Stretching Muscles: Buttocks
Pull each knee up and in toward the center chest, while sitting down.

Stretching Muscles: Calves
Stretch the calves by placing one foot behind the body and the other foot forward with the
knee bent.  Simply lean the body’s weight slowly forward.  Calves are the muscles on the
back of the lower leg, and are used heavily in a soccer game to run, change direction, and
stabilization.  The calf muscles should be exercised regularly to build game strength.

Stretching Muscles: Groin
Stretch legs slowly apart and reach down toward the ground; or sit down on the ground and
pull both heels in toward the groin

Stretching Muscles: Hip Flexors
The inner, upper thigh muscles can be stretched by placing one leg up in front, with the foot
on the ground, and dropping the other leg behind, on the knee and toe.

Stretching Muscles: Hamstring
The big muscle on the back of the thigh can be stretched by pulling the leg forward and up
as high as possible.  This can be achieved by sitting down with one leg (with the other leg
bent) stretched straight forward and grabbing the toe.

Stretching Muscles: Obliques
These are the forgotten muscles on the side of the trunk.  Rotate the trunk by remaining
stationary and turning each direction as far as comfortably possible.  Another way to stretch
the oblique muscles is to lay on the back with legs in the air, and slowly lower them to the
left and then to the right.

Stretching Muscles: Quadriceps
Pull the foot up to the buttock, while either standing or laying on one’s side, to stretch the
big muscle on front of the thigh.
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