The mission of HSA is to provide an opportunity for all the children of Hamden to learn and play soccer!

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There are many exercises a person can do to help improve themselves as a soccer player. These exercises are great for a total body workout. The two types of training that are recommended for the soccer player involves aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Aerobic and anaerobic training exercises will help you over time to improve your endurance and strength. You can employ the services of a gym trainer to help you get started.

Types of aerobic exercise you can do at the gym to help improve your endurance on the soccer field includes, using a rowing machine, running on a treadmill, or using a cycling machine. By using these machines at the gym for your body work, you will improve the condition of your heart and lungs, and find that you will sustain running and exertion as well as tiring less quickly. The treadmill is especially good for soccer players, because the game of soccer relies primarily on stamina. With continual practice you will have the ability to run on the soccer field for longer periods and with greater speed.

Types of anaerobic exercises you can do at the gym to improve your body for the soccer field, includes weight training. This anaerobic exercise is excellent for those soccer players that need it. It will help you build up your muscles, and strengthen them as well. Many anaerobic exercises are usually done for a shorter time than aerobic exercises, but when done on a continuous basis, they will increase your muscle tone helping you to play a better soccer game. This also improves your balance and strength.

One thing is for sure, in order to keep yourself in top shape as a soccer player, continuous training is required. Oh, and yes it is all quite definitely worth the effort!

One extremely important aspect of playing soccer is that the player’s body must be ready for anything. With this in mind, a good cardio workout should definitely be part of the plan.

There are several advantages to a good cardio workout, especially if done early in the day. The first is that the body gains endurance and doesn’t lose its suppleness. The second is that the metabolism becomes heightened, which helps keeping weight down. Lastly, it helps wake you up more effectively than coffee (always helps to do a few push-up when wake up).

A good workout is one in which your heart gets motoring. Keeping that in mind that you can carry out cardio workouts in just about any space. Old school is jumping jacks or rope and jogging in place. You can also use the environment (jogging up and down bleachers is a great way to get the blood flowing). Just remember to do some stretching before exercising, or you risk potential injury.

However, be advised that you should keep a close eye on your sweating. If you stop sweating during an exercise, stop immediately. The most visible warning that your body is headed towards a heat stroke is that the sweating stops. When it happens, stop, grab something to drink (preferably something with electrolytes or a teaspoon of salt), and allow your heart rate to return to normal.

Remember to be careful and sensible, a good workout can be a great asset to keeping you subtle and fit.

According the National Academy of Sports Medicine, flexibility can be defined as the normal extensibility of all soft tissues that allow full range of motion of a joint. Here are two types of flexibility. One is static flexibility which is defined as “the range of motion about a joint.” And dynamic flexibility as “the resistance of a joint to motion.”

It is observed that athletes with poor muscle flexibility experience more soreness, tenderness and pain after exercise. The less flexible the muscles the more easily it sustains damage.

The importance of stretching cannot be overemphasized to achieve maximum flexibility of soccer players. Stretching increases the length of your muscles and tendons which leads to an increase in the range of your motion or movement.

Stretching exercises for soccer should focus on the muscles that surround the hip and lower back, knee and ankle and should include 2 to 3 exercises for each joint. The following stretching exercises can help improve flexibility for soccer players.

Calf stretch is done starting with an assumed push up position. One foot should be on top of the other and you continue the exercise by walking your hands toward your feet. Always keep your heel flat on the ground as you walk back your hands. The stretch is felt at the back of your lower leg.

Sit upright when doing the pretzel stretch. The right leg must be straight out in front and the left leg crossed over it near your body. The right arm is then placed outside of your bent leg. Push back on your knee with your opposite arm and twist. The stretch will be felt on the outside of the hip and in your lower back.

The quadriceps stretch is done by taking a giant step forward and assuming a kneeling position. The back should be straight as you exhale and slowly leaning forward. You should see your toes when looking over your knee of your forward leg. The stretch is felt in the front of the thigh of the back leg and back of the thigh in the front leg.

Take a large step forward and slightly to the side for balance when doing the triangle stretch. Both legs and the back must be kept fairly straight. Bend at your waist over your front foot. The stretch is felt at the back of the thigh and behind the knee of the forward leg.

The butterfly stretch is achieved by sitting upright and bringing the soles of your feet together. While keeping your back straight you push your legs towards the floor. The stretch is felt on the inside of the thigh.  

FLEXIBILITY. What exactly does it mean when you play soccer?

It means that you have been doing your joint exercises during each warm-up and are now feeling the results. Doesn’t that feel good?

Now think about your joints and how they work when you’re playing the game. Why are your ankles, knees and hips so important and why must you continually exercise to keep them strong and flexible? Oh yeah, and don’t forget your shoulders, elbows and neck, they work hard, too.

When exercising your joint muscles for soccer, you should focus on those surrounding the hips and lower back, knees and ankles. They get a real workout. You should use two or three exercises for each joint and remember to stretch safely and regularly so that your muscles are warm before playing. (Why do you think they call it a warm-up?)

Be sure to stretch to the point of mild discomfort and hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds. Repeat, trying to stretch the muscle joint a bit further. (Don’t force the muscle to do more than it’s ready for – remember stretching should never be painful.) Oh, and don’t forget to perform the exercises on both sides. Also remember to relax and breathe, that’s important, too.

So, think about it. Soccer drills are absolutely necessary before heading out on to the field. These drills increase your flexibility while warming up your muscles and getting you ready to play. And, finally, warm muscles and sufficient conditioning assure improving your game and reducing the risk of injuries. Now doesn’t that sound like a good deal?

Soccer is a fantastic game to play. If you want to improve your game and have fewer injuries, then you should stretch your muscles. Before and after each match, take time to stretch all your key muscle groups. Move your joints to increase flexibility and range of motion. You might feel a little silly doing some of these exercises, but it will be worth it! Over time, you are more likely to have better results on the pitch.

Try starting with a shoulder stretch. Move one arm across your body, almost as if you were going to take a backhand swing. Grasp the elbow of the arm in motion with your other hand and pull the arm further across your body. Hold for 10 seconds and then repeat three times with each arm.

Stretching hamstring muscles will lessen the chance of getting knee injury. Sit on the floor and place the leg you wish to stretch straight out in front of you. Then bend the other leg alongside to make a triangle with your legs. With a straight back, bend from your hips, and reach fro the toe of your straight leg with both hands. Keep this position for 20 seconds. Do not try to force the stretch.

After stretching, you should do a gentle warm-up such as jogging on the spot for a few minutes. All professional teams will make the players do stretching exercises before and after a game. Stretching helps footballers to play at their best, so it is not a waste of time!

I have provided only a couple of exercises for you to practice. There are literally hundreds of different exercises for you to try out! Just remember to consult a parent, guardian or trainer before beginning a specific training program.

If you play or coach soccer then you know how important it is for those legs to be in tip top shape. You do not want to be the one out there on the field about to score the winning goal and blow it because you have pulled your thigh do you? It is quite possible that this could happen if you are not strengthening and stretching your legs. Shin splits and thigh pulls occur when there is a lack of leg strengthening. You may not realize it but there are several parts of the leg that do not get worked out quite as much as other parts whilst playing soccer, so it is very important to strengthen all parts of the leg.

Here are a few good leg strengthening drills, some you can do with your soccer ball. You want to hold each exercise for a 5-10 second count. This first exercise is great for the shin and thigh, simply point your toe down and press the top of your foot against the ball to stabilize it against a wall you should feel the pressure in the thigh and shin. To get your achilles and calves strengthened place the heel of one foot on the ground and the sole of the other foot on the ball and lean forward. To strengthen your hamstring, stand with straight legs and circle the ball around your feet using your hands then spread your legs and circle each foot.

Now that you have completed your leg strengthening exercises you are ready to go have some fun and kick ball!

Hey! Everyone does ‘em. No one’s excused. Go ahead, grumble and moan. Check it out, even Brandi Chastain and David Beckham aren’t exempt. In fact, STRETCHES helped make them champions.

Why stretch, you may ask? Stretching is VERY (say it again – VERY) important when preparing to play soccer, or any other sport for that matter. Stretching guarantees that your muscles are warmed up and ready to go. In fact the purpose of stretching includes improving your game, earning more player time and, most significant, reducing injuries.

There are LOTS of areas you need to focus on when doing stretches: neck, back, shoulders, arms, quads, calves, ankles, groin and hamstrings. Can you name any others?

Start by warming up muscle groups and then s-l-o-w-l-y extend the muscles’ stretch to the point of tension but not of pain – ouch! Be sure to avoid bouncing. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds – is it time yet? Slowly release the stretch and then repeat it 3 to 4 times for each muscle or muscle group. (Be sure to stretch all muscles in key muscle groups.)

Hey, no one said this was going to be easy but you’ll FEEL THE BENEFITS every time you go out on the field. Then you’ll know it was all worth it.

Here’s an interesting fact that you can pass on to your family and friends The bones of young players can grow faster than soft tissue such as muscle. That means that because of bone growth spurts, the muscles can become too short for the bones they are attached to. Wow!

Upper body strength is just as important as the strength in your legs when playing soccer. The upper body strength can help you to maintain your position when fending off opponents, make you more supple and improve your balance when dribbling and shooting the ball.

Any upper body exercises improve your stability and help to improve the movement in your hips, trunk and shoulders allowing you to move more quickly across the field.

Increasing your lower backs strength, alongside having strong arms, shoulders and hips can all help to increase your running stride.

Some exercises that you may consider are:

Abdominal sit backs
Body weight rows
Low back stabilisers
Bench presses
Activities using a medicine ball
Lat pull downs
Abdominal curls
Resistance training – pulling on a resistance band to strengthen the arms and shoulders

You can also do back extensions whereby you would lie face down on the ground, raise your arms and legs as high as possible and then lower them though not allowing them to touch the ground again.

For training with a teammate you can lie facing each other and throw a ball to each other without allowing your arms to touch the ground.

You may also consider weight training but you only need to use lightweights to achieve optimum effect. If you choose this method of training always seek advice first and it is thought that children under the age of 14 are too young to consider this option.

It is important though in any exercises to allow your muscles to rest and concentrate on only one muscle group each day. You should always ask for help and guidance from a qualified person and follow their guidelines.