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Explosive Strength and Speed

Soccer players need explosive strength and speed to break away from defenders, fight off oncoming attacks and have enough juice in the tank for the end of a full-length game. The following five exercises take no longer than 15 to 20 minutes to accomplish and are meant to be performed before, during or after practice without compensating for any skill training. The five exercises focus on building leg strength and explosive speed.

Jumping Lunges

This dynamic exercise puts a twist on a traditional lunge motion. In the video linked above you’ll learn the importance of maintaining proper lunge from – knee, hip, shoulder and ear alignment – and see the exercise in action as the athlete jumps up from the lunge stance, alternates legs in air and landing in a lunge stance on the opposite leg. Perform this exercise two or three times for 30 to 60 seconds.

Broad Jumps

This exercise can dramatically increase your vertical jump while improving overall leg strength. It’s extremely simple and many of you have probably performed a broad jump in your gym class. In the video above you’ll learn correct form as well as a few single-leg variations. Perform this exercise for two to three sets at 15 to 20 reps.

Lateral Jumps

This fast-paced exercise is a great way to get your blood flowing and challenge yourself as you gain confidence performing the workout. Start by jumping over a bar or box at a height that’s comfortable for you – because this is a lateral jump exercise, the most important part to remember is keeping your hips straight. The video above shows cross-fit athletes in action and gives you an idea of how to set up this workout. Perform this exercise for two to three sets at 20 to 30 reps each.

Power Sled Push

This is an excellent exercise for building complete lower-body strength. The video demonstrates the different variations you can perform based on comfort and targeted muscle group, but overall the power sled push is a great way to challenge yourself to dig deep during the last push. Perform this exercise for 3 sets for 30 seconds or between 25 and 30 yards.

Jumping Knee Tucks

The jumping knee tuck has a beginner and advanced variation – both are explained in the video. After performing the beginner motion a few times you should be ready to move on to the full exercise. Perform the jumping knee tuck 2 to 3 times for 20 to 30 seconds.

These workouts are just part of a full soccer workout routine and a great way to build explosive speed and strength when you have 15 to 20 minutes. Keep checking back with the Semper Soccer blog for more strength training tips.