Squatting is one of the best full-body strength-training exercises, and it is essential to building a strong foundation for all athletes, especially for premier soccer conditioning. Soccer players benefit from squats in a variety of ways, such as by gaining increased power and speed. Even more important than mixing squats into your routine is making sure you’re doing them with proper form and a suitable spotter until you become more comfortable. If you aren’t convinced of squatting’s benefits, here are a few more ways squatting can help:
- Total workout: Not only do squats increase lower-body strength in your glutes, quads, calves and hamstrings, but the exercise also impacts a number of upper-body muscles, too. Your shoulders, upper and lower back and a variety of core muscle groups all stand to gain from the exercise.
- Improved balance: Squats force you to maintain balance between your legs, lower back, abs, oblique muscles and core muscles. Having a balanced core helps you stand your ground on the pitch when a defender is trying to steal the ball or when you’re making a quick change of direction on the attack.
- Explosive speed: Building strength in your lower-body muscles helps to create a more explosive first step, and it increases your vertical jump to help you win battles for balls in the air.
Now that you’re convinced, it’s important to learn the proper way to perform a squat. Poor form can lead to serious injury, while proper form can help you gain strength faster. Watch this video for a detailed description of how to perform a squat and what to avoid. Here are the basics:
- Keep your feet shoulder-width apart with your toes pointing slightly outward.
- Push up with your heels.
- Keep your back straight with your chest up throughout the movement.
- Watch your knees and avoid buckling as you lift up.
Semper Soccer is dedicated to helping you improve your game on the pitch. Squatting is a great way to quickly increase your strength and power. Follow these tips and make sure to maintain proper form in the squat rack for the best results on the pitch.