[Try This] Soccer Speed Workout
Take a look at the top five current soccer players. Based on pay, the top five are Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar, Suarez, and Gareth Bale.
What do they have in common?
Clearly, no matter the position, speed is an important factor in taking a player to the next level.
So it surprises me that a lot of players at lower levels are relying on their god-given pace instead of building their speed through speed drills, plyometrics, and lifting weights.
Because no, you can’t get faster by simply playing soccer.
Especially if your speed mechanics are wack…
And especially if you don’t have the ability to produce enough force to beat your defender.
That said, I want to share a soccer speed workout that includes top speed mechanics drills, acceleration drills, plyometrics, AND strength training.
Everything you need to increase your pace is right here:
The Three Soccer Speed Traits
In soccer, there are three speed traits that you need to develop to be successful.
The first is top speed. Top speed is essentially your fastest speed, and there are many factors that go into increasing this trait. The first is is your mechanics.
Top speed mechanics are something that can always be improved no matter who the athlete. And having solid mechanics prevents energy leaks which result in a loss of speed.
The second factor in increasing your top speed is core stability.
When you’re running at high speeds, there are HUGE amounts of force transferring from your lower extremities, through your torso, and into your upper extremities. If you can’t handle that force, it’ll leak out of you like a water bottle with a hole poked in it.
That means lost speed.
The third factor in increasing your top speed is power.
Yes, once the first two layers of bricks are laid, mechanics and stability, then you can add some pop. Plyometrics will give you that pop and explosiveness in your step. Plus, they’ll teach your body to become more efficient in your air time and ground contact time.
Soccer Speed Trait #2
In addition to sprinting fast, you also need the ability to build speed quickly. That’s where acceleration comes in.
Improving your acceleration will help you beat defenders to the ball, change speeds from a light jog to an all out sprint quickly, and can help you appear out of nowhere and head the ball into the goal.
Just like top speed, acceleration is created through mechanics first, then stability, then power.
Soccer Speed Trait #3
The last important speed trait is change of direction. Whether you’re chasing a ball that gets hit the other way, you’re trying to beat a defender, or you’re in charge of manning the goal, change of direction is key.
To build your change of direction ability, you need to perform plyometrics that build your ability to produce and absorb force laterally. You also need to work on drills, like shuttles, that work on your ability to decelerate and accelerate quickly.
The Soccer Speed Workout
1. Dynamic Warm-up
The purpose of the dynamic warm-up is to raise the body temperature and get the blood flowing. Whatever warm-up you choose should prime you for the bout of activity you’re going to engage in.
2. Fire Hydrants – 5 Each Way
Fire Hydrants prime the hips for activity. They increase ROM in the hips (which can result in increased power), and play a role in injury prevention.
You’ll perform 5 out to the side, 5 forwards, and 5 backwards.
3. Monster Walks – 2×10 Yards (Forward/Back, Lateral)
Monster Walks are an activation exercise for the hips, specifically the glute medius. The glute medius is a commonly weak, phasic muscle. Especially in young athletes. That’s why I take time to perform them before every training session.
You’ll perform two sets moving forward/back and two sets laterally.
4. A-Skips/B-Skips 2×10 Yds each
A-Skips and B-Skips are staples for any athlete looking to grow faster, so I had to put them in a soccer speed workout. A-Skips teach the athlete how to get into triple flexion, and stab at the ground, while B-Skips teach the athlete how to naturally release the hamstring so it doesn’t tear.
You’ll perform each of these drills two times for ten yard bouts each.
5. SL Broad Jumps 3×10 Yds
Single Leg Broad Jumps are a great exercise for first step quickness and acceleration. Be sure to load up the hip and knee sufficiently and land on two feet softly.
You’ll perform jumps on alternating legs until you reach ten yards.
6. SL Tuck Jumps 3×3 Each
Something most people don’t know is that vertical jump training correlates to top speed. And SL Tuck Jumps are one of my favorite exercises to do this.
Again, you’ll want to focus on shooting off the ground as high as you can, and land softly on two feet.
7. Lateral Alternating Bounds 3×20 Yards
Lateral Alternating Bounds are an exercise that many athletes struggle with. I don’t believe I have a video of myself performing this, so you’ll have to use this description.
From a single leg broad jump position, you’ll load your hip and knee and jump up and out as far as you can diagonally. It’s essentially a mixture of a skater jump and a broad jump.
You’ll land softly on one leg, you can even touch your inside hand to the ground, and go into your next jump.
Here, you want to emphasize body control, AND your landing. Stick your landing and hold it for one Mississippi.
8. Skater Jumps 3×5 Each
These are great for change of direction ability. You’ll load up your hip and knee and jump up and out laterally, landing on one leg, sticking the landing, holding for one Mississippi, then jumping back the other way.
Perform three sets of five each side.
9. Back Squat 5×4
The back squat is one of the primo exercises for lower body. The better you get at it, the more muscular endurance you’ll have, along with speed and pop in your step.
Perform five sets of four, building up to a heavy set of four reps.
10. A. Rev. Lunge 3×8 each
Here’s another one of my favorite exercises for power. I talk more about it in the post linked in the prior sentence, but for now, all you need to know is it will play a big role in your speed.
Perform three sets of eight each leg, alternating each rep. Make sure you perform them correctly.
10. B. Romanian Deadlift
Something that will get all athletes more speed and power is hip extension. So naturally I had to include a hip extension focused exercise in a soccer speed workout.
Form is absolutely critical in this exercise. Be sure to reach the hips back. Don’t squat. That’s a surefire way to hurt your squat.
11. Banded Stability 3×10 Yards Each Side
A common overlooked piece of getting faster is building stability in the core.
If you don’t know, when you run, your core naturally wants to rotate. That causes leaks in power.
This banded stability movement helps you fight this by building your anti-rotational ability.
Free Speed Lessons
It takes a lot more than ONE workout to build speed.
There are more mechanics drills, stretches, and strength movements that will inject speed into your step.
To find some of those for absolutely free, check the link below: