Soccer training drills – Core training in 1 foot

In soccer it’s necessary to master a set of motor skills, and for that a functionally strong core – capable of generating mechanical anchorage alongside hip movements regardless of the speed, is required. To achieve such responsiveness, we have to adapt accordingly, working on the dynamic stabilization of the trunk while the extremities produce movement. 

What are the typical efforts in soccer?

Soccer is a collective sport, physically characterized by moments of running, jumping (ballistic and plyometric activities) and shots – with varying intensity.  As the running and the shots are always developed in 1 foot, wouldn’t it be appropriate to have different training stages that focus on this condition in certain micro, meso and macro cycles?

How to improve it?
In order to improve the speed and efficiency of running, jumping height and power of the shot, it’s necessary to develop a solid structure, our core, that can serve as a mechanical anchor, that is, the stability for the lower limbs to to be able to perform all their explosive strength at a fixed point, thus not losing control. 

What is the core?
The “core” can be designated differently according to each nomenclatures, however, what we need to know is that it corresponds to the muscles responsible for supporting our spine, providing stability during any isometric or dynamic performance. 

What is it for?
The core´s  function is to protect the internal organs and stability, removing tension and compression of the passive structures (bones and ligaments, among others) through the tension generated by the muscular groups of the anterior, lateral and posterior wall of our pelvic and abdominal waist. 

How to train, taking into account the characteristics of Soccer?
Since the activities will be developed on 1 foot, we can include in our training exercises like the following: 

  1. Single leg deadlift with dumbbell in the opposite hand of supporting foot
  • Keeping the back in a neutral position (maintaining the naturally present curvatures)
  • Drop down to knee level, or a little more than that (making the trunk down to an horizontal position)
  • Keeping the pelvic girdle without rotation to the side of the supporting leg
  • Making a slow eccentric (descent) phase with control and balance is fundamental

Note: the concentric phase (rise) can be made with more speed as long as the athlete can maintain the conditions of balance and postural alignment

  1. Unilateral buttocks bridge
  • In supine position (lying on the back on the floor) with knee flexion (approximately 90º) keeping the heel on the line below the knee and raising the other leg
  • Without letting the pelvic area (the hip) rotate to the side of the leg in the air
    • The goal is to raise and lower the pelvic area through the action of the gluteus that is serving as support

Note: this exercise can be done at a slow and controlled speed in the first phase and when the athlete already has the necessary control over the rotational forces acting on the body, he can carry out the same explosively in the ascent (concentric phase), always controlling the descent (eccentric phase)

  1. Side plank with elevation of the upper leg, adding flexion and extension of the hip
  • Getting to the side plank position (forearm resting on the floor perpendicular to the body, with the elbow in line below the shoulders)
  • Should do the leg elevation (abduction of the thigh) by keeping it parallel to the ground, not letting anything from the starting position be changed
  • Should bring the leg forward and back (flexion and extension of the hip)

Note: once again, the movement should always be slow and controlled in any of the phases until the necessary control and stability is developed in order to perform the same exercise with more acceleration. 

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