In our last post we introduced the TRX and provided photos of some of exercises that we use in the gym, on the pitch, and on the road.
Since soccer requires a significant amount of lower body strength and stability, this week we are going to discuss three lower body exercises specifically used by the Galaxy players to keep them strong and balanced.
THE SINGLE LEG SQUAT WITH HAND SUPPORT
How to: Stand on one foot and hold the TRX handles in front of you. Initiating the exercise with your hips, squat down and back on one leg keeping the other leg a couple inches off the ground, holding the handles for balance and support. Return to the starting position by pushing from your glute on the leg that is on the ground. Complete all reps on one leg before repeating with the opposite leg. Perform 3 sets of 8-12 reps.
Coaching tips: Keep your chest up, shoulder blades back and your back nice and flat. Keep weight on the ball of your foot.
Muscles Worked: You should feel this exercise working your glutes, quads and hamstrings.
Soccer Relevance: Single leg strength and stability is vital to soccer players. The single leg squat will develop your strength, power and balance for all the running, cutting, and kicking needed on the pitch.
SPLIT SQUAT REAR FOOT ELEVATED
How to: Place your back foot inside the TRX loop. Lower your hips toward the floor by squatting down and back, keeping your weight on the ball of your foot of the front leg and letting your elevated leg naturally slide back until you're in a split position. Without letting the back knee touch the ground, push off your front leg and return to starting position. Complete all reps on one leg before repeating with opposite leg. Perform 3 sets of 8-12 reps.
Coaching tips: Keep your core/torso nice and tight. Keep your chest up and back flat with slight forward lean. Keep your weight on the ball of your foot.
Muscles Worked: You should feel this working your glutes, quads, and hamstrings as well as stretching your hip flexor on rear leg.
Soccer Relevance: Along with working on our balance and stability, this exercise really helps with running and acceleration mechanics. Soccer players spend the majority of a 90-minute match without the ball at their feet and are therefore running to get in position to attack, defend, or get their spacing and shape. Working and strengthening acceleration mechanics will allow players to be more explosive and efficient, and reduce their chances of getting injured.
How to: Lie on your back, face up, with arms at your side, knees bent, and heels in the TRX loops. Lift your hips off the ground until your shoulders, hips, and knees form a straight line. Hold for 2 seconds and return to start position. Repeat for 3 sets of 10-15 reps.
Coaching Tips: Keep your core/ torso nice and tight. Squeeze your glutes to initiate movement and lift.
Muscles Worked: You should feel this working primarily your glutes but to a lesser extent your hamstrings as well.
Soccer Relevance: Soccer players do a lot of running. And while they will definitely use and work their hamstrings in this exercise, strengthening the glutes will help take some of the demand off of the hamstrings and hopefully prevent some of the hamstring pulls that are so common in soccer players.
These are just three simple and effective exercises that you can do with or without a TRX to help become a stronger, more powerful, and more balanced soccer player. Next we will look at a couple of core exercises that we use with the Galaxy players to keep their pillar strong and stable.
Follow Ben on Twitter!
Looking for new exercises or have a good one of your own? Search #GalaxyExerciseoftheDay.