Learn the 8 best stretching exercises for soccer players. (Image via Pexels/Pixabay)

8 Best Stretching Exercises for Soccer Players

Soccer is a physically demanding activity that necessitates stretching exercises for the development of strength, agility, endurance, and flexibility.

Stretching exercises are an important element of playing soccer. A thorough set of dynamic stretches for soccer can help you avoid injuries, reduce muscle imbalances, increase your exercise tolerance, and improve your performance.

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Best stretching exercises to ace your soccer performance

Warming up and cooling down with the correct stretching exercises can offer a range of benefits regardless of your skill level.

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Including these stretching exercises before and after training is essential while a player's development continues during adolescence.

You can enhance your soccer performance and muscular endurance with these eight stretching exercises:

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1) Standing quad stretch

Standing quad stretch. (Image via Freepik)

The quadriceps (quads) are a set of muscles that run down the front of the leg. These are the muscles that are used in soccer for running and kicking. They are prone to tiredness and severe muscle cramping.

Here are the steps you can follow to do a quad stretch correctly:

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  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and, if required, grab onto something stationary for support.
  • Bring your right knee to your bum and bend your right knee.
  • Take hold of your ankle with your right hand.
  • Stand upright with your hip level and your core engaged. Maintain a downward-facing knee while feeling a stretch at the top of your quadriceps.
  • Return to the left leg and repeat.

2) Squatting leg-out adductor and groin stretch

Squatting leg-out adductor and groin stretch. (Image via Pinterest)
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Adductors are a set of muscles on your inner thighs that help you raise your legs closer to the center of your body. It is important to strengthen the adductors for soccer.

Here are the steps you can follow to do a squatting leg-out adductor and groin stretching exercise correctly:

  • Make a wide stance with your feet.
  • Maintain one leg's straightness and front toes while bending the other leg and turning your toes out to the side.
  • Rest your hands on your bent knee or the ground as you lower your groin to the ground.

3) Standing calf stretch

Standing calf stretches. (Image via Pinterest)
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Calf muscles can quickly grow tired or rip in unfavorable circumstances. As a result, extending your calves before playing soccer is critical.

Here are the steps you can follow to do a standing calf stretch correctly:

  • Stand facing a wall, approximately a foot away from it.
  • With both feet flat on the floor and a straight right knee, extend your right leg behind you.
  • Lean against the wall to feel a stretch in your extended right leg's calf muscle. To add to your support, place your hands on the wall.
  • Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Rep using your left leg.

4) Lying piriformis stretch

Lying piriformis stretch. (Image via Freepik)
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This is a simple stretching exercise that targets the piriformis muscle while relaxing and opening the hips.

Here are the steps you can follow to do the piriformis stretch properly:

  • Cross your right leg across the left, placing your right ankle on your left knee while lying on your back on the floor.
  • Slowly and steadily lift your left foot off the floor and towards you.
  • With your hands, gently press on the inside of your right knee.
  • Hold for 20–30 seconds.
  • Rep on the opposite side.

5) Frankenstein stretch

Frankenstein stretch. (Image via Freepik)
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The stationary leg swing stretch is turned into a walking variation with the Frankenstein stretch. Before hitting the soccer field, this stretch helps in strengthening the quads, glute muscles, and hamstrings.

Here are the steps you can follow to do a Frankenstein stretch correctly:

  • Stand with one arm extended and your legs together.
  • Step forward and straighten the opposing leg.
  • As you move ahead, try to touch your toe with your hand, then return.
  • Rep with the other side.

6) Ankle rotations

The most overlooked and undervalued part of sports performance may be foot and ankle training. It's important, though, because most soccer motions begin with foot activation.

Here are the steps you can follow to do ankle rotations correctly:

  • Stand with your toes pointed into the turf and rotate your ankle with your leg.
  • Or lift your foot off the ground in front of you and rotate your ankle.
  • Replace the opposite foot and repeat the process.
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7) Shoulder stretch

Shoulder stretch. (Image via Freepik)
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Before playing soccer, this basic shoulder stretching exercise can help open the chest and relieve stiff shoulders.

Here are the steps you can follow to do a shoulder stretch correctly:

  • Stand tall and extend your right arm up, bending the elbow so that your right-hand lands behind your head on your right shoulder blade.
  • Reach across with your left hand and grab your right elbow.
  • Push your right arm down onto your shoulder blade with slight pressure.
  • Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

8) Rotational windmill stretch

Rotational windmill stretch. (Image via Freepik)
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The rotational windmill stretch focuses on the hamstrings, as well as the calves and lower back. This stretching exercise helps in loosening up the body and relieving stress before/after soccer.

Here are the steps you can follow to do a rotational windmill stretch correctly:

  • Begin by stepping slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Make a "T" with your upper torso by extending both arms to the side.
  • Maintain a straight line with your legs. Bending and rotating at the waist, reach down and touch your left foot with your right arm.
  • Stand up and repeat the action, but this time bring the left hand down to the right foot before standing up again.
  • Repeat for the appropriate number of times.
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Edited by
Rachel Syiemlieh
 
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