6 Week Spring Pre-Season SoccerFit Program
From my experience as a premier level female soccer player of 17 years, I have had my fair share of exposure to different types of fitness training. Of the many fitness regimes I have tried, CrossFit has been the most efficient way of training, bringing me the fastest fitness results for my outdoor season, so far. Running long distance definitely helped with cardio and improved my agility slightly, however when I included cross-training (strength and conditioning focus), within 6 weeks, I began noticing a better competency in my other general physical skills, including: cardio and respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. As any soccer player will know all of these are vital to becoming good at soccer, or any sport. It’s because of this [self-tested] proof that I have become so passionate about what I do! I have teamed up with other Stone Brook Strength CF trainers (bosses included), and come up with an official “6 WEEK PRE – SEASON SOCCERFIT PROGRAM” for you!
Speaking from experience, the key to becoming a great soccer player, alongside improved physical fitness, is mental strength (mental “toughness”). Often the last 10 minutes of a soccer match can be the most decisive, and also where the most mistakes happen because of physical and mental exhaustion. CrossFit is ideal for improving mental toughness or putting you in “the red zone” as it continually demands you to perform even when tired. Cross – training includes varied workouts, at high intensity with functional movements – moving in ways your body is naturally made to move in. To add on, the factor that makes CrossFit ideal for soccer training is that it only focuses on functional movements such as “squatting, pressing, running (both short distance and long distance), [and] kicking (explosive hips).” This is in comparison to working on a single-joint movement such as something like the “bicep curl” which has very little overall functionality and is not necessarily useful in CF or soccer training. Training in this way will match the intensity of the last 10 minutes of a soccer match, all while improving your overall fitness.
There are many complementary benefits to incorporating cross-training when preparing for your soccer season! One of these benefits in particular is in regards to injuries. From my personal experience, the top 3 most common injuries that I’ve seen recurring in soccer are 1) knee injuries 2) hamstring pulls and 3) sprained ankles. From my knowledge (which extends only to personal experience and advice from physiotherapists due to my own past injuries), the best way to become more resilient to any of these injuries would be to strengthen both planes of our body – the posterior as well as the anterior; i.e. quads/hamstrings, hip flexors/erectors/I.T. band/adductors. We want a balanced overall physical strength to refrain from having our muscle groups compensating for one another. It’s important to note that increased strength does not mean “bulking up”. Every human body is made to become stronger – it’s either stronger or weaker.
*Strength and conditioning programs are crucial if you are new to soccer or new to sports in general, as sports are (generally) physically demanding. In our program, we have included everything necessary for you to get the overall soccer centric workout so that you and your team can succeed! While soccer and CrossFit have many of the same qualities they are still different sports that require slightly different training methods – but both methods are crucial to helping you become a better athlete and neither method should go without the other. It is for this reason that I’m so passionate about what we are offering within this program! CrossFit is one of the best ways to improve not only getting in shape but also to optimize athletic performance as it uses explosive movements to build physical along with mental strength.
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