Soccer Performance Training – Flexibility and Warming Up

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 21,803
    Soccer Expert Michael Minthorne discusses soccer performance training flexibility and warmning up.

    Michael Minthorne: Hi! I am Michael Minthorne and I am going to showing you how to properly perform different soccer movements.

    Now we are going to talk about flexibility. In order to perform any soccer movement properly, you need to be flexible. There are different types of ways to stretch. There is ballistic, there is active, there is dynamic, passive and PNF. First, what we are going through is ballistic. We are going to stretch our hamstring to all of these stretches and Dan is going to perform a stretches for us. The first one ballistic, stretching for the hamstring. Ballistic involves you bouncing. Not holding the stretch for more than a couple of seconds. You don't want to do the stretch simply, because it doesn't hold your muscle in that length long enough to get a stretch or increase in range of motion.

    The second one is dynamic. Dynamic stretching involves you performing movements that take your muscle to its limits; a range of motion. Such as a straight leg high kick. Good. One more time, he is moving his leg, so that it elongates the muscles.

    Third one is called active. He is going to get on the ground, still going with the hamstring. Active stretching involves him, raising his leg up, going through the range of motion, but only being suspended by a strength of his agonist muscle, in this case it is quadriceps. Okay, good, relax.

    Passive structuring involves him going through the range of motion and increasing his muscle length through the use of an external force, whether it's a stationary object or a partner. In this case, I am going to having him relax muscles as much as he can and I am going to take his hamstrings through the range of motion. Right now he is feeling a nice good stretch. This is passive.

    The last way the stretch is called PNF stretching. It's Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation and as since we are trying to trick the muscle into lengthening itself, there are several different ways to do this. The easiest way is a hold and relax method or contract and relax. I have him relax his muscle take him passively to his limit then I am going to ask him to contract and hold the contraction for about five seconds. He is going to contract his hamstring push him down. Here we go, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, good. He is going to relax again.

    After the contraction I am going to be able to take his hamstring, or take his hips through a larger range of emotion, pushing them even further.

    So once again we are PNF stretching or since you are trying to trick the muscle into lengthening itself. Different stretching techniques are used at different points in a training session or a soccer game. I am going to about to go through warm-up and I will show you how to do an active dynamic stretching combination.

    Within your active dynamic warm-up, you want to make sure your start with simple exercises to raise your heart rate. You want to move them to your sport specific movements, so that you can activate proper muscles and when you go through your dynamic stretching, make sure you are hitting key muscles that will be targeted and used during your training session.

    You want to use dynamic stretching in the warm-up. Safe static stretching for the cool down. Dynamic stretching better prepares your muscles for that actual training session or game.

    Soccer players are used to taking a few laps around the field and statically stretching for about 10, 15 minutes in their warm-up. You want to try to avoid this. The 10, 15 minutes you spend stretching, you are actually cooling yourself down.

    During an active warm-up, you try to build up your progression as far as running increasing your speed, also progressing through your stretches increasing the difficulty of your stretches in the location of your stretches, so that by the time you are done warming up, your heart rate is in an optimal level and also your muscle unloose and prepared for movement. So those are some tips on flexibility. Next, we are going to talk about how to run properly.