Stretches For Improving Your Soccer Game

Posted by Dr. Scott Wilson | 15-Jul-2016

Soccer players place a heavy demand on their bodies. The sport combines movements that require a high level of endurance, power, agility, and flexibility. Without the proper stretching program, athletes can develop muscle imbalances that can increase the risk of injury. Knowing the stretches that improve your soccer game is essential to optimizing your performance on and off the field. The following are essential stretches that you can include in your training program.

Hamstring Stretch:

The hamstrings are a critical component in the function and balance of the knees and hips. Hamstrings are responsible for knee flexion and hip extension. When they become tight, they place undue pressure on the pelvis and limit many of the essential movements in soccer.

  • Place the heel of the leg to be stretched on the ground and point your toes up towards you (dorsiflexion).
  • Keeping a neutral spine, bend forward at the hips until you feel a slight stretch along the back of the leg.
  • Hold for 15–20 seconds and repeat.

Quadriceps Stretch:

The quadriceps muscles are antagonists to the hamstrings. As a result, the quadriceps muscles must be balanced with the hamstrings in relation to length and tension to reduce any stress on the knee joint and protect it from injury.

  • Place one knee on a mat or other padded surface while placing your opposite foot flat on the ground in front of you.
  • The foot of the kneeling leg should be against the wall or another stable surface.
  • You should feel a comfortable stretch in this position. To stretch even further, perform a posterior pelvic tilt for a greater stretch on the quadriceps muscles.
  • Hold for 10–20 seconds and repeat.

Calf Stretch:

The Achilles tendon is susceptible to strain and other injuries in soccer. It’s the tendon that attaches the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles to the heel of the foot. Flexibility in the lower leg is critical to preventing common injuries in soccer.

  • With your arms against a wall or stable object, move into a lunge position with one foot in front and one foot behind you. Keep your back heel on the ground and the knee extended.
  • Slowly move your body forward (causing the back ankle to dorsiflex even further) until you feel a stretch on the calf muscles.
  • Hold for 15–20 seconds and repeat.

These three stretches are essential to maintaining your performance on the soccer field. They provide the mobility you need while helping to restore and maintain muscle balance for injury prevention. If you’d like to learn more about how our physiotherapists can help with a soccer injury, or any other type of pain, contact us today. Remember, at Physiomed…Healthier Starts Here.

Dr. Scott Wilson

Dr. Scott Wilson is the Founder & Chairman of Physiomed; one of Canada’s largest franchised networks of inter-disciplinary healthcare clinics. A graduate of Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Dr. Wilson founded Physiomed in 1994 and has since grown Physiomed to over 30 clinics in Southern Ontario and British Columbia. With hundreds of practitioners from over a dozen disciplines, Dr. Wilson and Physiomed have helped over 100,000 Canadians with physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, orthotic therapy, compression therapy and clinical conditioning as part of a program of rehabilitation and health optimization. In addition to helping patients improve their physical and mental well-being, Dr. Wilson has also mentored hundreds of practitioners to provide better care while enjoying more fulfilling careers. He is also a keynote speaker on many health related topics including how physiotherapy, chiropractic and health & wellness treatment can help with stress, weight loss, and unlocking the true potential within to achieve lasting physical well-being.

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