The 10 Best Stretching Exercises for Soccer Players

The 10 Best Stretching Exercises for Soccer Players – The 10 Best Stretching Exercises for Soccer Players. There is no doubt that football is one of the most popular sports in the world. Two teams, 22 people and one ball, from the local league, Champions League to the World Cup, footballers show their best performance.

Playing soccer is fun and exciting. However, if you don’t warm up beforehand, then the injury is only a matter of time. Jumping, catching the ball, running and changing direction suddenly to kick as hard as you can, if the muscles are stiff, minor to severe injuries could end a career.

Therefore, it is important to do muscle stretching or stretching before starting to practice, play or compete in soccer. Well, here are the 10 best stretching exercises for soccer players!

1. Hip flexor stretch

The hip flexors are muscle groups that help soccer players kick powerfully. For this reason, it is necessary to stretch the hip flexors. The method:

  • Stand with one foot in front and one foot behind (you can start with your right foot forward and your left foot back).
  • Bend the knee of the right leg 90° with both hands resting on the knee of the right leg. Shoulders should be relaxed, and hips pointing forward.
  • With both hands, press the knee of the right leg while pushing the hips forward until you feel a pulling sensation in the front left hip, groin and both calves.
  • Hold this position for 20–30 seconds.
  • Do it with the opposite leg (if earlier the right foot was in front, now the left foot is in front and the right foot is behind).

2. Standing quadriceps stretch

From the hip flexors, we move on to the quadriceps, the muscle group in the quadriceps. Used for running and kicking a ball, the quadriceps muscle is prone to injury. With this quadriceps stretching exercise, soccer players can do it anywhere and anytime. Here’s how:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and hold on to a sturdy object, such as a table or wall.
  • Starting from your right foot, bend your right knee backwards until your heel touches your buttocks. Even though it’s bent, try to keep both knees close to each other.
  • Use your right hand to grab and hold the ankle.
  • Stand straight with your hips aligned and your abdominal muscles tightened. Bend the leg until you feel a stretch over the quadriceps muscle.
  • Hold the position for 20–30 seconds.
  • Switch to the left foot.
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In order not to fall, this stretching exercise can be done while holding on to a wall or other sturdy object, such as a table.

3. Standing calf stretch

Located in the calf, the gastrocnemius muscle is used by players to be able to run after the ball for 90 minutes (not to mention extra time). However, this muscle can also tire easily and get injured. Therefore, this muscle really needs to be stretched. How to? Just find a wall, and follow these steps:

  • Stand facing a wall about 1 meter apart.
  • Starting from the right foot, straighten your right leg backwards with both feet flat on the floor and right knee straight.
  • Lean your body towards the wall until you feel a pulling sensation in the calf muscle of your right leg. Use two hands to support the wall.
  • Hold this position for 20–30 seconds.
  • Switch with your left foot back.

4. Piriformis stretch

The piriformis muscle is a muscle that is part of the gluteus (buttocks) muscle. While there are many ways to stretch them, this one is an easy and quick enough way to stretch the left and right piriformis muscles. Follow the steps:

  • Lying on your back, cross your right leg over your left leg so that your right ankle is above your left knee.
  • Lift your left leg for support and slowly lean it toward your body.
  • With your left hand, slowly push your left calf toward your body, and your right hand holding your right knee.
  • Hold the position for 20–30 seconds.
  • Change position with crossed left leg.

5. Groin and inner thigh stretch

This one exercise is generally called the butterfly stretch or butterfly stretch. As the name suggests, when stretched, the calves look like butterfly wings that can be “flapping”.

This exercise is commonly performed by soccer athletes, and can stretch the muscles in the calves and groin. Follow the method:

  • Sit with your legs straight forward.
  • Grab your right leg and slowly pull it toward the groin so that the sole of your right foot is facing your left calf.
  • Bend your left knee so that your left leg can be pulled toward your groin. Attach the sole of the left foot with the sole of the right foot.
  • Hold both ankles and elbows resting on top of both knees.
  • Straighten your back, press your knees with your elbows (knees don’t need to touch the floor) until you feel a pulling sensation in your calves and groin.
  • Hold this position for 20–30 seconds.
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6. Hip and lower back stretch

This exercise stretches the hip, groin, and lower back muscles. Simply do this exercise for 30 seconds on both sides of the body. Follow the method:

  • Stand with your right foot in front and your left foot behind. Bend your right knee, and bend your left knee until it touches the floor (forming a lunge position).
  • Place your right elbow on the inside of your right knee, and gently press it against the knee while rotating your body to the left.
  • Straighten your left arm up until you feel a pulling sensation in your lower back and right groin.
  • Hold this position for 20–30 seconds.
  • Alternate with your left foot forward and right foot back.

7. Stretching of the iliotibial band

The iliotibial band is a group of fibers running along the outside of the calf that aligns the joints. Not infrequently, the iliotibial band becomes irritated as a result of being used too extreme and not being stretched. So, this band must be stretched before playing soccer. No need to bother, just follow these steps:

  • Stand straight and cross your right leg behind your left.
  • Lean to the left until you feel a pull on the right iliotibial band.
  • Raise your right arm above your head and slightly bend your left knee to feel the stretch more.
  • Hold this position for 20–30 seconds.
  • Return to the standing position and repeat this exercise with your left foot behind your right leg.

8. Knee stretch

When playing sports, knee or hamstring band injuries are common. Therefore, the hamstrings must be strong and flexible in order to be able to run, kick, change direction, or stop the body’s pace during soccer. To prevent hamstring injuries, follow these steps:

  • Sit on the floor with both legs straight out in front of you.
  • With both arms, try to touch both legs while the legs are still straight until you feel a pulling sensation in the calves.
  • Hold this position for 20–30 seconds.
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This exercise can be done sitting or standing.

9. Achilles tendon stretch

Located just above the heel, the Achilles tendon is very susceptible to injury if it is not frequently stretched and must withstand extreme stress when playing soccer. So, the Achilles tendon needs to be stretched. So, here’s how to stretch the Achilles tendon so it doesn’t get injured:

  • With feet parallel, stand facing a wall, arm’s length apart.
  • Place your hands on the wall at shoulder level, and pull your left leg back.
  • Bend both knees with both feet flat on the ground and push against the wall until you feel a pull in the Achilles tendon of your left foot (over your left heel). For more feel, lower your hips.
  • Hold this position for 20–30 seconds.
  • Swap right foot back.

10. Shoulder stretch

The final stretching exercise to prevent soccer injuries targets the shoulder. That way, the chest can be more open and the shoulders are not stiff. Not complicated, here’s how:

  • Stand straight and raise your right arm
  • Bend the elbow of the right arm so that the right hand is on the right shoulder blade.
  • Use your left hand to hold your right elbow.
  • With your left hand, press down on your bent right arm until you feel a pulling sensation in your shoulder.
  • Hold this position for 20–30 seconds.
  • Return to starting position, then switch to left arm.

Those are various stretching exercises that are recommended for soccer players to do before playing or practicing. Greetings sports and don’t get injured, okay!

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