Strength Training for Soccer: What It Is and Isn’t

When most people think of a sport that requires strength training, they first think of either boxing or football. While those require a great deal of strength to be successful, people underestimate how much strength is required to be an amazing soccer player.

Right now, go to YouTube and watch a segment of a professional soccer game, with men or women! Look at all those professional players and see how jacked they are.

From their strong arms, all the way down to their extremely sculpted legs, soccer athletes are incredibly built. This is because soccer is one of the most exhausting sports to play, and if you aren’t incredibly fit, you will not be able to hold your own against other players.

Strength training for soccer is essential in enhancing your ability as a soccer player. For years, I thought soccer players were all just tall, lanky, and fast, but I was completely wrong. The best players spend every day of the week in the gym, increasing their endurance and building on their strength.

They understand how much it takes to shoot a ball as hard as they can, jump as high as they do, and to be on the field for over an hour. Soccer is a game all about endurance, and to build your endurance, you must first build your strength.

Strength training

Before you even start lifting weights, I recommend you first hit the treadmill at the gym and begin interval training while running. This means dynamically changing your speeds over a long period of time on the treadmill.

I want you to walk for 30 seconds, lightly jog for a minute, and then sprint for 30 seconds, and then go back to walking and repeat this cycle for 15 minutes.

This will give you the illusion of what it takes to be on a soccer field as it is quite physically exhausting, and you are constantly changing your speeds. Even before you focus on your strength, do this every time you go to the gym to accelerate your heart rate and get your head in the zone.

Most people, when they go to the gym, concentrate on the amount of weight they are lifting. This is typical, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, if you are a soccer player I want you to primarily focus on the time when you are at the gym, and not necessarily how much weight you are putting on.

My reasoning is that even if you can leg press over 300lbs., if you can only do that for 30 seconds; how will that help you in a soccer game? I believe you should focus on building your endurance and to do that you should do less weight and more reps over time. This will be more beneficial to you during a soccer game.

As well, spread out your strength training days and focus on different areas of the body. Concentrate on your legs one day, then your arms the next day, then the core the next day, and do a rotation.

With being a soccer player you need to concentrate on your legs more than any other muscle group, but I don’t want you to blow them out. So even out the leg days with improving your core and the strength of your arms.


Flexibility is huge for any soccer player as it helps you avoid injury and complements all of your strength training. Do not ever leave the gym, or start a workout, without first stretching.

I find this incredibly important and it is incredibly beneficial for your strength training for soccer. This will help you avoid injury and will also improve your deking skills on the field.


That being said, just keep in mind that strength training is all about persistence and perseverance. The worst thing you can do for yourself is to not push forward and to give up half way through a set. I know it can be challenging and believe me, I know there will be times where you think you aren’t progressing, but you are!

As long as you keep up your strength training for soccer, you are guaranteed to see results and become the best player on the field!

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