June 1, 2018 - TCO
Get back into soccer shape: Tips for you & your kids
Maybe you took the summer off to relax, or it’s just been a while and you want to work on your game. No matter why you’d like to kick your soccer routine back up, we fully support you. Here are some tips to get back in the game safely, effectively and without injury. And be sure to get the kids involved too! After all, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t get the ball rolling right along with you.
Aim for a total of 20-30 minutes. Livestrong suggests starting with light jogging and stretching to get your heart rate up and then moving on to low-resistance exercises to strengthen your lower body, like walking and squatting. You can also incorporate balance work, like single-leg toe touches. For kids, plan on incorporating at least 10 minutes of warm-ups that are age appropriate and not too physically taxing, like jumping jacks, high knees and arm circles. Find more kid-friendly ideas here.
Daily exercises for you:
- Cardio: You don’t need a treadmill or elliptical! Brisk movements like burpees and mountain climbers can help raise your heart rate and build endurance.
- Plyometrics: Exert your muscles at max force in short intervals to increase your power and strength. Try plyometric jumps: Start with 15 reps in sets of 2 or 3 and no more than 3 times a week, especially if you’re new to this type of exercise.
- Interval training: Alternate high-intensity exercise with low-intensity recovery to build speed. For example, jog for 5 minutes, sprint for 1 minute and then jog again for 5 minutes. Repeat for 30 minutes. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has some helpful information on interval training.
- Fitness classes: Sweat with TCO! TCO offers a range of classes that will help you set goals and get results. Plus, it’s super easy to sign up, so you can fit one in when it works for your routine.
- Basic soccer drills: Dribbling, passing, kicking and shooting are great ways to exercise your skills and introduce the kiddos to the game as well.
- Obstacle course: Use marker cones to set up a course you can weave in and out of while dribbling or passing the ball back and forth. Or, use the cones to create a makeshift goal.
- Park it: Grab the ball and bring it to the park. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to pick up a game with other kids/parents. And who knows, you might even make a new friend or two!
Warm-ups and stretches, like the ones already suggested, are key to injury prevention. Hydration is also essential. Be sure everyone drinks water before, during and after exercise and play. It’s also important to follow a progressive schedule. Don’t just dive back into where you once were or where think you—or your kids—should be because you’ll risk overtasking your muscles. Set goals and keep up your routine and you’ll be back in ideal soccer shape before you know it.
Lastly, here are a few of TCO’s recommendations to help your kids stay injury-free:
- Take appropriate rest periods for growing muscles.
- Mix in different activities to avoid overuse of the same body parts.
- Encourage rehydration and replenishing periods.
- Allow recovery time for maturing and growing tissues.