Dynamic stretching is a great way to increase your flexibility and reduce the risk of harm. This article will show you how to perform some simple dynamic stretches for soccer players.
Dynamic stretching is a form of exercise where you move through a series of positions that challenge your muscles and joints.
The idea behind dynamic stretching is to prepare your body for sport or exercise by increasing range of motion and muscle length.
Stretching is important for athletes because it helps prevent injuries and increases performance. Stretches should be performed slowly and gradually before and after training sessions.
In this article, we have gathered some of the best dynamic stretches for soccer.
Table of Contents
- What is Dynamic Stretching?
- Best Dynamic Stretching Routine
- Best Dynamic Stretches For Soccer
- Final Thoughts
What is Dynamic Stretching?
Dynamic stretching refers to a form of exercise where you move through a series of sport specific movements (in this case soccer) that prepare your muscles for the game or training session.
These kinds of stretches have been designed for a safe and controlled environment and feature active movements with little hold time.
In contrast, static stretching refers to a form of exercise where you are expected to hold positions for an extended period of time.
What Are The Objectives?
Dynamic stretching was created to improve an athlete’s performance, as it helps to prepare their bodies for sport and exercise. Because of this, there are numerous objectives associated with the practice of dynamic stretching.
These objectives include:
- Preparing you for games and training sessions with sport specific movements that improve the muscles and mind.
- Raising your heart rate to a suitable level.
- Increasing your body temperature and warming your muscles.
- Reducing sore muscles and overall stiffness.
- Increasing your alertness and motivation during training sessions.
What Are The Benefits?
Like any form of exercise, dynamic stretching comes with countless benefits that help to improve your muscles and athletic performance. If you want to learn more about these benefits, then we have provided a list down below.
These benefits include:
- Improving muscle function and increasing your range of motion
- Increasing blood flow, which warms up the body and improves muscle temperature.
- Preparing the body for intense exercise and complex movements.
- Maintaining concentration and sharpness during training sessions and games.
- Reducing the risk of harm, such as soreness and stiffness.
- Bettering overall performance.
- Increasing flexibility and joint mobility.
- Quickening recovery rates and overall care.
Best Dynamic Stretching Routine
Before you can take a look at the dynamic stretches we have chosen, you must first plan out your stretching routine. This routine should be carried out before each training session or game and should include various techniques.
For the best results, a suitable pre-soccer routine should include some light cardio, dynamic stretching, dynamic exercises and optional foam rolling.
When Should You Stretch?
In most cases, we recommend that you do some dynamic stretches before any kind of training or exercise, as this will prepare you for the game ahead. However, you will also need to complete the routine when the training session or game is over.
How Long Should It Take?
When preparing for a game or training session, you should complete your pre-soccer routine in 10 – 15 minutes. This routine should include some light cardio and dynamic stretching, as this will help to improve your skills.
How Many Repetitions Are Needed?
An important part of any warm-up routine is being in-tune with your body and becoming aware of the areas that need more attention than others.
For example, you may notice that a certain muscle is sore or that your limbs feel uncomfortable when performing certain poses and movements.
Fortunately, there are countless methods you can use to combat this problem. In most cases, you will be able to repeat your stretches until the pain is gone, although the number of repetitions will vary depending on the exercise and muscle.
However, it is recommended that you repeat the stretch around 3 – 10 times until you have overcome the discomfort.
Dynamic Stretching Techniques
During dynamic stretches, there are certain factors that need to be considered, such as your breathing and control. In the section below, we have compiled some techniques to help you through the pre-soccer routine.
- Make sure to execute your movements slowly and with control.
- Flex your feet during stretches.
- Avoid dangerous or unpredictable movements.
- Begin with slow movements and work up to more intense techniques.
- Always focus on your breathing.
Best Dynamic Stretches For Soccer
Now that you understand how to perform these movements and the various techniques you will need to use – let’s take a look at some of the best dynamic stretches for soccer.
In the list below, we have gathered some great dynamic stretches, which promise to improve your skills and performance.
Otherwise known as walking toe touch, this dynamic stretch works to increase muscle endurance and is good for stretching hamstrings and calves.
To perform this stretch, you need to stand on the end line and hold your arms out in front of you. While doing this, you will then need to kick your leg to meet the opposite palm.
You can do this for a few steps and then repeat the exercise using the other leg. Continue doing this until you reach the 18-yard line and then return to the end.
As the name implies, this stretch involves standing straight and running while kicking up your feet to meet your bottom.
This dynamic stretch helps to increase the speed of your hamstring contractions, which allows you to run faster. The impact also works to strengthen your hamstring muscles and your glutes.
If you are a passionate soccer player, then chances are you have experienced this dynamic stretch at some point in your life.
All you have to do is jog while bringing your knees as high as you can in front of you. It is also possible to perform a slower version of this stretch, where you hug each knee with each new step.
While this stretch helps to work your legs, its main function is to strengthen your glutes and backside.
The point of this exercise is to work the hips, as it requires you to bring one leg up and out simultaneously until the knee meets a 90-degree angle.
You must then repeat this process using the other leg until both limbs have been warmed up. Despite working the hips, the stretch also helps to strengthen the muscles in your legs, such as your hamstrings and calves.
This dynamic stretch is very similar to its predecessor, except it requires you to move your leg in and out.
During this stretch, lift your leg while bringing it in until the knee meets a 90-degree angle and then repeat using the opposite leg. Like the closed-knee stretch, this movement helps to work your hips and hamstrings.
This next stretch is more stationary, as it requires you to stand in place while swinging one leg back and forth in a pendulum-like motion.
Keep doing this for several seconds and then repeat the motion using the other leg.
When performing this stretch, it is important to start slowly and work your way up to more movement, as a slow and even motion will help to warm your muscles and circulate blood through the limb.
Lateral Hip Swing
Similar to the previous dynamic stretch, this movement requires you to stand still while swinging one leg from side to side.
Once you have done this for a few seconds, you can swap and repeat the process using the other leg. In some cases, soccer players will rely on partners to help maintain their balance.
However, it is important that you don’t kick your partner during the pre-soccer warm up.
Another dynamic stretch with a self-explanatory name, this movement asks the player to rotate their arms at the shoulder to create a full circle.
In most cases, you will need to rotate your arms forward and backwards for several seconds.
This stretch helps to strengthen and work the muscles in your arms and back, such as the shoulders, trapezius, biceps and triceps.
Dynamic stretches are a great way to prepare your body for a training session or game, as they help to improve your skills and physical performance.
While there are countless stretches to choose from, our selection covers some of the most popular, which are commonly used by professional athletes and soccer players.
In addition to stretching, there are other strategies you’ll need to improve your overall conditioning for playing soccer. To be able to run all game long, you will need to improve your stamina, and for injury prevention you should have a good routine dialed in for leg strengthening. Agility is important for keeping up with attacking players, so check out our guide on developing quicker feet for soccer.