Everyone who has ever played soccer is quite aware of how important it is to hold on to your stamina. On the other hand, speed is something that you cannot compromise with. But these two things are inversely attached. If you increase your speed, you are not going to go on for long enough – and vice versa. How do pro soccer players tackle this problem?
The answers are closer to you than you think. Here are 5 daily exercises to help you improve your on-field speed and stamina.
1. Lunge Jumps
You can ideally do these after warming up a little. Just find yourself a bit of free space and lunge on your right knee. Then jerk up to a height of about one foot and lunge instantly on your left knee. Repeat this for about 5 sets of 20-30 seconds each – not more than that.
Lunge jumps will immensely help you accelerate on field.
2. Yoga Tree Posture
Yoga tree is a great way of regaining and improving your physical and mental equilibrium. All you have to do is find a quiet place and stand on one leg while the other supports the standing thigh. Stretch your back upwards and raise your arms as high as you can – as shown in the picture. Breathe in deep cycles and try to block out every thought from your head.
Try to count to 15 and switch legs. Do this two times every day and you will see a stark difference in your on-field stamina. You can also try to increase the count from 15 to 50 in gradual increments. Yoga Tree posture not only improves your stamina and balance – it helps you settle your nerves, as well.
3. See Saw Laps
Another great way to improve your running stamina is to replace your daily lap routine with see saw laps. See saw laps are superior to normal one-pace laps in the sense that they emulate gameplay conditions better.
Here’s a routine that you can follow. You can make changes to this as per your requirements and physical conditions.
- First lap – at a nice slow jogging speed (about 30% of your sprint speed)
- Second lap – at a relatively higher speed (about 50% of your sprint speed)
- Try to complete one-fourth of another lap at about 75% of your sprint speed.
- Follow this with ONLY 5-10 SECONDS of your full sprint speed
- Fall back to 30% of your speed.
4. Flutter Kicking – Swimming
Swimming is perhaps the most complete exercise option for all those who want to build up their endurance levels. Apart from steady strokes, flutter kicking is a great way to pump your heart and build your stamina for long durations of gameplay. What you need to do is take a surfing board and just hold on to it as you dive into the pool. Flutter your legs as fast as you can to keep afloat and move forward. Do it daily for about twice in one-minute intervals and you should be good to stand tall even when the injury time kicks in!
5. Squat Thrusts
Squat on a soft surface with your palms supporting your torso and legs slightly spread. Then crouch and thrust – in one motion. Stand up, take a deep breath, squat again, and repeat – not more than 30 seconds in one go!
Squat thrusts are more tiring than they look. So, you have to be careful while doing them. Just don’t go overboard with these and you will be fine.