Soccer Off-Season Training

You want to be at your soccer peak at all times but the off-season requires special attention.

Soccer off season exercise should be low in intensity and low impact. This is the time to give your body a good rest. However, it is not recommended to do no exercise at all.

By doing nothing you will likely lose all the gains you made in the season and pre-season just past and have to start right from the beginning again come the next pre-season.

The challenge is to get the balance right so that you do enough to maintain some level of fitness whilst giving yourself enough rest so that your body gets sufficient recovery.

Running should be avoided as much as possible during the off season. Your poor body has just ran all season and pre-season and needs a break from that particular exercise more than anything. You should do something else like swimming, cycling or using an elliptical trainer.

Strength: The off season is the time for strength foundation. Take one or two weeks off at the start of the off season where you will do no strength training at all, i.e. absolute rest. The rest of the off season should be spent building up slowly – starting with very low intensity.

Even by the end of the off season you should not be straining yourself too hard – your weights/reps/sets will increase but this should be as your body gets used to it so the intensity level remains fairly steady even though the workload is being slowly increased.

Aerobic: Your aerobic capacity will diminish quickly after your season ends if nothing is done to maintain it. The goal of the off season is to rest and get refreshed but it also requires some maintenance. Again, spend one to two (no more than two) weeks of absolute rest and re-start at a very low intensity.

The goal with aerobic work over the offseason is to give the body rest from running, sprinting, changing direction, jumping and other high impact activities to give your joints, tendons, ligaments and the like the rest they require.

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