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Cal South E-News | May 2013 PERFORMANCE TRAINING

May 20, 2013


PERFORMANCE TRAINING content provided by CB3 Sports Performance

Upper Body Strength: Functional Strength for Soccer Players

by Jay Mathews | CB3 Sports Performance

Upper body strength is an area often neglected by soccer players and coaches. Aside from the occasional push-ups and sit-ups that players either voluntarily do or that are done randomly during a session, this aspect of training is overlooked.

The soccer player should have enough strength to be able to body up to another player, as well as to protect themselves on the field, whether that is in the air, while shielding a ball, or when they fall to the ground. Upper body training can be incorporated into the training session or done as an adjunct to training.

The primary upper body strength exercise is the push-up. The foundation of the push-up is to be able to push up from the ground while keeping the body straight; chest and hips leave together. When we arrive at the top, we should be able to hold our body firm for 2-3 seconds, with the shoulders pulled back and be in a straight line. If this is done, we get the added bonus of core training. Think plank! The way down is just as crucial, as this is the phase where we can develop strength. By controlling the down phase, we are using our core and our upper body to control the motion, try to go down on a slow 2-3 count. We describe this as a perfect push-up and the athlete should start with 5 perfect push-ups and move up to 10. There is little benefit to doing them incorrectly, so focus on technique.



Another exercise we can perform for upper body strength is the bear crawl. This exercise is good for all ages of athletes, and allows us to build strength in the upper body, work endurance, and work on some general hip mobility. There are many variations of the bear crawl. The one demonstrated here shows the opposite hand/arm and foot/leg moving together. Variations are how much you turn out your hip, how far you bring your knee up, and how high your hips are. For this exercise, we will keep the hips low, bring the same side foot close to the same side hand, and rotate the hips every step. This can be performed for time or distance. Start with small distances first, 10 yards down and back and progress as able. Once they can hold that for extended periods, then you can move to time.

WARNING: Doing bear crawls on turf or concrete can lead to blisters, please perform on a safe surface!

Finally, a more advanced upper body exercise is the horizontal pull. Many athletes do not have the upper body strength to do a standard pull-up, so we modify it. This exercise will require equipment, so it may be difficult to perform on the field. Here, the advanced starting position is knees straight, arms straight and hips level. If this is too difficult, then you can bend the knees. Perform sets of 10 to start. Once strength improves, go to fatigue.

For more information on how we can assist with your sports medicine needs, please contact CB3 at coach@cb3sportsperformance.com.


About CB3 Sports Performance:

CB3 is a multi-sport training center focusing on sports performance programs for every athlete and soccer skills coaching. Carlos Bocanegra, Captain of the 2010 USA World Cup Team, has brought his passion and love sport back to the I.E. Carlos has brought together a team of top level professional coaches and trainers to help train you to improve your skills and athletic ability. The mission of CB3 Sports Performance and Soccer Academy is to provide an elite level environment through coaching, fitness, and performance to empower the athlete to reach their ultimate potential. The building blocks to success at CB3 are built on the principles of Dedication, Determination, and Discipline. For more information, visit http://cb3sportsperformance.com/.