Soccer players must have cardiovascular and muscular stamina to exert energy at full power for the duration of a soccer game. Soccer games generally last for 40 minutes or longer, during which players walk, jog, run and kick almost consistently on fields that can be as long as 100 yards and between 50 to 100 yards wide. Stamina training for soccer should include exercises that build cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance and speed, all of which are necessary for players to be effective.
Running is a high-impact activity that enhances cardiovascular fitness when done regularly. It strengthens the heart and improves its pumping ability, making it more efficient at supplying oxygen and nutrients to the lungs and other vital organs. Running on a treadmill, on a track or through town helps soccer players build the muscular endurance and stamina they need to run throughout a large soccer field for an hour or more. Run for 30 to 60 minutes daily to build the stamina and endurance you need to play soccer without tiring quickly.
Interval training is switching between high-intensity and low-intensity movements. This type of training is important for soccer players because they must consistently alternate between walking and running or jogging and sprinting when trying to get or maintain control of a soccer ball. Conditioning your body through interval training allows you to expend more energy than you would if you exercised at a single speed. This not only builds your lung capacity quicker, it also enhances your ability to switch between slow and fast movements during games with greater ease. Alternate four minutes of jogging with one minute of sprinting or five minutes of moderate cycling with one minute of vigorous cycling to increase the intensity of your cardiovascular workouts and to build stamina quicker.
Lower-Body Strength Training
If your muscles are weak, they cannot sustain you during long periods of continuous movement. However, muscles that are strong can exert the maximum amount of energy needed to play a full game of soccer. Strength training your entire body is important, but soccer players should place greater emphasis on exercises that build muscular strength and endurance in the legs, such as lunges and squats. These exercises can help to increase the power of your kicks and the amount of energy you expend while running up and down a soccer field. Perform two to three 12-repetition sets of squats or lunges every other day, adding an additional set every couple of weeks to continuously develop muscular power and stamina in your lower body.
Circuit training combines cardiovascular and strength-training activities, allowing soccer players to build both cardiovascular and muscular stamina with one workout. Circuit training elevates the heart rate and keeps muscles active for the duration of an exercise routine. Alternating five minutes of jumping jacks with one minute of pushups for 20 minutes is an example of circuit training. Use any cardiovascular and strength-training exercise of your choice, and complete 20 to 30 minutes of circuit training three to four times weekly. Gradually increase the duration of your circuit training workouts to further enhance your lung capacity, build stamina and improve your overall soccer game.
Before starting her writing career, Tanya Brown worked as an eighth-grade language arts teacher. She also has a background in nursing, with extensive experience in urology, neurology and neurosurgery clinics. Brown holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and is pursuing her master’s degree in educational psychology.