Warming Up before Soccer with a Stretching Routine
Part of the Soccer For Dummies Cheat Sheet
Before a game or practice, every soccer player should run through some sort of stretching routine. A qualified fitness coach can put together a personalized program. If a customized routine isn't possible or practical, try the following stretches.
Quadriceps: Stand by a wall. Bend one leg up behind you using one hand to steady yourself against the wall and the other to keep your leg in place by holding onto your foot. To make the stretch, gently pull your foot upwards.
Hamstrings and lower calf: Sit on the ground. With one foot extended out in front of you, extend your arm towards your foot. While sitting bolt upright, keeping your back straight, run your arm as far down your leg as you can.
Groin: Sit on the ground. Place the soles of both of your feet together, so your knees are bent out to the side of your body. Then, while keeping your back straight, try to press both of your knees as close to the ground as possible. Push your chest out while you do this.
Lower back: Lie down on your back. Pull one or both of your knees towards your chest while keeping your shoulders and head on the ground.
Calf muscle and Achilles tendon: Stand by a wall. Place one leg forward, bending it at the knee. Push forward against the wall, keeping your back foot flat on the ground. The forward leg stretches your Achilles tendon and the back leg stretches the calf muscle. Switch legs and repeat the stretch.
Hip flexor: Get on one knee. Bend your rear leg so the knee is near the ground while extending your front leg and your hands towards your toes.