A List of the Best Stretching Exercises for Soccer Players

A Few of the Best Stretching Exercises for Soccer Players

Soccer is a demanding sport that requires strength, agility, endurance and flexibility. Warming up and stretching appropriately can have a variety of benefits for soccer players no matter what your skill levels.

Stretching is an extremely important aspect of any athletic activity. Stretching allows your muscles to warm up and get prepared for the physical activity that they are about to endure. Proper stretching can greatly help to reduce the risk of potential muscle-related injuries like pulls, tears, and even cramping. It is recommended that athletes stretch for 5-10 minutes before and after athletic activity. As you grow older, stretching becomes increasingly important. 

Before you try the following stretches, learn:

Standing Quad Stretch

Runner stretching on urban walkway
Cultura/Mike Tittel/Riser/Getty Images

The quadriceps (quads) make up a group of muscles along the front of the thigh. These muscles are the powerful muscles used in sprinting and kicking and they are often prone to fatigue and severe cramping. The standing quad stretch is a simple stretch you can do virtually anywhere while standing. 

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Standing Calf Stretch

Calf Stretch
Calf Stretch. Mike Harrington / Getty Images

The calf, or gastrocnemius, muscle runs along the back of your lower leg and is in constant use while running up and down the soccer field. Muscles in the calf can become easily fatigued, and can also pull or tear in unfortunate situations. Thus, stretching of the calf prior to athletic activity is extremely important. 

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Seated Groin and Inner Thigh Stretch

Groin and Inner Thigh Stretch
Groin and Inner Thigh Stretch. Ryan McVay/ Getty Images

This simple stretch, sometimes called the butterfly stretch, is a great stretch for athletes who play field or court sports. It works to stretch several muscles in the thigh and groin area. 

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Iliotibial (IT) Band Stretch

The iliotibial (IT) band is a tough group of fibers that run along the outside of the thigh that stabilizes the joints. This area may become irritated from overuse or tightness, thus it is extremely important to stretch it out prior to strenuous activity. 

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Hip Flexors and Psoas Stretch

Hip Flexor and Psoas Stretch
Hip Flexor and Psoas Stretch. Graham Mitchell / Getty Images

The hip flexors are a group of muscles that bring the legs up toward the trunk and help generate a powerful soccer kick. They play a large role in soccer and other field sports, and must be stretched properly. 

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Hip and Lower Back Stretch

This simple stretch opens the hips as it stretches the muscles of the hips, groin and lower back.

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Lying Piriformis Stretch

Piriformis Stertch
Piriformis Stertch. Mark Dadswell / Getty Images

There are many different ways to stretch the piriformis muscle in the glutes (buttock).

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Simple Shoulder Stretch

Shoulder Stretch
Shoulder Stretch. Photodisc / Getty Images

This basic shoulder stretch can help open the chest and loosen tight shoulders before playing soccer.

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Seated Hamstring Stretch

Hamstring Stretch
Hamstring Stretch. Vladimir Pcholkin/ Getty Images

The hamstrings need to be strong and loose to endure the demands of running and kicking. This stretch can help maintain length in the hamstrings.

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Achilles Tendon - Heel Stretch

The Achilles tendon may be prone to injury if tight, weak or fatigued. Use this stretch to keep it loose.

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