Being healthy and fit is the key to peak performance in any sport. The top soccer players in the world, Messi, Ronaldo, Mueller, Schweinsteiger, Iniesta, Xavi, and countless others, all have this in common...they are all physically fit and they also eat the right types of foods in order to help the body perform at its peak. They have to, or else they cannot perform on the highest level. Too often clubs, trainers, parents and players overlook this fact. In today’s game, in order for you to experience any success, you must pay attention to your health, to what you eat, to any injuries you sustain, and you must continue to work on your fitness.
Soccer is a very demanding sport that requires agility, speed and power. It is important to have a well-developed body in general, not just ripped stomach and legs. Well-rounded musculature not only makes you quicker and more powerful but it also decreases your chances of injury.
At the very heart of becoming a great athlete is not only having a strong and powerful core, but one that will reduce injury. Most every strength and conditioning program should have at least two goals: 1) improve performance 2) reduce injury.
What is the core? The core is where the body’s center of gravity is. Many people think of the core consisting solely of the muscles of the stomach. In actuality the core consists of the parts in the lumbar region, pelvic region and hip region.
Comprehensive is the key word when designing a solid program. No longer is it sufficient to just do crunches or sit ups. Current core training programs focus on training the hip, lumbar and pelvis region. Why is training the core important? 1. The core is where all movement begins. 2. “A weak core is a fundamental problem inherent to inefficient movement that leads to predictable patterns of injury.” 3. If our arms and legs are strong but our core is weak there will not be enough force created to produce efficient movements. 4. If you have bad core strength, specifically hip instability, the energy will leak out at the hip, then the body must compensate, thus leading to injury. 5. By strengthening the core one becomes more able to better utilize the muscles of the extremity like the legs and arms.