Soccer warm up exercises are the most frequent in pre match situations and training. There’s no other type of exercise that a soccer player will spend more time with then with warm up. Professional teams usually spend around 30 minutes of their training sessions on a quality warm up, because this has three major effects on players, effects that we will discuss in the following paragraphs.
Soccer Pre game Warm up – Avoiding Injuries
Our muscles and tendons can easily cause problems if they are used at their fullest without a proper series of soccer warm up drills. The muscles work on the same principle as an elastic string would. Pull it slowly and the elastic will be able to stretch without problems, but if you pull it in one quick motion, there’s a risk it might snap. Ok, your muscles won’t just “snap” if you use them intensely without the proper warm up, but there’s a good chance you might strain them or develop other injuries.
That’s why a good part of soccer warm up drills includes stretching exercises, which slowly get your muscles used to the effort.
The Importance of Soccer Pre game Warm up – Higher Performance
It’s not called warming up for nothing: when performing these exercises, you actually warm your muscles and entire body, allowing it to be ready for effort. By performing soccer pre game warm up exercises, you set your muscles, heart rate and breathing to the same levels you will be using in the match, so you can easily accommodate to the variables that the match brings.
Try this very simple exercise to test this theory: warm up for 30 minutes thoroughly, using a wide range of soccer warm up drills that work with your entire body, not just your legs. After you’re done, do 5-10 sprints on the width of the soccer pitch and measure your heart rate and the general difficulty of each sprint.
Now, come back in another day, do a couple of stretching exercises so you don’t develop any injuries and simply start sprinting (the same number of sprints as the day before), without getting a proper warm up beforehand. You will notice that you will have harder time breathing throughout and between the sprints, they will be harder to perform and at the end, your heart rate will be much higher than yesterday, meaning that your body had a harder time adjusting to the high level of effort.
The Importance of Soccer Pre game Warm up – Concentration
This is strictly related to the other two benefits of a quality warm up. Knowing that you’re fully prepared for the match/training session and that there’s no risk of injury, you will be a lot more focused on the game and on doing your job right. Soccer warm up exercises will also get your body ready for the effort as I explained above and this has a positive effect on concentration. When you’re not focusing on having to breathe right or stopping to catch your breath, you can, again, concentrate on your job.
These should be enough reasons to convince you of the importance of soccer warm up exercises. If you’re a player that wants to give his or her best on the soccer pitch, your first concern will be giving your best in the soccer pre game warm up drills.