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Soccer uses muscles for running, kicking, shuffling and other footwork.
Soccer requires strength for kicking, trapping and heading the ball as well as running off the ball and defending. Since field players can't touch the ball with their hands except for throw-ins, the sport relies mainly on your lower-body muscles and core. To play your best, though, you need to strengthen all your muscles.
Upper Body and Core
Strong inner abs increase power in any movement, whether you're sprinting, jumping, blocking or trapping. The more power you have, the faster you can move. Building all the muscles in your core thus increases your sprinting speed. Arm, shoulder and chest strength can enhance other movements on the field by giving you more swing power and ability to hold off opponents.
Hips and Butt
The hip flexors, located as the name suggests at the front of your hips, contract to lift your thighs forward. Hip flexors are crucial for kicking power and coordination, whether you're shooting for a goal or passing to a teammate. The stronger your hip flexors, the faster you can lift your knees to maneuver around the field or trap the ball. Strong hip flexors increase your stride length and quicken your turnover, allowing you to sprint faster. Playing soccer also requires your glutes for virtually all movements involving explosive power. The body's largest muscle group helps with balance and stability, so strengthening the glutes increases coordination and agility on the field. Your glutes are used in sprinting, so stronger glutes can increase your speed.
The hamstrings on the back of your thighs, quadriceps on the front of your thighs and calf muscles below the backs of your knees, are all required for speed. They're also used in jumping and other explosive movements on the soccer pitch. Strong thighs protect your knees as you use your legs during a game, helping you prevent injuries. Train your hamstrings and quads with equal emphasis, because weak hamstrings frequently lead to injuries in soccer.
Slow-twitch muscle fibers contract at a slower speed. They're used in endurance activities, such as running at a steady pace, when there's enough oxygen in the blood to power your muscles. In soccer, you need explosive power to move quickly. Explosive power recruits fast-twitch muscle fibers, which contract quickly and use glycogen as fuel since oxygen can't get to them fast enough.