Soccer has become a power and speed game. No longer are soccer coaches and soccer players with current information doing long slow cardio runs for soccer fitness. In fact these types of running drills do the opposite to help you run faster.
A safe and effective way to become a faster runner on the soccer pitch is to find a jump training drill program. Sometimes you will the hear term “plyometric training”. In a nut shell this type of training teaches the muscles in your legs to stretch or lengthen then quickly contract or shorten.
A couple of examples of plyometric training exercises are jumping forward and backward or doing single leg hops. In a jump training program it is vital that it is naturally integrated with any other training you do.
Jump training is very intense as it puts a lot of stress on the nervous system. If the training is done incorrectly they can be a major setback in strength, speed and power!
It is vital that when you are learning how to run faster that there is a progression of exercises from double leg jumps to single leg jumps and soft landings to repetitive jumps.
Here is simple drill progression may be done over a ten to sixteen week period.
1. Jump to a box or solid stool about a foot from the ground. This may be done for a week. Next you may progress to a higher box or stool the following week. Do this five times for five sets twice a week.
2. After two or three weeks progress to jumping over the box or stool and holding the landing. Again you may do this exercise five times for five sets. The progression for this exercise is increasing the height of the stool or box you are using.
3. Two or three weeks later progress to jumping over the box then add a small hop after the landing. The reps and sets are as before and the progression is the same with the stool or box.
4. Finally progress to continuous jumps over five boxes or stools. Again the sets and reps are the same as the previous exercises.
Allow at least 2-3 minutes rest in between sets for the continuous jumps.
Introducing jump training drills to your personal training will help you run faster and allows both the nervous system muscular system adapt naturally to the changes in the program and prevents you from getting burned out, injured and slow. You want to run faster on a continuous basis so it is important to have a gradual increase in the exercise intensity otherwise the body develops “plyometirc syndrome”. You may be familiar with your legs being heavy for a few days and feeling weak, which you obviously want to avoid.