Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world, played globally at many different levels, with an accompanying growing zealous fan base. Despite the fact, however, training programs for soccer players, expect at the pro level, are antiquated, primarily focusing on endurance and skill develop.

Though important elements of the sport, today’s game allows more physical contact than ever before. Therefore, it’s a great benefit to soccer players to participate in a well-rounded, sound fitness program – including weightlifting/resistance training – to help them even the pitch.

Here is a list of five exercises to help address the need for strength, speed and explosive power.

Chest (Pushups and Dumbbell Chest Presses)

Pushup (view demonstration)

The basic pushup is a great way to start your chest workout.


If a regular pushup is too difficult to complete, try modifying it by doing it on your knees. This will help you build up to a regular pushup.

Frequency: Perform 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps, 2-3 times per week. Work your way up to multiple reps of 20-25 and higher as you get stronger.

Dumbbell Chest Press

For the chest, many weightlifters rely on the bench press in order to get stronger. But it’s a good idea to add various dumbbell movements in order to help increase the development of your pectorals.

I recommend dumbbell presses, because dumbbells allow for a greater range of motion (ROM), igniting a larger recruitment of muscle cells with each rep, thus forcing more muscle growth over time.

It’s important to note, while dumbbells do allow you to move through a wider range of motion, it’s vital to adhere to a strict form in order to maximize the exercise, and avoid injury. So slow and steady, with a weight that will challenge you without sacrificing form.


Frequency: 3 sets of 6-8 reps, 2-3 times per week.

Shoulders (Deltoids)

Shoulder Dumbbell Presses (using a military bench for back support) – View Demonstration

Just like chest dumbbell presses, I like the dumbbell shoulder presses for the same reason: a greater ROM. Plus, it hits all the major deltoid muscles.


Frequency: Perform as many repetitions as possible, even to complete exhaustion, if you can. Twice a week should suffice.


While there’s an enormous amount of running associated with the sport, it varies in intensity and duration. Many of the times, a soccer player will need to rely on quick surges of speed in order to bypass a defender or catchup to the offense.

When to Execute:

After completed a full soccer practice or a fitness workout, partake in seven to 10 sprints of 40-50-yard dashes twice a week to train the body to perform while its spent. This will help give you the more efficient ability of tapping into your gas reserves when you need it most.

March 3rd 2016, written by Jerry Del Priore for Bodono.

Jerry Del Priore has worked as a certified personal trainer, and received his degree in Physical Education from Brooklyn College in 1991. Jerry is also a veteran print and digital Sports Writer-Reporter-Author experienced in writing in-depth profile stories on a variety of high school, college and professional athletes and teams.

Additionally, Jerry has developed a presentation based on his book, Running Through Roadblocks, which encourages children to overcome obstacles and never give up…no matter what!

Specialties: Baseball, football, hockey and basketball writing. Jerry also has covered lacrosse, soccer, golf and track and field, with ample experience cover women’s sports. Jerry is also a Food Writer/Blogger experienced in venue write-ups and reviews.

In addition, Jerry has ample experience working with medically fragile children, children with behavioral challenges and children with cognitively impairments.

Read Jerry Del Prior’s book: Running Through Roadblocks and view his blog at