Current approaches to strength training may overlook some essential aspects required to optimize a soccer player’s performance capacity. A recent study published in Sports Medicine—Open investigates how combining high-intensity or explosive strength training, together with high-intensity endurance training, can improve physiological and performance parameters that may improve a player’s ability to cope with in-season training demands and the demands of competition.
Strength/power training programs that incorporate soccer-specific movement patterns, a wide range of movement velocities and different training surfaces, are preferred over traditional resistance exercise programs. Optimal power development may be achieved through training methods that combine different exercise modes like weight training, plyometric training and sport-specific force-based actions. Strength/power training programs should also incorporate a significant number of exercises targeting efficiency of the stretch-shortening-cycle.
Manipulation of training surfaces can constitute an important training strategy, for example, when players are returning from an injury. Sandy surfaces may be a good alternative for the execution of plyometric programs during periods of high-volume, high-intensity, or high-frequency training (e.g., pre-season) and when athletes are recovering from injury and trying to regain physical capacity.
The most sensitive period for training is in-season. While one wants to maintain or even increase pre-season fitness gains, a high volume of training and/or competition interspersed with insufficient recovery may result in overtraining and fatigue. Technical staff face the constant dilemma of determining the proper dose/response to allow the cycle of training/competing and recovery to be effective.
From a training frequency perspective, two weekly sessions of strength training are sufficient to increase a player’s force production and muscle power-based actions, with one weekly session being adequate to avoid in-season detraining.
Read the full article here: Strength training in soccer with a specific focus on highly trained players
Related articles: The efficacy of exercise in preventing injury in adult male football: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials and Influence of the MCT1 rs1049434 on Indirect Muscle Disorders/Injuries in Elite Football Players