The 6 Essential Core Exercises For Soccer Players

Every soccer player with good levels of fitness knows the importance of having a strong core and abdominals to perform well. Players should always be developing their core musculature using a variety of different core and ab workouts.

7 min read
Sean Klein
Written by
Sean Klein
Published on
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In This Resource
  • Benefits Of Core Exercises For Soccer Players
  • 1. Improved Performance and Strength
  • 2. Injury Prevention For Athletes
  • 3. Improved Recovery From Playing Soccer
  • The 6 Essential Core Exercises For Soccer Players
  • Sample Core Circuit For Soccer Players
  • More Exercises For Soccer Players
  • Common Questions
  • Do Soccer Players Need A Strong Core?
  • What Exercises Help A Soccer Player?

Soccer is a sport that requires vast amounts of athleticism, but it also needs athletes that are in peak physical condition. It’s no surprise that Cristiano Ronaldo, the player of the decade is in such good shape. Soccer performance can clearly be improved by improving physical conditioning and improving the core can be a large piece of that puzzle. Let’s have a look at 6 exercises you can use to improve your soccer performance.

Benefits Of Core Exercises For Soccer Players

1. Improved Performance and Strength

The benefits of good strength and conditioning protocols within sports have been illustrated for decades now. Developing a strong and resilient core musculature is a huge part of these training protocols as they can be important in improving performance. Different disciplines require different types of adaptation, but all soccer players can feel the benefit from having a well rounded base.

2. Injury Prevention For Athletes

When the full core musculature is taken into consideration and trained appropriately, it can have a large impact on mitigating injury for soccer players. Soccer requires vast amounts of impact, making joint stability in the hip joint, having a musculature lumbar spine and a body that can deal with a wide variety of compromised positions very important for an athletes developments.

3. Improved Recovery From Playing Soccer

Having a strong robust core can be the difference between being able to deal with physical contact without getting muscular soreness or not. If your body is strong it will mean the physical contact will have less of an impact and therefore improve both your recovery from training and match play.

The 6 Essential Core Exercises For Soccer Players

The A-Stance Pass through is a perfect example of a core exercise for soccer players. The core is a vast group of muscles, so much more than just the abdominals, and it needs to be trained as such. This exercise will work both the elements of the core musculature in the hip joint, the obliques and the erector-spinae.

Candle stick lowers are on of the most challenging variations available in our exercise library, making them very effective at strengthening the abdominal muscles. These should only be performed if they can be done with control, if you feel as if you are just falling towards the bench then it is worth finding a core exercise that is easier as it will create better adaptations than performing this exercise poorly.

Banded dead-bug holds are another very challenging core variation that are dynamic as the tension against the abdominals is constantly changing. For this exercise to be effective you need to make sure that the lower back is pressed into the floor and you remain in the extension position throughout.

The bear crawl hold is a very athletic position that will not only improve the abdominals but also the ability to deal with organic positions on field. During this hold make sure that you are keeping your knees close to the floor, lifting them will put more pressure on the shoulders and make the exercise easier on the abdominals.

The half kneeling DB crush grip cross chop will allow you to develop both your rotational strength and power. It involves both speed and control, with the upward portion of the exercise being fast and the eccentric portion being slow and controlled, this allows the exercise to work both rotation and resisting rotation making it a very effective core exercise.

The inchworm to hollow is an excellent way for soccer players to push their core to higher levels due to the difficulty of the exercise. Make sure you only walk the hands out to where you feel comfortable, the final position can be extremely challenging so place close attention.

Sample Core Circuit For Soccer Players

Complete 3 rounds

1. A-Stance Pass Through

Complete 4 repetitions

2. Banded Deadbug Hold

Hold for 30 seconds

3. Bear Crawl Hold

Hold for 20 seconds

More Exercises For Soccer Players

Common Questions

Do Soccer Players Need A Strong Core?

Yes. A strong core can help you as a soccer player by improving flexibility, balance and coordination while reducing risk of injury. Soccer players who focus on strengthening their core have better game performance because they have more power to throw into shots, faster speed, more agility and quicker reaction time to the ball.

What Exercises Help A Soccer Player?

A well balanced strength and conditioning programme that includes both strength, hypertrophy, core training, cardiovascular training is extremely beneficial to a soccer players performance and injury mitigation. This means that a vast array of exercises help soccer players, try and think about the principles behind the programming that help the performance, not the specific exercises.

If you enjoyed this resource you can find more below or try Programme, a fitness app that plans every workout for you – based on your progress, equipment and lifestyle.

This resource was written by Sean Klein. Sean Richard Klein has thousands of hours of coaching experience and a BSc in Sports Science with Management from Loughborough University. He owns a gym in Bayonne France, CrossFit Essor, which runs group classes and a Personal training studio.

Sean Klein


Programme is a workout app that plans every workout for you

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