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Top 9 Dynamic Stretching and Warmup Drills for Soccer

Aug 07, 2019

AUTHOR: Laura A. Sapper, ATC, SCAT

Dear Soccer players! 

We all love the game. We love soccer, the World Cup, and all the excitement surrounding the sport. Players are getting faster, stronger, and more competitive each year. Unfortunately we are seeing more and more injuries especially in our female athletes. We may not be able to prevent all injuries, but we can significantly reduce the risk of injury! This is what Made 2 Move is all about. We love rehab and getting athletes back and better than ever from an injury, but keeping athletes on the field while injury-free while becoming stronger, faster and more agile is our ultimate goal!. We’ve compiled all the latest research for you and now we know the 3 most powerful tools to help reduce our risk of injury. 

1- Dynamic Stretching and warm-ups
2- Strength training
3- Limiting overall training volume

Today, we want to dig into the first tool – Dynamic Stretching and Warm-ups!

This is a really simple tool that can be used easily on and off the the field. You can do it at home and before practice or games. These specific dynamic warm-up and stretches incorporate the active movements that are specific to soccer and athletic performance. It is important to use dynamic movements in order to help reduce the risk of injury and ensure you are ready to begin activity at the highest level. Here are our top 4 exercises you can start incorporating immediately into your daily routine.

1. Dipping Bird


Start with feet together. Shift weight to one leg with a soft knee, then hinge forward at the hip with the chest held high, keeping a flat/level spine until you feel a pull in the hamstring and then hinge back upright and repeat on the opposite side. Repeat 10 times on each side.

2. Dynamic Adductor Stretch


Start with legs wider than shoulder width apart. Sit butt back like you are sitting in a chair as you perform a side lunge. Switch slowly from side to side 10 times on each side. Do not allow the knee to cross over the toes.

3. Dynamic Hip Flexor Stretch


Stride forward with one leg while kneeling with the other leg. Raise the arm on the side of the back leg to stretch and reach across your body holding the stretch for 1-2 seconds and repeating 10 times on each side.

4. Dynamic Hamstring and Calf Stretch


Stride forward with one leg while kneeling with the other leg. Raise the arm on the side of the back leg to stretch and reach across your body holding the stretch for 1-2 seconds and repeating 10 times on each side.

Team Based Dynamic Warm-Up

The following are exercises that you can incorporate into a team/partner routine before practice and games to help you warm up and get your body ready for activity:

1. Forward and Backward Jog



Jog at 50% of maximum speed 15 yards, then jog backwards to start (repeat 2 times)

2. Single Leg Squat Toe Touches:


Balancing on right leg, bend right knee and hips to touch right foot with left hand, return to upright. Repeat 10-15 times alternating legs until you’ve gone 15 yards. Job backwards to starting line.

3. Run and Cut


With a Soccer ball, sprint and dribble ~4 steps to the right at a 45 degree angle, then plant outside leg and cut 45 degrees in the opposite direction while maintaining control of the ball and go ~4 steps in the opposite direction. Repeat in each direction until you’ve gone 15 yards. Jog back.

4. Sideways Shuffle Squat


Keeping your knees and toes facing forward, sit butt back as if it were in a chair and shuffle 15 yards, then shuffle back to starting point facing the same direction.

5. L-Hops


Line up ~6 feet apart from a teammate. On a single leg, hop in an L shape landing as softly as possible: Forward, Lateral, to Center and Back to starting point. Hold the single leg balance and pass the ball to your teammate before switching feet and repeating. Repeat 10 times on each leg.

Tips to Remember:
-Keep knees and toes facing the same direction.
-Knees should never go over the toes when bending.
-Core should be tight and you should focus on pulling your belly button to your spine.


UNC Sports Medicine Laboratory, Peak Control Training Program, 2011

The effect of warm-up, static stretching and dynamic stretching on hamstring flexibility in previously injured subjects, Kieran O’sullivan-Elaine Murray-David Sainsbury – BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders – 2009


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