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How can I add strength and muscle without affecting my soccer skills?

Actually, adding strength and size will benefit your development as a soccer athlete.  Adding resistance training to your performance program will help establish strength gains and muscle growth.   For strength gains, perform lifting exercises for 4-6 sets of 1-5 repetitions, at an intensity of 85%-100%.  Continue using these variables in your workout for 3-4 weeks to see marked improvements in muscle strength levels.  Also, as a soccer athlete, engaging in this resistance training will add muscle size to your frame.  It is important to remember that strength training is only one part of a well-designed performance program.  A soccer player needs to continue to run and work on soccer-specific skills throughout the performance training program.  Integrating strength training into a soccer performance program design will have beneficial results for the soccer athlete.     
Paul Winsper
Sports Medicine

It is widely acknowledged that modern day players are stronger than ever before. This is due in part to improved training techniques. When planning a program it is essential to set out clear realistic goals for all components of fitness. One component that typifies the need for careful planning is the resistance training program to develop the player’s strength. To date many resistance training programs delivered to soccer players have been grounded in body building principles, isolating specific muscles incorporating exercises that have little or no relevance to game specific movement.  Being strong for soccer is about strengthening movements and not muscles. You should focus upon building strength initially through a full range of movement with little or no resistance, body weight will often suffice in the early stages of the program. Adding strength training to your program can have many positive benefits for your skills on the field. From a performance perspective a lack of strength may negatively impact the acceleration and power capabilities of  a player. Additionally research now informs us that strength training will serve as a vital part of an effective injury prevention strategy thus allowing you more time on the field developing your skills. Finally, the inclusion of effective movement based resistance training has been demonstrated to enhance joint stability allowing players to better handle soccer specific movements.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.