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Best Stretching Exercises for Soccer

Here are a few of the best stretching exercises for soccer players

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Updated June 03, 2011

Soccer is a demanding sport that requires strength, agility, endurance and flexibility. Warming up and stretching appropriately can have a variety of benefits for soccer players no matter what your skill levels. Before you try the following stretches, learn:

1. Standing Quad Stretch

Quad Stretch
Photo © Stockbyte / Getty Images

The quadriceps (quads) make up a group of muscles along the front of the thigh. These muscles are the powerful muscles used in sprinting and kicking and often prone to fatigue and cramping. Here is a simple stretch you can do while standing

2. Standing Calf Stretch

Calf Stretch
Photo © Mike Harrington / Getty Images

The calf, or gastrocnemius, muscle runs along the back of your lower leg and in constant use while running the soccer field.

3. Seated Groin and Inner Thigh Stretch

Groin and Inner Thigh Stretch
Photo (c) Ryan McVay/ Getty Images

This simple stretch, sometimes called the butterfly stretch, is a great stretch for athletes who play field or court sports.

4. Iliotibial (IT) Band Stretch

Iliotibial (IT) Band Standing Stretch
Photo © Elizabeth Quinn

The iliotibial (IT) band is a tough group of fibers that run along the outside of the thigh that stabilizes the joints. It may become irritated from overuse or tightness.

5. Hip Flexors and Psoas Stretch

Hip Flexor and Psoas Stretch
Photo © Graham Mitchell / Getty Images

The hip flexors are a group of muscles that bring the legs up toward the trunk and help generate a powerful soccer kick.

 

6. Hip and Lower Back Stretch

Hip and Lower Back Stretch
Photo © Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

This simple stretch opens the hips as it stretches the muscles of the hips, groin and lower back.

7. Lying Piriformis Stretch

Piriformis Stertch
Photo © Mark Dadswell / Getty Images

There are many different ways to stretch the piriformis muscle in the glutes (buttock).

8. Simple Shoulder Stretch

Shoulder Stretch
Photo © Photodisc / Getty Images

This basic shoulder stretch can help open the chest and loosen tight shoulders before playing soccer.

9. Seated Hamstring Stretch

Hamstring Stretch
Photo © Vladimir Pcholkin/ Getty Images

The hamstrings need to be strong and loose to endure the demands of running and kicking. This stretch can help maintain length in the hamstrings.

10. Achilles Tendon - Heel Stretch

Achilles Tendon - Heel Stretch
Photo © Darren McCollester / Getty Images

The Achilles tendon may be prone to injury if tight, weak or fatigued. Use this stretch to keep it loose.

Related Video
Stretches to Reduce and Prevent Shoulder Pain

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