If you know nothing about soccer, but you’ve heard that it can be a good workout for you and you’re now debating whether you should play soccer as a workout, then let me share my humble advice with you: Go play soccer right now.
Soccer is one of the best zero-equipment full body workouts you can ever try. Soccer is a perfect workout for all ages and for both genders. It helps the players in burning fats, keeping balance, building muscle strength, and increasing bone strength.
Soccer is more than just running
The first thing that might come to your mind when you watch soccer is that the players are always running.
Running is a great workout and you probably already know that, but soccer is much more than just running.
When you play soccer, you not only have to keep moving all the time, but you’ll also have to keep going back and forth between running, sprinting, walking, turning, jumping, dribbling and so much more.
With that said, soccer is MUCH BETTER than running. When you run, you keep the same pace during your whole workout which allows your body to quickly adapt to the situation. This is not the case in soccer.
While you run on the soccer field, you might need to suddenly sprint when your friend throws the ball in front of you, or you might need to suddenly stop running in a certain direction and immediately switch to another direction, or you might need to run backwards, and so on.
These sudden adjustments to the way you are moving on the field make it harder for your body to adapt quickly and that helps your body to try it’s best to strengthen itself in order to adapt to the situation.
I don’t know if you have noticed before, but have you ever compared the legs of a soccer player with the legs of a marathon runner?
You’ll generally notice that a soccer player’s legs are more muscular than a runner’s legs. The reason behind that is what I have just mentioned earlier. Soccer isn’t just running. It is going back and forth between a group of leg movements in a very quick way.
Soccer involves a full body movement.
If you have watched a single soccer match in your life, you’ll notice that every soccer player on the field will have to move their body in all sorts of ways while playing soccer.
As mentioned in the previous section, you don’t just run when you’re playing soccer, but you sprint and walk.
But it’s not only about legs, soccer is a full body workout.
Neck and head workouts while playing soccer
Whenever you play soccer, you’ll have to constantly keep an eye on the ball. During the process, you’ll be moving your head and your neck a lot.
For example, let’s say that you’re running close to your teammate who has the ball. In this situation, you’ll need to keep running forward while looking at your friend who’s running right next to you.
So you’re not always looking in the direction that your body is moving when you play soccer, but you’re looking in all directions which can help you strengthen your neck muscles.
You’ll also need to hit the ball with your head many times if you are a defender or an attacker, and this will also help strengthen your neck muscles.
Middle body workouts while playing soccer
As mentioned before, you’ll be looking in a different direction than the one you’re moving towards, and this requires that you twist your middle body many times during the game.
With that said, you’ll be doing a lot of stomach twisting workouts during a soccer match without you noticing at all.
Chest workouts also exist in soccer. You’ll have to use your chest a lot when playing a soccer match.
Soccer players usually land the ball on their chests when it’s flying towards them. They also use their chests in various ways during a soccer match.
In soccer, when you’re running immediately next to your opponent while trying to grab the ball, you are allowed to put your shoulder on your opponent’s shoulder and push slightly in order to beat them to the ball.
Such an encounter with your opponents requires that you use your core strength to try and push them away while chasing the ball. Not that you aren’t allowed to hit them with your shoulder, you’re only allowed to keep your shoulder in touch with theirs and push.
Soccer helps strengthen your bones
As you grow older, your bones become weaker and any small fall can cause you a lot of damage. With that said, it’s always a good idea to find a way to strengthen your bones.
Soccer can help you do that. According to this ScienceDaily article, it’s better to play soccer than to just run if you want to strengthen your bones.
The article states that soccer helped increase the bone density of women aged between 20 and 47. It also improved muscle strength and balance.
The same article states that a very small amount of soccer training for men aged between 20 and 40 made significant improvements for these men in terms of muscle and bone strength, which brings me to my next point.
Soccer is a perfect workout for busy people.
If you’re a busy person, but you’re looking for a good workout routine to stay fit, then soccer is a great option for you.
Soccer gives you great health results in a short period of time. All you have to do is play 2~3 soccer matches per week. That’s it.
If each of the soccer matches is 1 hour long, then you’ve only taken 3 hours a week to train your full body, which isn’t a very long duration when compared to other workouts.
It’s also worth mentioning that soccer is more than just a workout. It is a beautiful game. You’ll have fun while playing soccer and you’ll be enjoying your time with friends too, something that you might not be able to do when you’re doing some workouts at home or at the gym.
Another thing worth mentioning is that soccer isn’t just a physical workout, but it’s a mental workout too. Soccer and mental health come along really well. You can learn more about that in this article.
Soccer is a perfect full body workout for you if you’re looking for a way to improve your physical health. Soccer can strengthen your bones and muscles and it can help you stay healthy and fit. The best part is that it does not take so much of your time and it’s extremely fun.