Programming for a soccer athlete is primarily about making sure they perform the common movements significantly well. These include goblet squats, reverse lunges, pulling patterns (trap bar, SLDL), push ups, rows, chin ups, and core stability drills. Core stability is no different. The athlete is only going to benefit if you teach them how to get into the right position first before executing them. These are a few of the top movements that any soccer athlete can benefit from once starting a training program. These require the athlete to stabilize the pelvis in a neutral position (or to put them into a more neutral position) so that they prevent stabilizing through passive restraints (ligaments, spine vertebrae, tendons). Most extension-based athletes (soccer, baseball, hockey, offensive lineman in football) live in some sort of anterior pelvic tilt which stresses the lumbar spine, hips, and anterior abdominal wall to a significant degree. These next few movements should be executed with the ribs in a “down” position which encourages less extension through their mid/lower back which reinforces a move efficient and safe stabilization pattern.
- Instead of cueing the soccer athlete to simply squeeze their butt up, have them exhale all their air out first (feel the ribs sink down), slightly brace, and then squeeze their butt up. 99% of the time you’ll notice their hip extension is more limited but where it should be.
Wall Press Abs
- Just listen to Bill Hartman! Starting in supine (back on ground) is always a great place to start core stability and see how well they can control their pelvis and spine in an un-weighted position.
Front Planks/Side Planks
Have them start on knees and to keep hips (butt) squeezed all the way through. Next, see if they can take full diaphragmatic breath while holding that position. If too difficult, regress to on the floor again. 4-6 breath cycles is usually sufficient per set.
Cheers and more core stability progressions to come in the future,