Sunday, 30 September 2012

Isometric Exercises for Soccer

Isometric exercise or isometrics are type of strength training in which the joint angle and muscle length do not change during contraction. Isometric exercise is a form of resistance training in which the participant uses the muscles of the body to exert a force either against an immovable object or to hold the muscle in a fixed position for a set duration of time. In this type of exercise, the muscle is contracted but does not change length during the exertion of force. Additionally the joint most closely associated with the effort remains static throughout the exercise.



Whilst actions in soccer are mostly dynamic, muscles may be employed isometrically to stabilize body parts whilst other muscles are active. Examples are the muscles in the standing leg during kicking or the muscles of the trunk. In these instances isometric training of these muscles is relevant. It can also be used to target areas of weakness within the range of motion at a particular joint. Various forms of resistance can be used for facilitating isometric training. A partner may provide an opposing force to limb or whole-body motion. The individual may attempt to move a load that is too heavy, for example pushing against a loaded leg press machine. Typically the effort can be held for 6–10 s with a longer period of recovery before a further attempt. Up to 20 repetitions may be performed for large muscle group work, 10–12 for light muscle groups. Electrical stimulation has been used in experimental conditions to elicit maximal contraction and the force generated may exceed that produced voluntarily. Its main use is in rehabilitation. Since the central neural input is bypassed when the muscle is stimulated electrically, this form of increasing strength is not advocated for soccer players.

Some of the common isometric exercises which will definitely improve your strength are discussed here
.

1. Plank



The plank is done for abdominal improvement. It engages the lot of muscles; in addition to strengthen your abs, you will also condition your back. This is one of the best core exercises that exists.
  • Start out by lying flat on the floor.
  • Slowly raise your body so that you are resting on your toes and forearms.
  • Keep the back flat and abdominal muscle taut.
  • Hold the position for 10-30 seconds.
  • Repeat this 2-3 times.
2. Isometric shoulder raises:



 This exercise is for improving your shoulder strength. 
  • Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart and the knees slightly bent.
  • Grasp the dumbbell in each hand and raise the weight out towards your side until it is at your shoulder length and your arm is parallel to your ground.
  • Hold the position from 10-30 seconds.
  • Repeat this exercise 2-3 times.
If this is too difficult, try lifting weight with one arm at a time until you can handle both weights at a time. 

3. Isometric squats:



This exercise is for quadriceps improvement.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your back firmly against a wall.
  • Slowly slide down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • If necessary, move your feet away from the wall to ensure your knees do not extend past your toes.
  • Hold the position from 10-30 seconds.
  • Repeat this exercise 2-3 times.
4. Isometric Calf raises:
This exercise is made for strengthen and improving calves.
  • Stand next to a wall on one foot and touch the wall lightly for balance, if necessary, but do not allow yourself to rest against the wall.
  • Rise up onto your toes.
  • Hold the position for 10-30 seconds.
  • Repeat this exercise 2-3 times.
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Friday, 28 September 2012

Light Muscle Group Exercises for Soccer

Now in this post we will discuss about the light muscle exercises which helps you in building them and improving your abilities and skills for playing better soccer in the field. So here are some of them you all will be definitely looking for.

Light Muscle Group Exercises:

1. Bench press:
The player lies supine on the bench with feet apart and supported on the ground on either side. Two spotters are used for precautionary reasons. The bar is taken from supporting stands by the spotters and handed to the athlete on his/her upper chest. This exercise is very popular with all athletes that use weight-training programmes.



       Taking the bar in too high near the throat is to be avoided on safety considerations. Normally a wide knuckles-up grip is adopted. A wider hand hold is used to handle greater weights, though this defeats the purpose of imposing greatest resistance on anterior deltoids and triceps. The wider grip promotes strength in the pectoral area, the narrower grip favoring a contribution from the triceps muscles. However, care must be taken that the grip is sufficiently wide not to jeopardize security and continual concentration is required of the spotters as 40 kg is sufficient to lacerate the facial bone from a fall of half a meter. The weight is pushed vertically from the chest. Prior to the movement it is necessary to have the chest full of air to provide a rigid base from which the weight is moved. The performer exhales after the weight ascends. The bar should be lowered slowly so as to permit complete control of the weight throughout. Altering the hand spacing affects the pattern of muscular involvement.Dumb-bells may be used to replace the barbell and, though this change means a lower resistance, it allows movement through a greater range.

An alternative procedure is to have the assistants lift the barbell, the player’s task being to control its lowering by eccentric muscle contractions. In this way,the limitation of performing only unidirectional work is overcome. Whilst heavier loads can be handled than in concentric work, the benefits of the training programmes are enhanced when both concentric and eccentric actions are employed.Bench pressing is ubiquitous in the weight-training programmes of athletes. It has been widely accepted by runners, jumpers and games players. It would seem appropriate for soccer players attempting to improve upper-body strength,making it more difficult for opponents to master them in physical challenges.The main muscles involved are the protractors of the shoulder girdle, the abductors of the scapula and the elbow extensors.

2. Overhead press:
Overhead press can be performed standing upright or sitting on a bench. The starting position can be from the chest but usually the weight is pressed vertically from behind the neck until the arms are at full stretch overhead, an inflated chest acting as a platform from which the action takes place. In the standing posture heavy weights may produce compensating movements in the legs or trunk to allow the action to be completed. In younger individuals acquiring the technique, an assistant can apply light pressure at the scapulae to prevent swaying. 



     Alternatively, it may help if the action is performed with immediate visual feedback from a mirror. If dumb-bells are used the line of action of the specific competitive performance can be employed. Goalkeepers, for example, may use one or both arms alternately or simultaneously at an angle of release in the sagittal plane of approximately 30 degree.

3. Pull downs:



This exercise is best performed using a pulley system. The bar to which the weighted pulley is attached is held overhead but to the front of the body. The task is to pull it down in front of the head to approximately chest level. It can be released under control and the exercise repeated. The exercise is sometimes described as a ‘lat pull’ due to the engagement of the latissimus dorsi muscle.

4. Rowing:



A rowing action may be performed from an upright or a bent-forward posture. Activity should be restricted to the arms and shoulders, with careful attention given to the exclusion of movement in the back and trunk. In both forms, the downward movement of the bar should be controlled. An observer can ensure the posture does not get progressively higher with each succeeding effort in bent-forward rowing. This deviation can indicate the performer is tiring and when fatigued the player is most likely to handle weights incorrectly. Again, the use of a mirror in learning the technique is recommended. A partner may be used to exert light pressure on the upper back to prevent accentuation of the lordotic curve.

    If performed in a quick jerky manner with the knees locked, damage to the inter vertebral discs can occur with pressure on the disc forcing its fluid-like center, the nucleus pulposus, to project posteriorly causing medical complications. This possibility can be avoided either by resting the forehead on a padded table while the lift is performed or bending the knees to about 15 degree flexion. This posture releases tension from the muscles of the posterior thigh and back and allows the lumbar spine to retain a normal curvature. The muscles isolated in this exercise are the latissimus dorsi, teres major and rhomboids.

    In upright rowing a narrow grip is used with the elbows pointing upwards. In bent-forward rowing the elbows assume a more lateral orientation. Both procedures are widely used by individuals seeking an increase in upper-body strength.

5. Overarm Pulls:



This exercise may be performed with the individual lying supine on a bench and feet supported on the ground. The arms may be held straight or flexed. A mild flexion is recommended to reduce strain on the shoulder joint. The weights lifted should not be unduly heavy, otherwise they will be difficult to control at the outer ranges of movement. The barbell may be taken from a position on the ground in a circular motion forward to a position over the chest or continued further to rest on the thighs. The serratus anterior muscle is stretched as the weight is lowered to recommence the movement. Correct timing of breathing is important, inhalation occurring as the weight descends towards the ground and exhalation as the load is taken back up.


6. Bicep Curls:



Curls implicate elbow flexion and may be performed with barbells or with one or two dumb-bells. It is difficult to operate at maximal loads in standing without other muscle groups being introduced to assist fatiguing elbow flexors. Again, care should be taken so that loads are not so heavy as to accentuate lordosis of the spine. The elbow flexors may be isolated by supporting the limb being exercised on a bench or table. The other limb should then be exercised to ensure symmetrical strength development.


7. Triceps Curls:



Triceps curls may be done with dumb-bells. These are held with the arms overhead, elbows pointed forward. From a position with the elbow flexed, the weights are brought forward as the joint is extended. This action has some similarity to the throw-in if two light dumb-bells are used together.
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Monday, 24 September 2012

Resistance Training Exercises for Soccer

Resistance training is any exercise that causes the muscle to contract against an external resistance with the expectation of increases in strength, tone, mass and/or endurance. The external resistance can be dumbbells, rubber tubing, your own body weight, bricks, bottles of water, or any other object that causes the muscles to contract. 

Resistance training is a form of strength training in which each effort is performed against a specific opposing force generated by resistance(i.e resistance to being pushed, squeezed, stretched or bent). Exercises are isotonic if a body part is moving against the force. Exercises are isometric if a body part is holding still against the force. Resistance exercise is used to develop the strength size of skeletal muscles.



Suitable exercises can be divided according to the amount of skeletal muscle engaged. Exercises involving the arm and the shoulder joint may be described as light muscle group work whereas large muscle group work employs the muscles of the thigh and those of the trunk. Training these muscle groups in particular is relevant to soccer.

   It is important that the exercises are executed correctly, especially when loose weights are handled. The most common injuries in weight-training are to the wrists, back and knee. Mostly they occur when heavy weights are being lifted or when the technique is faulty (Reilly, 1981). Injuries to the back tend to occur when spinal flexion is permitted. Safety should override all other factors when heavy lifts are being attempted.


Many soccer clubs have strength training facilities on their premises. They are often designed for players to use during rehabilitation programs. Few clubs would have facilities on the scale available to American football players at a top University in the United States. Nevertheless the equipment available at a commercial gymnasium with a specialized facility for strength and conditioning work would accommodate a whole range.

Exercises for resistance training:

LARGE MUSCLE GROUP WORK:

1. Squats

The squat thrust is one of the most favored exercises for games players. It does seem to be relevant to soccer. Wisløff et al. (2004) showed that maximal squat strength was correlated with sprint performance and vertical jumping in elite Norwegian players. The muscles involved are the plantar flexors of the ankle which act eccentrically to permit the closing of the ankle between the tibia and the foot, the extensors of the knee and hip, and the extensors of the spine and elevators of the scapula working isometrically. 



        In a full squat a loaded barbell is supported on the back of the neck. A piece of foam rubber or a towel is sometimes used to alleviate pressure on the cervical vertebrae. The body is lowered from a standing to a squat position, from which its weight plus the loaded barbell must be lifted by powerful contraction of the knee extensors. This exercise has been criticized because of the risk of incurring knee joint degeneration from strain on the patellar bursae. During deep knee bending without attendant weights, the patello-tendon force has been calculated to reach 7.6 times body weight (Reilly, 1981).

         In the full squat position with posterior aspects of thigh and calf in contact, the knee ligaments are overstretched and long-term ligamentous damage may be caused. In this position the lateral meniscus may also suffer from being caught between the femoral condyle and the tibial plateau (O’Donoghue, 1970). For these reasons performance of partial squats is advised, though full squats may be permitted at much less frequent intervals to provide maximum overload and maintain the joint’s range of movement.


          Maintaining stability during this exercise may present a problem for some individuals. Initially the player takes up a starting position with feet apart underneath the hips to provide best support for body weight. Stability is achieved by keeping the line of gravity within the base of support. This aim is effected by pushing the hips back slowly as the body weight is lowered. By retaining heel contact with the ground the base of support is kept relatively large and stability is facilitated.

      Balance may be assisted by elevating the heels by means of an inclined board or by performing the exercise with a board placed underneath the heels. A more satisfactory procedure is to use a steel rack which arrests movement of the bar in the fore and aft direction and which incorporates obvious additional safety factors. These racks are installed in all well-equipped gymnasia.


            More weight can be lowered than lifted, as the muscles work eccentrically when lowering a load compared to contracting concentrically when lifting it. Therefore, a useful modification of the half-squat is to overload the individual beyond maximal lifting capacity and to allow him/her to lower the weight slowly under eccentric muscular control. A weight about 120% of lifting capacity can easily be handled for six repetitions. If the stretching force is 130 to 140% of one concentric repetition maximum (1 RM), it is not possible to slow the lowering sufficiently in a free movement resisting gravity to permit the involved muscles to develop maximal tension. For safety purposes the load should be supported by pins at the end of the eccentric movement.

2. Power Clean:

This exercise involves approximately the same energy demands as a full squat (Reilly, 1983). The weight is lifted from the floor to above head height in one complete movement. Special attention to technique is needed in the initial-lifting movement. The knee-lift, with the back straight to prevent the turning of the spine into a cantilever with consequent spinal strain, is preferable to the back-lift with knees straight. Correct placement of the feet is essential prior to attempting the lift. The player should become accustomed to performing the action with the head erect and looking directly ahead in order to avoid the natural temptation to look down at the weight as he/she attempts to overcome its inertia. As the forces on the spine are a function of the distance the weight is away from it, it is recommended to keep the weight close to the body as it is being lifted.



         It is important not to suspend breathing when heavy weights are held overhead. When the breath is held and the epiglottis closed, intra-thoracic pressure is increased to a point that precipitates the Valsalva manouvre. This action results in a reduced venous return to the heart and consequent rapid drop in blood pressure with possible loss of consciousness. International weightlifters have been known to faint and lose consciousness during competition as a result of failure to time their breathing correctly.

3. High Pulls:



This exercise involves the same gross muscular action and equivalent energy expenditure as power cleans (Reilly, 1983). The barbell is taken from the floor to a height roughly in line with the clavicles. The player may increase the work done by coming up on to his or her toes to complete the lift, good co-ordination being demanded for this action. The elbows are raised above the bar at its high-point, which does not go overhead. Again it is important to keep the back straight during the lift as jerking into back extension, particularly during the early phase of the action, can lead to injury. The major muscles engaged in this exercise are the ankle plantar flexors, the extensors of the spine working isometrically, the shoulder abductors, elbow flexors and the elevators of the scapula.

4. Bench Step-ups:


Body-weight plus a weighted barbell provide the resistance as the individual steps repeatedly on to a bench with load supported on the shoulders. Ideally the bench should be matched to the stature of the individual, otherwise there is a risk of a quadriceps muscle tear where the smaller players operate with a high bench. When the weight used is too heavy, the rhythm of stepping may be disrupted with consequent danger of losing balance and incurring injury.


5. Leg Press:


This exercise entails knee extension and can be done from different postures. It is usual to start from a sitting position with the knees and hips flexed. Peak torque is generated at about 120 of knee extension and if the hip is flexed too much the angle of the knee will not allow enough force to be developed to move heavy weights. An alternative starting posture is a recumbent
supine position from which the weights are pushed upwards and vertically. It is recommended that the lowering of the weights to the starting position is performed under careful control.


6. Leg Curls:



In order to maintain the correct balance between flexion and extension, the hamstrings should be trained as well as the quadriceps. An appropriate exercise is knee flexion with the subject in a prone position. This activity is best performed using a fixed training station. The muscles are engaged eccentrically as the load is returned to its starting position.


7. Trunk Exercises:

Sit-ups (trunk curls or crunches)

The resistance is normally provided by approximately half the body mass which the abdominal muscles must move against gravity. The load on the abdominal  in a sit-up action from supine lying can be increased by holding a loaded barbell on the chest. This exercise is preferable on comfort criteria alone to holding a disc behind the neck. A partner may hold the ankles of the athlete to facilitate the action. Another variation is to sit-up with a twist, arms behind the ears, to touch each knee alternately with contra-lateral elbows.



         Exercise for the abdominal muscles is commonly known as performing ‘the crunch’ and there are several commercially available devices with claims of enhancing the training stimulus. Robinson. (2005) used electromyography of lower rectus abdominis, upper rectus abdominis and obliques externus abdominis muscles to investigate the effectiveness of five different abdominal exercises; these included a sit-up (crunch) with a 5-kg weight held behind the head and a sit-up with a commercial roller-crunch device. The highest stimulus to all three muscles was provided by a crunch whilst sitting on a ‘gym ball’, and a crunch with legs raised. The greater muscle activity in these exercises was attributed to the unstable surface and the need to support the legs off the ground. The commercial aid was no different from a standard sit-up in the muscle activity it induced.


8. Back Extension:
A basic exercise for the spinal muscles is to assume a prone position on the ground with the arms extended over the head and touching the floor. The head, arms and legs are then raised off the floor and this position is held for about 6 s. After a 5-s rest the exercise is performed up to 12 times.



An alternative is to take up a standing position, crouched at the hips with a barbell on the shoulders. The back is kept straight whilst the weight is lifted upwards, then lowered in a controlled manner to the starting point. This exercise must be done carefully and unduly heavy weights avoided.
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Thursday, 20 September 2012

Soccer Warm Up

Soccer warm up exercise is very important. It helps to prevent muscle strain and injury when playing for full 90 minutes. There will be many times where you might have to run flat out and it might just happens in first few seconds. If you are stationary and cold 1 minute, then running full out of next, you are going to be asking for trouble. 


A good soccer warm up meets 3 objectives.
  1. Decreases the risk of injury.
  2. Increases agility, skill, power and performance.
  3. Allows player to mentally prepare and focus on the game or at the session at hand.
A cold muscle is stiff and rigid. Sudden twisting, turning and stretching can place greater tension on muscles and connective tissue than they can handle. Warming up and stretching the muscles in soccer can decrease the risks of strains, sprains and muscle tears.
Muscles can also produce energy faster when they are warm. This can effect speed and power, not to mention the ability to perform complex skills and movements with accuracy and precision.

The Physiology of Warming Up:

A formal warm up has not been a tradition in the soccer community. The practice of warming up prior to playing matches was introduced into English soccer once it was evident how opposing European teams organised themselves in the hour before kick-off. Their appearance in the pitch for ‘ calisthenics’ and a ‘kick-about’ was a source of amusement at first, until it was realized that there was a distinct purpose to their behavior. It seems strange now that a practice which had a long history in other sports, most notably in track and field athletics, took such a long time to become accepted into the culture of soccer. Nowadays all professional teams in the English Leagues and in the major footballing nations have a warm-up ritual prior to their matches. They also place importance in the conduct of warm-up exercises before undertaking the more strenuous parts of their training sessions.
Besides, there is a sound physiological rationale for warming up before exercise. First, the term itself signifies that the objective is to raise body temperature so that performance potential is enhanced. As muscles use up energy in contracting, less than a quarter of the energy goes towards producing mechanical work, the remainder generating heat within the muscle cells. Muscle performance is improved as temperature rises, but only up to a point. An increase in body temperature of one degree Celsius is sufficient to get the maximum ergogenic effect on the active muscles. The easiest means of generating the necessary internal heat is by running.
There is also a role for injury prevention within the warm-up regimen(Shellock and Prentice, 1985). In this respect the type of activity is important. Stretching the main muscles due to be active later, that is by producing so-called eccentric contractions, gains a transient increase in flexibility. This enhanced range of motion improves the capability of the muscle to yield under the anticipated strain. Stretching the main thigh muscles is especially important before evening matches and in cold winter conditions. Particular attention is directed towards the hamstrings and hip adductor muscles. Tightness in these muscle groups is often found in soccer players and is associated with a predisposition to injury.
Injury prevention strategies are most effective when the warm-up is specific to the sport (Reilly and Stirling, 1993). This principle implies that the warm-up routines should include unorthodox running (backwards, sideways, agility runs with sharp turns) and game-specific motions such as jumping.
There are specific effects of the warm-up on the neuromotor system. Among the more obvious consequences are the likely psychological benefits of rehearsing well-practiced skills such as controlling and passing the ball. There is also the ‘potency effect’ of stimulating the nervous system by means of brief but highly intense muscular efforts prior to competition. Post-tetanic potentiation refers to the phenomenon whereby the size and shape of a muscle twitch are affected by previous contractile activity: the effect is thought to decay after 10–15 min. This practice has come from track and field athletics, most notably the ‘explosive events’, whereby maximal stimulation of skeletal muscle about 15 min or so prior to the main event seems to benefit performance in the subsequent anaerobic exercise. Only a small number of such pre-event efforts is advocated; for example, 2–3 all-out 15–20 m sprints included in the body of the warm-up should be sufficient. The so-called ‘fast-feet’ drills do not provide the necessary forceful stimulus as these routines emphasize speed rather than force but they are nevertheless useful for preparation purposes. 

HOW MUCH WARM UP IS REQUIRED?
It is important that the warm-up should be neither too long nor too intense overall. Otherwise, the regimen itself begins to draw on the body’s energy stores rather than prime it for action. Unnecessarily reducing the body’s glycogen reserves would start to negate the best laid training and nutritional preparations of the previous week. There is a balance to be struck between the ‘arousal’ and ‘activation’ benefits on the one hand and the induction of ‘fatigue’ on the other. It is feasible that all the requirements of a good warm-up can be incorporated into 20–25 min without being hurried.
The intensity and duration of the warm-up should be reduced when the weather is hot. Even at a temperature of 21.5 C, a 15-min warm-up run at 70% O2 max for 15 min that raised rectal temperature to 38 C caused impairment in exercise performance. The performance measure was time to exhaustion on an intermittent exercise protocol that consisted of repeated runs at 90% V O2 max for 30 sec separated by 30 sec of static recovery. A passive heating procedure that produced a similar elevation in core temperature led to a more premature exhaustion.
A further benefit of warming up is the opportunity it offers to do work with the ball. In conjunction with this effect is the graded alert given to the nervous system by means of a smooth elevation in the arousing hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline. There is also a chance to get a feel for the playing surface and the likely competitive ‘atmosphere’.
A final consideration is the timing of the warm-up so that its benefits are not lost before the game starts. Muscle and body temperature will remain elevated for some minutes after exercise is finished; body temperature might even continue to rise for 3–5 min or so since warm blood is still being circulated throughout the body. Players at this stage will gain advantage from the short recovery and the private respite for their final mental preparations. Irrespective of the level of play, the warm-up routine has relevance. This protocol must be modified to suit the needs and capabilities of the amateur. Both physiotherapist and fitness trainer can be involved in planning the details and accommodating any individual requirements.
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Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Science of Training in Soccer

Everybody concerned with the game of association soccer (football) realizes that training is a necessary part of preparing for competition.Playing soccer itself is only one part of that preparation. There is a requirement to be fit to play, to work on correcting physical deficiencies and enhance individual strengths.

The basic purpose of training is to improve human capabilities in all their manifestations. These capabilities are characterized in physical, physiological, psycho motor and psychological attributes. Their maximal expression, for example in fitness assessments, comprises limits to human performance, and training programs must therefore be designed to raise these functional limits. The player may be deemed to be adequately fit when he or she has the capabilities to meet the demands of match-play in all its aspects Further improvements in fitness will enable the player to operate at an even higher level of performance and match tempo.



     The ideal level of fitness is arguably never achieved. Athletes always strive to improve, to push their limits as far upwards as possible. As soccer makes demands on the majority of the body’s physiological systems, fitness for the game includes many factors besides competence in game skills and tactical awareness. A key aim in fitness for soccer is to enhance or maintain fitness in areas of strength while correcting weaknesses. In this way the goal of securing an optimal combination of fitness measures can be realized. 

The process of training takes place in a dynamic context where short-term goals may change, often on an irregular or unanticipated basis. At the early stages the immediate aim may be to become fit enough to train more intensively, the more strenuous preparation later being orientated towards match-play. This situation may apply after a long recess or absence through injury. During the rehabilitation period a systematic program of exercise is first needed before the individual can train again with the ball. The recovery process entails recurring cycles in which training is stepped up on a planned basis until the individual is ready to be integrated into team training.



     If vigorous exercise is undertaken too early in the normal training process, the player may be unable to cope and might even incur injury. As a result he or she regresses rather then improve. Even a well-trained individual may be overloaded too far and eventually succumb to injury if there is insufficient time for recovery between strenuous training sessions. The key to effective training is to experience the appropriate training stimulus at the right time. Some of the principles in doing so are now outlined.

Fundamental Concepts:
A basic principle of training is that the biological system to be affected is overloaded. The training stimulus or stress presented is greater than that which the individual is normally accustomed to. Otherwise there is no requirement for the body to adapt and force the occurrence of this adaptation process.

Adaptation entails functional changes in the skeletal muscles and other tissues that have been engaged in exercise. At molecular level the exercise stimulus switches on signal transduction processes that activate intra-cellular responses. Genes carry the genetic information encoded in DNA to build proteins and mRNA for several metabolic genes are acutely elevated after a single bout of exercise. Alterations in ultra structure occur concomitantly with recovering from the session inducing overload As physiological adaptation takes place, the training stimulus is more easily tolerated. For fitness to improve further, the training stimulus must be raised to a new level for a renewal of the overload principle.

        It is clear therefore that the training process is progressive and goes through a spiral of overload – fatigue – recovery – adaptation. If the training is progressed too quickly, ‘ over training’ may be the result. This state is one in which performance falls rather than continues to improve. It can also be induced by training too much at any stage. The concept of progressive overload was accepted from the time of the ancient Olympic Games. The fabled Milo of Croton gained his strength by regularly lifting a growing calf over his head each day. The improvement in fitness over time is not a linear process. The greatest improvements in fitness accrue during the early stages of a fitness training program. Gains become increasingly difficult to obtain as the tissues approach their theoretical limit of adaptability.

The law of disuse indicates that the fitness of the organism deteriorates if it is not regularly subjected to load. Gains in fitness are reversed if the training stimulus is too low, if the athlete has incurred injury or training is abandoned during the off-season period. Gradually the physiological adaptations acquired through strenuous training are lost as ‘de-training’ sets in, although the rate of loss may be less than that at which gains were acquired. Without exercise skeletal muscles atrophy and the bones of the skeleton lose mineral content and become weakened. Some physical activity during detraining and recovery from injury helps to reduce the fall in fitness level and eases the later return to fitness training. The principle of specificity suggests that training effects are limited to the pattern of muscular involvement in the conditioning exercises that are used.



    Different types of motor units exist within skeletal muscle so that a given type of exercise recruits a specific combination of motor units best suited to the task in hand. Training programs for soccer should, whenever possible, be related to the demands of the game. In some instances training can be designed for players to work ‘with the ball’. In other instances, for example in training the strength of the hamstrings or abductor muscle groups, it is necessary to isolate the muscles for specific training.

The principles of overload, reversibility and specificity contain a framework for designing and regulating training programs. Their operation at a generic level provides an understanding of how continuous adaptation is achieved. At the outset individuals will differ in their capabilities due to genetic factors. They will also vary in the extent to which these capabilities can be improved in training.The trainer’s quandary is how to tread the thin line separating optimum physiological accommodation from unwanted harmful overload and a failure to adapt.

The training stimulus:
The effects of training depend on the physiological stimulus provided by the exercise undertaken. The dimensions of exercise are its intensity, its duration and its frequency. A consideration relevant to these factors is the type of exercise performed. The intensity of training is sometimes referred to as its quality. It may be quantified in physiological terms, depending on the type of training. 

Aerobic training may be expressed as a percent of maximal oxygen uptake or as a percent of maximal heart rate. Alternatively it may be characterized as, corresponding to, or exceeding the ‘anaerobic threshold’. The rating of perceived exertion is a subjective means of indicating the severity of exercise. The lactate accumulating in the blood provides an index of the intensity of ‘speed – endurance’ training. For strength training the intensity may be gleaned from the %X-RM, that is the percent of the maximum load (repetition maximum or RM) that can be lifted x times.



 The duration of training is expressed in minutes, especially appropriate when the exercise is continuous. Equivalent alternatives would include the overall work done or the distance run. Intermittent exercise is best broken down into exercise to rest ratios and number (and duration) of repetitions. The length of the intermissions between sets of repetitions should also be prescribed. For example, a session of weight-training may include 3 sets of 6 repetitions of 6-RM (100%) with 3 min between sets whilst an interval training session might be 6-times 600 m with 3 min in between each run.

The frequency of training refers to how many separate training sessions are undertaken each week. These may include sessions twice-a-day at certain parts of the competitive season, especially during the pre-season period. Fewer sessions would be expected at times when the competitive calendar is congested with fixtures. These training dimensions are not entirely independent as they interact with each other. Intensive training cannot be sustained for as long as say skills training at relatively low intensity. Low-intensity work promotes a preferential use of fat rather than carbohydrate and can therefore have a role to play in implementing a weight-control programmes in conjunction with a dietary regimen. High-intensity training can make demands on the body’s energy systems and on its connective tissues, and so activity needs to be varied on consecutive days to allow these systems to recover. Altering the type of exercise can permit the stressed areas of the body to be rested while other areas are overloaded. An example is where speed – endurance running on one day is followed by training in water or deep-water running on the next day. Similarly a morning session may consist of conventional soccer skills and training drills with the ball whilst the afternoon session might engage trunk and upper-body muscles in strength-training. Players with lower-limb injuries may continue to train the upper body, and maintain aerobic fitness by use of cycle ergomcycle ergometry or exercises in water. In these ways a reversal of fitness is prevented while recovery processes are taking place. e try or exercises in water. In these ways a reversal of fitness is prevented while recovery processes are taking place.

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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Mental Development for Soccer

Too many players make the mistake of neglecting the mental side of Soccer. If you are one of those players, please do yourself a huge favor. Raise your right hand and smack yourself in the face.

Just joking, I don’t want to promote any self abuse, but seriously if you’re going to neglect the mental aspect of your development, you're abusing your future as a Soccer player. Being mentally strong is just as important as being technically skilled or physically fit. If your mind isn't on the same level as the other aspects of your game, your Soccer career is going to suffer.

You need to be Motivated: 



The more consistent you become with your training, the easier it will be for you to keep your motivation up. If you find yourself running a little low on motivation, simply take a second to think about how it would feel to finally achieve your dreams. Have you ever accomplished something that took hard work and dedication? If so, you know how good it feels when you finally turn your goals into accomplishments. You’re probably experiencing that feeling right now just thinking about it. Wouldn't you like to feel that way again? Stay motivated. Earn your success.

You need to be focused and disciplined

If the big party this weekend or beating the next level of Grand Theft Auto, is more important to you than improving as a Soccer player, then there’s seriously something wrong with your priorities.



Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with enjoying a party with some friends, or relaxing with some video games. I do both from time to time. But when these distractions become your main focus and Soccer becomes second, you need to make some serious adjustments. Stay focused on your goals. Stay disciplined in your efforts.

You need to commit yourself to improvement:



Every day you wake up you have an opportunity; you can either move forward or backwards. You can either put in the necessary work to become a better Soccer player or you can say “I'm good enough” and take the day off. Don’t let this happen to you. 

 "The key to making it as far as you can as a Soccer  player is continually improving". 

Do you think the best players in the world were born that way? Not a chance! They worked hard every day of their lives (well maybe not every single day,but definitely a majority of them) Each day make an effort to improve as a Soccer player even if is in the smallest detail. Those small improvements will add up over time to make you the type of Soccer player you want to be.

You need to be open to criticism:



Don’t be stubborn. Don't be one of those players who thinks they already know everything there is to know about Soccer (and life for that matter). Your coaches, teammates, and parents are only providing you with criticism and
advice because they want to help you improve. They want to help you see your dreams come true. If you want to improve (and I know you do) be open to any criticism. Listen to their advice and try apply ing it to your game. If you honestly feel that the advice they are giving you isn't valuable, then don’t use it, but still be respectable and listen to what they have to say. Who knows, that little piece of advice might help you get to the next level.

You need to remain positive:



“Whether you think you can or can't... your right” - Henry Ford. The best thing you can possibly do for your Soccer career is work to eliminate negative self-talk and self-doubt. You have enough doubters and people hoping you fail as it is, you don't need to add to the army.

Be confident in your ability as a Soccer player. If your not, start putting in the work to get to where you want to be. However, no matter your skill level, remain positive on the Soccer field. If your thinking about messing up before you receive the ball, you will. If your thinking about succeeding... you will. Stay positive.

                           " Always look for solutions instead of problems". 

Stay positive with yourself but also your coaches and teammates. Being negative and critical of your teammates isn't going to help anyway. Remain positive and make the most out of every situation. Developing your Mental skill sets is something that takes years to master but as long as you are looking to learn and improve you will be miles ahead of your competition. The earlier you can get your head around this concept the better, so no matter how young or old you are work to develop your mental toughness. When times get tough your ability to remain mentality strong is what will carry you through.
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Saturday, 15 September 2012

How to Improve Soccer Ball Control

Can you trap a ball? Probably. Can you trap a ball under pressure? Not sure. When controlling the ball, you should always a goal in mind knowing whether you will pass it to your team member, or dribble at a defender will affect what kind if thing is best.

Without precise ball control, how can you excel at the top levels of play? In fact, how can you excels in the lower levels too?

How to control the ball

There are two types of ball control, i-e receiving and trapping. Receiving means directing the ball into space away from the body whereas trapping involves stopping the ball right at your feet

Receiving


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Receiving is useful when running to space. Try to make contact with the middle or top part of the ball. Tap it lightly in the direction that you want to go. Good soccer players can settle the ball into open space, even when they are under pressure. This often provides them an extra space over the defender.

Trapping



Trapping is typically used when the ball is going too fast to redirect with your first touch. The most important part here is staying loose and on your toes. You cannot adjust to the ball when you are stiffed or flat-footed. Try keeping your hips open, facing the direction from where the ball is coming. Put you foot in the path of the ball and cushion it. To cushion the ball, gently withdraw your foot just before the time of contact.

So here is i'm going to share a video tutorial which should be kept doing for maximum improvement in controlling the ball.




By practicing like this, you will be able to know and realize the position of the ball, how it will fall on your foot and how much power you should use to handle the ball. Then it will also help improve your ball handling in long passes or passes which made from one side of the ground to another during matches.

It will be helpful in improving your skills and determining how you come over the ball and handle it in pressure situation.
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