How To Train for Soccer In the Off Season

Soccer is an incredibly demanding sport.  You must always stay in optimal shape in order to be able to perform.  Ideally, you should be able to show more determination and be stronger than your opponent.  During the off-season, it is important that you stay in shape. There is no formal football activity but you cannot lie down and let your body go off shape.

But you should also take care of yourself and consider taking a week or two right after the season ends.  This will help your body recover from the pressure of the entire season.  Now, your workout has to be one to maintain your shape and without overdoing it.

Beforehand, you should prepare your off-season diet plan and workout for soccer.  This must include exercises that increase intensity over the weeks.

How to Get Started

The main purpose of an off-season soccer practice is not only to avoid your muscles lagging.  It is actually taking advantage of the fact that you can repurpose your workout and focus on what you need.  This is the best time to address your strength needs as well as honing your skills.

Maintain your focus on two goals – build strength and power.  The first thing to do is to establish your baseline.  You will definitively need to work the bench press.  Test your maximum number of lifts and write them down.   Measure your vertical jump and your sprint.

Now, work on this baseline and make yourself some goals.  Remember, you should make it a goal to aim towards more strength.   The stronger you are, the better you will get at resisting injuries and the more powerful you will be towards your opponents.  Start with the big muscles – chest, back, and hip – and then move on to the others.

Work on explosive, sudden, and compound movements.  Focus on improving your core stability.

A Good Plan

Most experts will recommend an off-season program that involves no more than three days per week.  This to allow some rest time to the body after a rather long season.  A good plan involves adding strength to your muscles and agility to your legs.

Let us bring it down to a very simple three-month plan that you can use during the summer.  This plan is appropriate for both high school and college students.

Month 1

On these first four weeks, you should start with three days a week.  The focus here is to develop strength, speed, agility, and endurance.  Exercises here will include back squats, bench presses, pull-ups, sprint, and throw.

Month 2

In this month, you will have to increase the program to five days a week.  You already got your body accustomed to the demands of building muscle.  Now, you need to focus on strength and metabolic conditioning.  You still need to work on agility, speed, and plyometrics.

Month 3

We still work on a five-day plan that where exercises are more demanding and complex.  The purpose of this last month is to increase fitness levels.  You will include here all the exercises you did in the first two months with a greater intensity.

Protein Powder for Soccer Players – Yes or No?

Maybe we should go through the facts before answering the question. Soccer players make an immense energy output on the pitch.  Yes, most of the food they eat contains the amount of protein they need.  However, not only protein comes in the mix but other nutrients like fat and carbohydrates that take the room of much-needed protein.

This is one of the reasons we can say that soccer players can enjoy the benefits of a good protein powder that provides the protein that the body needs to build and repair.

Game Performance is Affected by What a Player Eats

This might sound like an objection to what we are suggesting here, but studies have proved that a diet rich in carbohydrates improves a player´s stamina. This is the resistance during the entire course of the game.  Carbohydrates are fuels that burn out rapidly in the body.  Every soccer player requires a solid input of carbohydrates.

However, when the muscles are torn and need repair, this is where a good protein shake comes in place.  Soccer players can drink this in order for the body to replenish itself with amino acids.

Why is Protein Important?

Athletes burn a bunch of calories with every session but they also need building blocks to work with and to repair tissue that has been damaged.  This is where protein comes in.  Proteins are the building blocks of the body.  If you want to grow a part of your body, you have to stimulate and provide the proteins necessary for that.

In the case of soccer players, they need this protein to build muscle, which is needed in the sport, obviously.  In average, athletes need 1.2 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight each day.  If a soccer player wants to avoid a diet that is not rich enough in proteins, they can supplement with a protein powder.

This powder is usually served as a shake or in a smoothie.  It can be taken right after a game or between meals, to avoid cravings for unhealthy stuff.

Protein Shakes do not Improve Performance

We do want to point out that an excess of protein or even the right amount of protein will not affect a player’s performance.  It is not only muscles that determine soccer dexterity.  Technically, soccer players should get their proteins from their diet.  But this is not always the case.

What protein does for the body is to provide muscle to grow and to repair damaged tissue.   But we make no claim that it will improve a player’s overall performance.

Ask a Professional

If you are in doubt of what type of protein shake is the best for you, Workout N Recover can help you with that. You should also seek more professional help if you believe your case is unique.

Returning to Soccer from an Injury

In one of our recent articles, we looked at ways that you can prevent injuries in soccer. Avoiding injuries is obviously the ideal situation; however, most of the time we simply can’t see them coming, or the forces involved are too large for our bodies to handle no matter what prevention methods we have employed. Fortunately, different sports tend to have patterns of injury, allowing us to design products specifically for those injuries, ultimately speeding up healing time and preventing further re-injury to the affected area. In this article, we will focus on return to play after suffering an injury, and how you can help make your recovery process as quick as possible.

Ligament Sprains – Early Stages

Ligament sprains are arguably the most common injury sustained while playing soccer, with ACL tears and sprained ankles being among the most common forms of ligament injury, particularly in women, who have shown a higher prevalence of ACL injuries when compared to their male peers.

Of course, your injury has to be assessed by a trained medical professional. In the case of a severe tear, such as a full rupture of the ligament, there won’t be too much you can do at first other than rest. This initial stage can be accelerated slightly by having the proper equipment to stabilize the affected joint. For example, the Breg T-Scope is a popular knee brace for post-op care of ACL surgery. This brace can immobilize your knee joint at various angles, and it can also be used with a limited range of motion, so it’s great for times when you simply can’t be laying on the couch. The main downside of this type of brace is that they tend to be quite expensive, so it can often be difficult to take the plunge.

Ligament Sprains – Returning to Activity

Eventually, your physiotherapist will likely begin to prescribe some gentle exercises in order for you to begin regaining a recognizable range of motion, as well as some strength to the muscles surrounding the joint. It really is amazing what a period of immobilization can do to the body, especially when inflammation is involved. Nevertheless, there are some ways you can instill more confidence in your ability to rehab without risking re-injury to the particular ligament.

In this case, braces are still good options, but models like the Breg T-Scope mentioned above will simply be too much and will be unnecessarily restrictive. In this case, braces that provide some level of support, but still allow a relatively free range of motion, can be great options to get you back into the game as quickly as possible. This is especially true when it comes to ankle braces, as there is a higher chance of contact with another person at the ankle joint than the knee joint.

For early stage recovery, you may find that some of the ankle braces that provide the support you need are a little bulky. You may constantly notice this, especially if you are wearing cleats, and your range of motion may still be limited. Don’t let this deter you. If you and a health professional both think a certain level of support and stability is necessary, do not waiver from that, as you could end up with a setback that will make the recovery process way longer.

Once you are feeling a bit closer to normal and have regained a decent range of motion and feel relatively strong, there are lots of ankle braces for cleats that will provide a nice comfortable fit, while also providing a little bit of support to help reduce the risk of re-injury. Many of these braces can actually be work once you feel 100%, and in this case, we are back to using them purely as an injury prevention method.


Rehabilitating an injury is never this simple, but knowing what is available and how things work can go a long way in assisting your recovery. Education is key, and much of this education can be done at home on your own by browsing around online and looking at an array of injury information as it relates to soccer. Even simple things like learning basic anatomy can help, as you will be able to better identify why certain areas hurt at different times. In any case, we hope the above information will help with your injury recovery, and hopefully we’ll see you back on the pitch sooner rather than later!

Common Soccer Injuries and How to Avoid Them

Soccer is a contact sport and at Vancouver Chiropractic Services, we encounter cases of players both professionals and newbies suffering from its most common injuries. These players want to be back to health the soonest but sometimes, the nature of injuries prevent that from happening. There are times when an injury has a previous cause and this time it’s just compounded. Here are some of the most common injuries that are experienced by soccer players.

  1. Sprain—This is the most common injuries experienced by soccer players. The most affected areas are the knee, lower leg, and ankle. The cruciate ligament is the most common ligament of the knee that gets injured primarily due to lateral movements and pivoting.
  2. Strains—Another common injury is muscle strain. Due to extreme contraction, excessive pulling against a resistance when the muscle is not warmed up enough, muscular injuries can occur. The groin the quadriceps and the hamstring is the most common muscles that get injured among soccer players.
  3. Fractures—Soccer is an activity that involves mostly the lower extremities and this is where fractures are likely to occur. The foot, the ankle, the tibia and fibula are the likely places that fractures occur among soccer players. Wearing protective gear with strong foam padding are strongly advised in order to absorb energy and prevent injuries.
  4. Head injuries—When players collide, injuries occur and its mostly in the head. It can also occur with improper heading technique. When you head the ball in the wrong places, not only does the head gets injured, the neck may also get injured.

Injury Prevention Tips for Soccer Players

What chiropractic care can provide in this case are injury prevention tips so that this can be avoided from happening. One of the most common causes of injuries is bad balance. When the body is out of balance, it will fall down the potentials for injuries are enormous. Chiropractic care improves balance by making corrections on the posture. When the posture is right, balance is right and hence, injuries are avoided.

Neck injuries often occur when you hit the ball with your head. Neck strengthening exercises are necessary to provide enough preparation for heading. You also have to use your hand to provide assistance when you head hits the ball. It is even better if you can wear a mouth guard similar to what boxers use to protect your mouth and teeth.

If you want to prevent injuries, proper warm-up is in order. This is because when the body is prepared for the activities ahead, it will respond in ways that are appropriate. It seems that the body knows the demands that you are about to subject it to when it’s properly warmed up. When it’s languishing, you can expect injuries to occur because its responses are also not good. So in order to prevent injuries from occurring, you have to have proper balance, wear protective gear and warm up adequately.

The Favourite Pastime in Porto

Football: The Favourite Pastime in Porto

Football is the favourite pastime in Porto,  Portugal. Porto, Portugal’s second largest city, is home to the internationally acclaimed FC Porto football club. Football was introduced in the country by their students who had gone to England to study in the 19th century. In the first match between Portugal and England, the former carried the day. Since that time, the game grew in popularity leading to the formation of clubs all over the country. The most popular local league is the Primeira Liga.

Football Obsession

People in Porto are so fond of football that some locals even tattoo themselves. Club logos, famous football players and coaches are among the common tattoos. People dye their hair and throng cafes to watch football especially international matches.Whenever their home team wins important games in the English leagues, the whole town is often in a celebratory mood.  Here is a video of the party after the 2016 Euro Win.

Being a national sport, football is so serious that there are magazines that entirely discuss football. An example is Dragoes published by FC Porto. On TV, right after important national news, football news is aired. More time is allocated to these news whenever it involves a win by the home team. Thereafter, international news can be aired.

Locals Playing Football

Praia de Matosinhos is a popular beach game in Porto. Every available space of sand, grass or even pavements is turned into a field. Securing beach goal posts is a coveted affair and those who are lucky to get one play for hours on end. Those who are left out use wood to build makeshift goals. Young children often turn pockets of grass into private miniature fields. Family and friends enjoy all day sharing in the joy of football. Blue and white FC Porto uniforms can be spotted dotting the landscape.

Some of the popular celebrities include Mourinho and Ronaldo. Vitor Baia is a player that holds the record for the second-most all-time appearances for Porto. Joao Pinto holds the number one spot. He had an uninterrupted career for 16 years at the club. Among the locals, if you do not know of such people, you may as well be ignorant of everything Portuguese. Other than FC Porto, two other most important clubs in Portugal are S. L. Benfica and Sportin Clube de Portugal. However, most football fanatics are divided between Benfica and Sporting.

In Porto, it is the dream of every small boy to one day join the home team and be the ‘Ronaldo’s’ of football.

Where to Watch Football in Porto, Portugal

Where to Watch Football in Porto, Portugal

It is called “the beautiful game” by many and attracts a lot of attention. Whether you are vacationing in Porto, the Capital of Portugal or you live in the city, there are good viewing centers where you can relax and enjoy the game of football.

To get the best viewing experience, there are things to consider before choosing a viewing center. This article will provide suggestions on where to watch football in Porto.

THE ENVIRONMENT: Your eyes will not be glued to the TV screens alone. If that were the case, you could watch a football match from the comfort of your living room or hotel room. This is why you need an environment that is conducive for mixing up with people that are jovial and are fun to be with. In a good setting, you find that you are at ease which makes finding a cafe or bar with spacious rooms a plus. Places like Cafe Piolho, Cufra Grill, Restaurante My Palace, and Bonaparte will afford you this luxury.

SOUND: There are restaurants and bars in Porto where the music is relaxing. So, if you are there before the football match begins, you get to enjoy a good music selection before the match comes alive on the big screen. Casa Agricola readily comes to mind as a place that fits this description. If your preference is the elated screams of people as they celebrate a goal or a victory, then it is best for you to join the crowds on the streets during European and World Championships. On such occasions, the Town Hall of Porto set up big screens at the Subway Stations of Avenida dos Aliados and the Subway Station of Edificio Transparente.

THE VIEW: There is also the pleasure derived in taking in a beautiful view. This attracts people to come in early to restaurants and bars, which is good business as they sell more drinks and meals. A place like Cufra Grill which is opposite the beach offers a beautiful view of the ocean which comes as a plus.

PROMOTIONS: You might not have known this is possible, but this is one of the beauties of being in Porto on a football matchday. A place like Bonaparte does organize promotions on matchdays based on what outcome a football game may likely have. This helps to generate a buzz around the place.

Watching a football match in Porto can be fun as the city has restaurants, bars, and cafes that offer a relaxing atmosphere to allow you get the best football viewing experience. There is the spaciousness of the rooms to consider as well as well-placed big TV screens. Music, food, wine, and fun people to be with are not lacking at these wonderful places where you can watch a football match.

You may like to know more about fine spots in Porto to stay and enjoy the beautiful game play out on the big screen. A good place to begin is here.