In addition to training with the ball and aerobic conditioning, soccer players need to strength train. In particular, for soccer strength training, it is important to focus on exercises that will build core strength and leg strength.
Squats and lunges are both exercises that are useful in football strength training and can be performed either with or without weights. Squats can also improve a player's ability to sprint. An excellent variation for soccer players is the split squat which mimics the motion a player makes when kicking and builds balance along with strength. Split squats can also decrease the chances of knee and groin injury. The split squat is done with the weight on one foot that is thrust forward.
The forward lunge is good for developing hamstrings, calves and other parts of the leg along with the core. At least one study has also showed that forward lunges can decrease muscle soreness. Side lunges work the same muscles in different ways and are easier on the knees.
The plank or bridge and its variations, such as the single leg glute bridge on a bench or the side plank with leg lift, can also build the core, including the lower back and hips along with the legs. Another set of exercises that are good in soccer strength training are called plyometrics. These soccer strength training exercises build strength through jumping, hopping and skipping, and some plyometrics combine with other strength training exercises such as jumping squats to increase players' ability to make explosive leaps and decrease the injury risk while doing so.