Every time you kick the soccer ball, your hip flexors positioned on your upper thighs on either hip are engaged. Solid and flexible hips help you kick more precision, enhancing your passes and goal attempts. As a soccer player, ignoring hip flexibility would reduce speed, hinder performance, and increase the chance of injury.
Have you ever seen a player leap many feet into the air to score a header from a corner kick? Have you ever witnessed players “break ankles” with quick turns in opposition? Have you ever seen a player control a side shuffle to contain a defender? Have you ever witnessed players gear down from high speed and instantly shift directions?
Without the hips’ power and the various ways they serve, none of these soccer enormous activities would be possible. In additional detail, the hips perform the following four functions:
- Hip Extension
- Hip Flexion
- Head Adduction
- Hip flexion
You become a faster player and are less likely to sustain an injury on the field if you have strong hip flexors.
How to improve hip flexibility? You can improve your hip flexibility by performing various workouts. You need to do hip flexor exercises that specifically target your hip flexibility and soccer-specific drills that enlist them for activities on the field to strengthen them.
Brian Mac, a sports trainer, asserts that your ability to kick a ball forcefully is directly tied to the strength of your hip flexors. Your hip flexors and quads are the main muscles engaged when kicking a ball since you have hip flexibility and can extend your knee simultaneously. You need the power to kick a ball far and forcefully. Your ability to hit the ball with more force depends on how strong your hip flexibility is.
Speed is crucial in soccer when you need to be the first to the ball or to be in a position to receive a pass from a teammate. Your hip flexors raise and descend your thighs when you run and sprint. Because stronger muscles have greater explosive force, you can move them more quickly with good hip flexibility. To run faster, you also need a longer stride length. According to Mac, enhance your stride length to lift your knees high using the power of your hip flexors.
When playing soccer, pay attention if you hear or feel any popping, clicking, or grinding in your hip bones or if you have strong hip flexibility, are frequently uncomfortable, and require icing after a game. These are symptoms of being vulnerable to hip flexor injury, which can occur when weak hip flexors are overworked, or other muscles compensate for them as they become less durable. This can be avoided by developing strong and flexible hips off the field, as they will protect you from harm on the field.
Exercises and Drills:
Mac claims that resistance training is necessary to develop your hip flexors because sprinting alone won’t accomplish this. To strengthen your hip flexors:
- Perform split squats, single-leg squats, hanging leg lifts, and incline sit-ups.
- As you get better, increase your weight resistance.
- Run back and forth between two cones while maintaining high knees to perform high-knee drills.
- Bring your knees up to your chest while moving as quickly as possible between the rungs of a ground-level ladder.
Before or after a huge big game or a challenging workout, soccer players can benefit from various resistance training exercises to expand the hips and strengthen the hamstrings. Stretching enhances strength, endurance, and flexibility. Soccer players stretching before the game are less likely to suffer an injury. So keep moving quickly and enjoy yourself on the field.