Top 10 General Strength Exercises for Soccer

When soccer players want to improve their power, speed or agility, they look to explosive exercises to train the lower body more aggressively. However, before we can get the most out of those power based exercises, we need to develop a balanced base of strength. Although soccer players rank very high across the sport spectrum in terms of lower body strength, they typically fall short in the upper body strength category. This can have a negative effect on their ability to train for power.


A weak upper body and/or core can negatively impact your ability to train your legs. Here’s an example… If a soccer player wants to do weighted jump squats, or powerful cable / medicine ball rotations for lower body power (see video above), they have to be able to support the weight in their hands and control their posture through the core. If either of these two areas are weak, they won’t feel comfortable using a weight heavy enough to challenge their legs. For this reason, we start off with our top 10 strength exercises that will translate into powerful, aggressive movements as they become more confident.

Key Strength Exercises:

First, lets look at what we consider to be the key exercises of a athleticism focused general strength training program:

Lower Body:

  1. Squat (Body Weight, Dumbbells or Barbell)
  2. Rear Leg Elevated Split Squat (Body Weight or Dumbbells)
  3. Box Step Up (Body Weight or Dumbbells)

Upper Body: 

  1. Upright Row (Dumbbells)
  2. Bent Over Row (Dumbbells)
  3. Shoulder Press (Dumbbells)
  4. Push Up or Floor Press (Body Weight or Dumbbells)


  1. Marching (arms only)
  2. Marching (arms and legs)
  3. Crunch Throw (medicine ball)

These are the foundational exercises from which we build around. We broaden this foundation with hundreds of other exercises (plyometric prep work, rhythmic work, etc.) and then progress these into powerful, athletic bursts. To download the full 4 Phase Progression to athletic power, get access to our Athletic Strength Foundations Manual and take your game to a whole new level.



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