12 Soccer Stretches For Kids

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Just like warming up, stretching before any physical activity is always recommended. For kid’s soccer, this is very important so follow these 12 soccer stretches for kids before they hit the field running.

Generally, all stretch exercises for kids are good but in this post, I am going to talk about stretches that are soccer-specific.

Soccer involves a lot of running, turning, jumping, and kicking so you need to stretch all those muscles and joints.

The 12 soccer stretches described below are aimed at all the muscles of your kid’s body.

I am also providing variations of some exercise should the first is a bit challenging.

When your kid master these exercises it takes less than 5 minutes to complete.


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Why Is Stretching Important For Kids Playing Soccer?

  • Avoid injuries
  • Increases flexibility in muscles and joints
  • Increases agility
  • Relaxes tense muscles
  • Encourages muscle and joint recovery after playing soccer

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What Are The Best Times To Stretch?

Stretching exercise should not be done on “cold” muscles because it can cause injuries.

Instead, do it after warming up the muscles and just before doing soccer drills, practice, or games.

After the training or game your kid must warm down, these are similar exercises like the warm-up.

However, it is done to slow down the heart rate to normal and relax tense muscles and joints.

After warming down, it’s time to do the final stretching routine.

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Caution

  • Make sure your kid does not have any medical conditions or injuries that may be aggravated by stretching.
  • Stretching must not reach pain point – overstretching will cause injuries
  • Only perform stretching after warm-up and warm down
  • Stretching should be done slowly, not hastily
  • Do not hold breathe when doing stretching exercise – breathe normally

 

 


Tips

  • First, you need to demonstrate to your kid how to do the drill
  • Hold every stretch to the count of 5 seconds
  • You can repeat an exercise
  • Your range of motion might be very limited yet but you will improve over time

The stretches are arranged in a way that starts with the midsection of the body, then the lower body, and finally the upper body.

You can mix it all up so that it does not become boring for both of you.

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12 Soccer Stretches For Kids


 

 

1. Hips Rotating

Soccer stretch for kids - hip rotation
Mother and daughter performing hip rotation

The hips are the mid-section that connects the upper and lower body.

Tight hips are bad for playing soccer because players feel their movements such as running is limited.

Make sure muscles around this area are properly warmed up and stretched.

 

Target Muscles and joints

  • Lower back muscles and thigh muscles

Almost similar to the hula hoop movement.

  • Stand up straight with the legs slightly apart
  • Put your hands on your hips
  • Rotate your hip clockwise to the count of 5.
  • rotate your hips anti-clockwise

 


2. Side Twist

This is a simple exercise you can do with natural movement – no need to overdo it.

You can sit or stand when doing this stretch.

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Target Muscles And Joints

  • All back muscles, chest, and side muscles
  • Backbones and shoulder joints

Follow the following steps:

  • Stand up straight
  • Imagine that you are hugging a tree
  • Do not move your lower body
  • Slowly twist your upper body to the left until you feel the muscles at your back, chest, and side are stretched.
  • Hold it to the count of 5 seconds
  • Twist your body to the right and hold it for 5 seconds

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3. Lateral Stretch

Soccer stretch for kids - lateral stretch
A boy and a girl doing a variation of the lateral stretch

The exercise primarily stretches the muscles on the side of the body between the armpit down to the waist.

 

Target Muscles And Joint

  • All the back, hand, stomach, and thigh muscles as well
  • Back, hips, and shoulder joints

You can sit or stand when doing this stretch.

  • Stretch up your hands and hold it over your head
  • If standing, your legs should be slightly apart for balance
  • Keep your lower body stationery
  • Slowly bend sideways to the left then hold it for 5 seconds
  • Do the same to the right
  • You can also lean forward and backward with this exercise

 

 


4. Knees & Ankle Twist

Knees and ankles are the most common areas of injuries in soccer.

That is because the legs take a lot of impact due to a lot of running, kicking, and being tackled by other players.

Target Muscles And Joints

  • Lower back and thigh muscles
  • Knees and ankle joints

That is because the legs are used for running and kicking the ball.

  • Stand straight with your legs and knees touching each other
  • Slightly bend your knees forward and put your hands on your knees
  • Slowly rotate your knees clockwise to the count of 5
  • Rotate your knees anti-clockwise

 

 


5. Calf Stretch

No, I am not talking about baby cows here. The calf is the muscle behind the legs.

They are famous for the leg muscle crumps, therefore, it is important to warm it up and stretch it.

Targeted Muscles And Joints

  • The calf muscles
  • The ankle joints

This is a simple exercise that uses the tiptoe-like movement.

  • Stand up straight with your legs together
  • Hold your hands behind your back for balance, you can hold on to a chair, etc. for support.
  • Slowly lift up your body with your toes
  • Do that 5 times or hold it for 5 seconds
  • No other parts of your body should be moving except your toe

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6. Hamstring Stretch

Soccer stretch for kids - hamstring stretch
A girl doing the hamstring stretch exercise

Hamstring injuries are nasty, and they take longer to heal!

It is better to avoid them at all costs.

Targeted Muscles And Joints

  • Thigh (hamstring), back, and arm muscles
  • The hip joints

The hamstring is a big muscle and you must warm-up and stretch them thoroughly.

  • Stand up straight with your legs slightly wider than your shoulder
  • Slowly bend over to touch your toes without bending your knees
  • Hold it for 5 seconds then return to standing up
  • Or, you can reach for your left toe, return to standing
  • Reach to touch the floor beneath you, return to standing
  • And then your right toe, then return to standing

 

 


7. Quadriceps (Quads) Stretch

Soccer stretch for kids - quad stretch
Mother and daughter performing the quad stretch

The word “quad” means 4 in Latin, therefore, there are 4 muscle groups in the quadriceps.

They are important muscles for any soccer player who wanted to kick the ball stronger.

Targeted Muscles And Joints

  • The quadriceps and muscles in the hip area
  • Good for balancing

Your kid might need to hold on to a chair to achieve balance.

Here is how you do the exercise:

  • Stand up straight and pull back your left leg as if to touch your buttock
  • Hold it for 5 seconds
  • Repeat the same steps for your right legs.
  • You can repeat the exercise 2 time or more with each leg

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8. Butterfly Stretch

 

Soccer stretch for kids - butterfly stretch
A boy and a girl doing the butterfly stretch exercise

This exercise stretches the inner thigh muscles

Targeted Muscles And Joints

  • The inner thigh, groin, hips, and the lower back muscles
  • Leg, hip, and back joints

Do the exercise by following these steps:

  • Sit down on a clean floor or a yoga mat
  • Back straight up
  • Put your feet together so that your soles meet in front of you
  • Hold your feet together and gently lean forward
  • Hold it for 5 seconds
  • Repeat exercise at least twice

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9. Shoulder Stretch

Soccer stretch for kids - Shoulder stretch
Mother and daughter doing shoulder stretching together

The shoulder muscles give a soccer player upper body strength and balance.

Targeted Muscles And Joints

  • Shoulder, upper back, and hand muscles
  • Shoulder and elbow joints

Here is how to do the exercise:

  • Stand up straight in a natural position
  • Put out your left arm pointing forward
  • You palm facing the right direction
  • Place your right arm under your left elbow
  • Gently pull your left arm across your chest – your left arm is now pointing right
  • Slight twist your left shoulder
  • Look straight ahead
  • Hold it for 5 seconds
  • Repeat the same exercise for your right arm.
  • You can repeat each exercise at least 2 times for each arm.

 

 


10. Arm Stretch

Soccer stretch for kids - arm streching
A woman doing a variation of the arm stretching

The muscles in the arms provide strength and balance for the soccer player.

This is especially true for goalkeepers who used their hands to block, catch and throw the ball.

Target Muscles And Joints

  • All arm muscles
  • Wrist, elbow, and elbow joints

Here is how to to do the exercise:

  • Put out your left arm straight forward
  • Turn your palm to face upward
  • With your right hand, slowly turn your left palm down (thumb and fingers pointing down) so that it now faces forward
  • Hold it for 5 seconds
  • Repeat exercise for your right arm
  • Repeat the exercise at least twice for each arm

Alternatively, you can sit up straight while doing this exercise

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11. Tricep Stretch

SOccer stretch for kids - triceps stretch
A woman and a man doing the triceps stretch

The tricep is the muscle behind the arm between the elbow and shoulder.

It has 3 muscle groups that you need to stretch

Strong arms provide a good balance and support for your kid during soccer training.

You can do this exercise while sitting or standing

Targeted Muscles And Joints

  • Tricep and shoulder muscles
  • Shoulder and elbow joints

Here is how to to do the exercise:

  • Raise your left arm pointing to the sky
  • Behind your head, touch your right shoulder
  • Your elbow will be pointing upwards
  • Hold your elbow and gently pull your left to the right
  • Hold it for 5 seconds
  • Repeat the same exercise for your right arm
  • Repeat the same exercise at least twice

 

 


12. Neck Stretch

This simple exercise stretches the neck muscles

You can sit or stand when doing this exercise.

Targeted Muscles And Joints

  • Neck muscles
  • Neck joint

This exercise involves natural movements so do not be alarmed.

Here is how to do the exercise:

  • Look straight ahead
  • Without moving your body too much, turn your head to look to the left
  • Hold it for 5 seconds
  • Turn your head to look the right
  • Hold it for 5 seconds
  • Turn your head to look to the sky
  • Hold it for 5 seconds
  • Turn your head to look at your feet
  • Hold it for 5 seconds
  • You can repeat the exercise at least twice

 

 


Conclusion

If your kid follows these stretching exercises it will greatly improve his or her performance during soccer training, reduce injuries, and quicker recovery as well.

Some exercises can be done when you sit on the floor or standing, you can switch between these variations.

Remember, this is not only for soccer but for any physical activities as well.

And best of all is that moms and dads can take part as well.

Have fun, be safe, and enjoy your training

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Sources

Coastal Orthopedics

2 thoughts on “12 Soccer Stretches For Kids

  • October 16, 2020 at 11:16 am
    Permalink

    Drills of stretch are necessary fot kids after warm up

    Reply
    • October 17, 2020 at 1:09 am
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      Of course Mohamed, they are important.

      Reply

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