Heather Mitts, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, came back from blowing out her knee in 2007. She missed the World Cup as a result, and shared how painful it was to sit out such a big event.
"Injuries suck," Heather said, "but they also motivate you to pay attention to your training and come back even stronger." She shared the moves that strengthened the muscles supporting her joints and ligaments, making it possible for her to return and start every game for the U.S. at the Beijing Olympics.
Strength and balance go hand in hand. For sports like soccer, which rely on quick changes of direction, improving agility is vital. Being strong and stable will help do that. Remember: The weight room doesn’t have to be about lifting like crazy and bulking up. Get com fortable with basic strength moves to elevate your game.
1. Stand in front of a bench with one leg slightly raised
2. Sit into the squat
3. Touch your butt to the bench
4. Stand up out of the squat
Tip: A lot of injuries — like ACL tears — can be prevented if the muscles around your joints are strong. Resistance training helps.
You’ll feel the burn after a circuit of these jumping lunges. But over time, you’ll find that you can explode off a pivot into a powerful sprint as your quads and gluteus maximus get stronger!
1. Start in a deep lunge
2. Do a scissor jump
Tip: Get your arms into the action as you jump. The extra momentum will really get you up in the air, so you’ll get the most from this move.
3. Land and go straight into another deep lunge
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