While many coaches see the weight room’s primary purpose as strength and power development or perhaps injury prevention, what if I told you that it’s primary benefit for a soccer player might actually be in enhancing running economy. That’s right. Strength training, if appropriately incorporated, can vastly improve running economy over and above even what additional running can in trained individuals. Running economy is a physiological indication of how efficiently an athlete utilizes Oxygen when running. An athlete with greater running economy can run at the same pace with less Oxygen consumption or faster with the same Oxygen consumption as a peer with worse running economy. Check out the slides form this presentation I gave for the NY Road Runners 1st Annual Coaches Symposium. The presentation has a lot of info not fully relevant to soccer players but slides 52-65 deal directly with the benefit of strength training for running economy….something that is extremely relevant given the duration and the aerobic demand of matches.
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