Full squats for soccer players?

A quick internet search for “soccer squats” will reveal tons of videos of players doing low or no load half squats. While half squats have a time and place in the training plan of athletes and there’s nothing wrong with bodyweight movements, the benefits of loaded, full range back squats for athletes has been validated by both research and observations of elite athletes over the years. The full range of motion (slightly below parallel) barbell back squat is perhaps my most used resistance training exercise. I believe it should be used year round with most athletes. With soccer players in particular, I believe emphasizing range of motion in squatting can be very beneficial as it helps to ensure ‘length and strength’ in the most important and most likely-to-be-injured lower extremity muscles. Here’s a video where I explain this philosophy with the North Carolina Courage.

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Mike Young

Director of Performance at Athletic Lab
Mike is the Head Fitness Coach for the North Carolina Courage and North Carolina FC. He is also the owner and Director of Performance at Athletic Lab sports performance training center. He previously served as the fitness coach for the Vancouver Whitecaps and Carolina Railhawks. He has a PhD in Biomechanics, an MS in Coaching Science, and a BSS in Exercise Physiology and has coached Olympic and professional athletes in Skeleton, Track & Field, MLS and NASL Soccer, PGA Golf, NFL Football, MLB Baseball and Olympic Weightlifting. He has lectured around the world and authored 2 books and dozens of research and coaching articles.