Jogging and stretching soccer warm up drills

Soccer (football) warm-up drills are essential to prevent injury and prepare your players for both training sessions and matches. Use the following ideas for fun and effective, all-round warm ups.

Start the soccer (football) drill

Get your players to kick off the soccer warm-up drill by doing five minutes of light activity, such as walking or jogging on the spot.

Pump your arms or make large but controlled circular movements with them to help warm the muscles of your upper body.

One of the best ways to warm up for soccer is to organise a drill using the ball at a slow pace. This will allow your players to do the movements they will use during your soccer training session or matches:

  • Kicking a ball,
  • Tapping from foot to foot on top of the ball,
  • Dribbling and making turns, side-stepping and jogging.


Once your players have done gentle movement, tell them how to stretch their muscles.

  • A static stretch should be held at the point where your players can feel the stretch but do not experience any discomfort. Tell them that if it hurts, they should ease back.
  • Tell your players not to bounce when holding the stretch. Don’t spend so long doing stretches that your players’ muscles cool down and their heart rate returns to normal.
  • Get them to keep moving to keep their blood pressure and heart rate up.

Try a circle soccer drill

This is another soccer (football) drill to warm up your players and makes a change from simply running widths of the pitch.

Make a big circle about 20 yards in diameter (the size of the centre circle).

  • Players should be an arm’s length apart from the player to their left and right.
  • Place a cone in the centre of the circle.
  • Have the players jog together to the cone then jog backwards to the outer edge of the circle.
  • Vary the runs to the centre – high knees, heel flicks, side stepping, lunge strides, hop on one leg or any stretching motion you like to use. Keep the intensity light.


Click here to order a copy of The Ultimate Soccer Warm Ups manual.

Click here for a soccer drill to kickstart your soccer coaching sessions.

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