Let's face it, unless you are a professional level athlete, warming-up before you step onto the pitch as an adult is a bit of a rag-tag activity. I see so many people swinging their legs, standing around kicking a ball and generally not doing much of a warm-up at all. Aside from the fact that often times you may not have enough time to warm-up, I have concluded that knowing which activities are going to give you the most bang for your buck before you start to play are key in successful warm-ups.
I've compiled a list of my favorite exercises to do before I warm-up before a soccer game. None of these exercises involve touching the ball right away, because as we age, it is paramount that we get our muscles pumping to prep our bodies for the extremes of movement we will be performing. With that, I do recommend you get your foot on the ball before you play, just do it after your warm-up. If you're short on time and you want a nice, simple, go-to routine to get you started, this is a great place to start.
(*It would be encouraged to get a short jog in too before you jump straight into theses exercises)
1) Lateral lunges
Lateral lunges: A simple hip and knee exercise to get you prepped for the lateral movements expected in soccer. Take a nice wide lunge and keep the knee in line with the foot and ankle.
Perform 5-10 reps each side
2) Single leg hip hinge
Single leg hip hinge: A great way to get the blood flow moving through those hamstrings. As you hinge, keep your back straight and the back leg in line with your spine.
Perform 10 reps each leg
3) Squat jumps
Squat jumps: This is a great way to prepare for explosive movements, as frequently seen in soccer. Keep knees over feet and ankles and get low as you transition from the squat into the jump.
Repeat 10 times
4) Lateral bounding
Lateral bounding: One of my favorites to get ready for the cutting and pivoting expected in any game of soccer. Keep the landings low and get those muscles pumping!
Repeat 5-10 times each leg
5) Scissor jumps
Scissor jumps: The scissor jumps are a great finisher to get the breath going a bit more and complete the circuit of your warm-up with more power and explosiveness
Repeat 10 times alternating