Warming up is extremely important. Doing so reduces the chance of injury and allows a player to perform at his/her peak faster and for longer. Here is an example of a soccer warm up routine:
The first step is to increase circulation, especially from the parts of the body that have poor circulation like the ankles and calves. Professional players start with a light massage by the team’s physio or massage therapists. Next is some active warm-up with about ten minutes of light jogging. If you have seen a similar warm up, it involves jogging forward, sideways along with some backpedaling and rotations.
Soccer coaches agree that as part of warm up, dynamic stretching is better than static. This is because static stretching does not move a muscle through its full range of motion, increasing the chance of injury. Dynamic stretches have you running through the full range of motion and increase the flow of blood and oxygen to the soft muscle tissue.
The typical set of dynamic stretching includes:
This is the final phase of the warm up. This is called technical because it involves actual soccer movements. Some teams run players through a compressed practice session to prime the nervous system.
It might seem a long process, but a good warm up will allow you to play at your best for longer, all while minimizing the risk of injury.