Weighted vests make everything harder.
Then when you take them off, everything suddenly seems easier. You can run faster, jump higher and do everything for longer.
They are great for strength workouts, but do they make sense for soccer training too?
It seems like a no-brainer.
A weighted vest for soccer training will give you a serious advantage, right.
It can. But it can also cause serious injury.
You need to make sure you get a good weight vest and use it correctly. If you do that and are reasonably fit, you should see definite benefits from the use of a weight vest.
Keep reading to find out exactly how it can help you in your soccer training, plus everything else you need to know.
Table of Contents
- 1 Weighted Vest For Soccer Training
- 2 Weighted Vest Drills For Soccer Players
- 3 Soccer Training With Weight Vest: Final Thoughts
Weighted Vest For Soccer Training
To understand how a weighted vest can help you during soccer training, we have to first take a look at what soccer training typically entails.
What Soccer Training Looks Like
Soccer training has a lot to do with leg movements (as you might imagine), so there is a heavy focus on leg muscles and kicking speed.
But a lot of soccer drills are actually aimed at increasing overall stamina, endurance, and improving your center of gravity, to make those difficult shots and make use of that fancy footwork.
These are the common training drills you’ll run into.
The goal is to beat your opponent down the wing, and still be able to shoot (and score). You can imagine how much more difficult this is with a weighted vest on.
Ball control is everything. Small cones sit between you and about twenty feet of space in front of you. You step between the cones while controlling the ball and swiveling it left to right.
Circle Of Cones
Similar to the cone exercise, except the cones make a perfect circle. You continue until you either make a mistake and don’t get the ball between the cones, or you get exhausted.
This is where a weighted vest might actually lend you more power, but don’t let it get to your head. One-touch shooting is simply kicking the ball with immense force (towards the goal) without any dribbling prior to the kick.
Sometimes known as the long pass, this is when you lean into the ball with your non-dominant leg at a 45° angle, and pull back power on your dominant leg to drive the ball as far forward as possible. These are fun, to say the least, with weighted vests on.
Does A Weighted Vest Help?
Yes, a weighted vest can definitely help you with your soccer training. But it might not be a good idea for everyone, because it does have its downsides when it comes to joint health.
In general, it comes down to your level of fitness. As long as you’re healthy and relatively fit when you start using a weighted vest for soccer training, you should be able to handle the extra weight.
But you should know that the injury risk with the vest is definitely higher than without it. As long as you use it correctly, you should be fine though.
Of course, this assumes you get a quality vest that has an even weight distribution and a good fit. Females should get a weighted vest made for women. A man’s vest simply won’t fit right.
With a good vest and assuming you use it correctly, you can see an increase the following physical and athletic attributes.
In short, your endurance is your ability to sustain stress and expend your stamina for a certain period of time. The more endurance you have, the more you can do, the more you can train, and so on.
If you’re used to a twenty pound vest on your shoulders every time you train soccer, imagine how fast you’re going to be once you take it off. The difference will be incredible when it comes to game time.
Can you actually become faster from using training weights? Well, yes, you can.
You can time yourself running a hundred meters with a vest on and repeat this over and over. You will begin to decrease your time with the weight on.
Then when you take the vest off, it should be no problem for you to shave even more time off the clock. It’s not an enormous increase, but you could reasonably become 1% to 10% faster, if you train with a weighted vest.
Altered Muscle Growth
Resistance is the path to stronger muscles. Without resistance, you’re not going to bulk up in the slightest. When you’re adding resistance and then pressure, you’re going to see results.
When you add a weight vest to standard training practices that would normally yield slow muscle growth, you boost the muscle growth from those exercises. But again, you need to use the vest correctly to reduce the risk of injury.
This may not benefit you in soccer as much as it would for other sports (i.e., basketball), but it still provides value.
While the difference is not huge, it has been proven that after using weighted vests for extended periods of time throughout your normal training habits, you can actually jump higher at the end.
Weighted Vest Drills For Soccer Players
We know that sprinting with weighted vests works (specifically for soccer players).
But are there any specific drills that can you use to maximize the benefits?
You might be surprised to learn that drills targeted at weight vest users don’t really give you any advantage over standard soccer training drills. All you really need to do is add the vest to your normal training to begin reaping the rewards.
Even applying a 10% bodyweight vest could be enough to start seeing these benefits, without being too large of an obstacle in your normal soccer training regimen.
Practice using the same cone exercises, one-touch shooting, three-goal drills, and everything else in your training program, but with the added difficulty of the weighted vest.
Think of it like turning up the difficulty level in a video game: it’s the same game, it’s just harder for you right now.
Soccer Training With Weight Vest: Final Thoughts
Weighted vests have their place, but not if you have medical conditions that put you at great risk. You also need to buy a top quality weight vest, use the vest correctly and make sure you don’t overexert yourself to the point of exhaustion.
In the end, it all depends on your training style, and what you hope to achieve from using a weighted vest. Most soccer players may actually benefit more from ankle weights or leg weights than from weighted vests.
If you want to be faster, more agile, and hit new heights that you just can’t seem to hit through your current training regimen, adding weight can help you get there. Your best bet is probably to try different types of added weights (a vest, ankle weights, etc.) and see which works best for you.