At EXOS, whether we’re supporting the World Cup champions from Germany or training elite youth club teams, one thing we focus on for all soccer players is a strong pillar. Your pillar, which consists of your hips, torso, and shoulders, is the foundation for all movement. Without a strong pillar, you can’t perform your best. Learn all about the benefits of a strong pillar, and try our recommended movements to dominate the pitch.
The most effective soccer players know the value of balance. They can dribble in both directions, pass with both feet, cut hard to the left or right, or recover on defense when they’re beat in either direction. When you strengthen your pillar and improve your body’s stability, you’re strengthening both sides of your body and increasing balance. The more balanced and stronger your pillar becomes, the more effective you’ll be on the pitch.
When your pillar is weak, you exert extra energy to control your arms and legs. When your pillar is strong and aligned properly, your body uses energy more efficiently on drills rather than on trying to control and stabilize your limbs. As a result, you’ll produce more strength and power and you won’t fatigue as quickly. This is key if you want to play strong and hard for 90 minutes.
During the course of a game, you make many split decisions — cut, jump, recover, pass, block, etc. — that place a large amount of force on the body. Without a strong pillar, these dynamic movements cause extra stress on your knees, hips, back, or ankles, which repeated throughout a long game, often results in injury. A strong pillar allows you to better absorb these forces, removing stress from your joints. That’s why a strong pillar is so important to perform at a high level all game and decrease your risk for injury.
To strengthen your pillar and see benefits on and off the field, add these movements to your routine.
Balanz Pad Single Leg Squat
Medicine Ball Rotational Lift
Medicine Ball Perpendicular Throw
Power Wheel Leg Curls
Balanz Disc Pillar Bridge (Leg Lift)
Rotational Chest Pass with One Arm
Balanz Pad Pillar Bridge Rolling
Cody Carter Cody has spent the last 10 years coaching athletes at the youth, high school, competitive, collegiate and professional levels. During that time he has learned from and developed close relationships with some of the best performance specialists in the world. Growing up, he played football, basketball and ran track. He didn't specialize in one sport until college, where he chose to run track as a sprinter and high hurdler for Iowa State University. He has spent his entire performance coaching career in Southern California where he is now a Manager for the EXOS Performance Innovation Team. Now based at SKLZ Headquarters, directly above the EXOS San Diego facility, Cody is able to jump in for the occasional hands-on athlete training session. View all posts by Cody Carter