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Warm Up Like the German National Team

This past Sunday, the German national team clinched the World Cup title in an exciting 1-0 victory over Argentina. On the sidelines, EXOS founder Mark Verstegen watched on as the team he's worked with for the past 10 years and in preparation for the World Cup showed off their skills. Following the game, he spoke with The New York Times about the team's training and preparation (read the full article here). Verstegen also shared a key part of the team's training — their warm-up. Perform the eight movements below to decrease your risk of injury and improve your performance just like your favorite soccer stars do.

Foam Roll – Glutes

Benefits: Rolls away pain and tightness in your power muscles.
How: Settle your hip sideways on a foam roller. Roll back and forth, focusing on the gluteus muscles in the buttocks.
Goal: Roll each side, pausing for 30 seconds on tight spots.

Foam Roll – Quadriceps

Benefits: Release quadriceps tightness and reduce your risk for injury.
How: Make like a plank, facing the floor, elbows on the ground, with one leg straight and the other bent to the side, and the roller beneath the upper thigh of the outstretched leg. Roll back and forth.
Goal: Roll each side, pausing for 30 seconds on tight spots.

Mini Band – Bent Knee Lateral Walk

Benefits: Activates your glute muscles and primes your hips for activity.
How: Encircle your upper thighs with a resistance band. Keeping your legs shoulder-width apart, march purposefully from side to side.
Goal: 1 set of 8 steps on each side

Inverted Hamstring Stretch

Benefits: Improves balance and reduces your risk of pulling a hamstring.
How: Like a bobbing bird toy, balance on one leg, arms outstretched and lean forward until you are parallel with the ground. Return to the upright position as gracefully as possible.
Goal: 1 set of 4 reps on each side

Lateral Lunge to Drop Lunge

Benefits: Stretches the hip and thigh muscles that tighten from cutting and planting. How: Standing upright, stretch one leg to the side while keeping the other straight; drop into a side lunge; then straighten and swing the outstretched leg back until it is crossed behind you; straighten your pelvis; lower your entire body. But, really, watch her.
Goal: 1 set of 4 reps on each side

Reverse Lunge, Elbow to Instep With Rotation

Benefits: Stretches your groin, hip flexors, gluteus muscles, and hamstrings.
How: Watch this. Several times.
Goal: 1 set of 4 reps on each side

Pillar Skip

Benefits: Improves dynamic hip flexibility for greater speed on the field.
How: Skip, keeping your back straight, chin up, knees high and arms swinging.
Goal: 2 sets of 10 yards

3 Hurdle Drill to Sprint

Benefits: Improves agility and acceleration to win the ball.
How: Set up three low obstacles, spaced a foot or so apart (small hurdles, if available; or perhaps hardback books, spine up). Skip sideways rapidly and nimbly over each obstacle; skip back; sprint to the far wall.
Goal: 2 sets of 3

Visit our soccer section for more tips to excel on the field.

Tags: Soccer, Movement Preparation