Exercises to Be a Better Soccer Left Back

The left back position in soccer, also called the left fullback, requires good ball control and running. Standing left of the stopper, you must be able to get around the opposite team’s players and help get the ball down the field toward your goal. Including drills and exercises in your practice sessions emphasizes these skills and improves your game.
If your team loses control of the soccer ball during a game, the other team might gain possession and score a point. The step across is a drill that involves stepping over the ball to keep it from being stolen. To do this, you must get in front of the ball as an opponent gets close to you. This skill is important for a left back because he must retain control of the ball and prevent the opposing team from getting it. Practice this exercise with a teammate, and simulate a situation you might encounter during a game. Pair up and get close to each other, mimicking game play, and practice moving the ball behind you to protect it. Once the ball is behind you, rest your back foot on it to keep it in place.
Part of the job of a left back is to move around the players on the opposite team to help get the ball down the field and into the goal. Evasion exercises enhance this skill by helping the left back practice techniques to keep the ball while running. To practice this skill, isolate two players in a 5-by-10-foot area, and allow them to take turns playing the left back position and working to alternately protect and attempt to steal the ball. This drill is called one-on-one and emphasizes dribbling and evasion skills.
Paying attention to the other players on the field is an important part of any soccer position, including a left back. Knowing where your teammates and opponents are helps you determine in which direction to dribble the ball and who to kick it to as you advance toward your goal. Agility exercises are good options for helping a left back hone this skill. Set up cones in varied patterns, and dribble the ball around and in and out of the cones. Have teammates along the way jump out and try to steal the ball, which enhances concentration and ball manipulation skills.
Because a left back spends a portion of each soccer game with possession of the ball, exercises that reinforce receiving and passing the ball are important for improving his game. A drill that allows for practice of these skills involves dividing a soccer team in half and having both groups of players line up and stand facing each other, a few feet apart. Each player on one side of the line has a soccer ball, which he passes to the player across from him. That player receives the ball and passes it back. Each line of players takes a step back, widening the gap and the drill is repeated. Continue moving backward and passing and receiving the ball back and forth.

Exercise in the Early Stages of Pregnancy

Keeping up with physical activity during pregnancy can help you maintain a healthy pregnancy weight and fight fatigue. It also helps improve endurance, which prepares you for the long hours of labor and delivery as well as recovery. Many forms of moderate exercise can be done during the first trimester. However, certain activities will require extra precautions and others should be avoided entirely.
Exercise does more than control weight, fight fatigue and boost endurance during pregnancy. Regular physical activity throughout pregnancy will also help you prevent pregnancy-related conditions such as gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. Exercise also helps ward off postpartum depression. Regular exercise reduces pregnancy discomforts such as back pain. Work up slowly to exercising 30 minutes daily to maximize these benefits.
Your body craves a bit more rest and care during pregnancy, but it is safe to engage in light to moderate physical activity during early pregnancy. According to the American Pregnancy Association, exercise will not increase your risk for miscarriage. However, you should take extra precautions to avoid exhaustion and dehydration. If you enjoy no-contact team sports, inform anyone playing with you of your pregnancy.
Many low-impact exercises are appropriate during pregnancy. Walking 30 minutes daily has the benefits of moderate aerobic exercise without putting considerable strain on your body. Swimming, stationary cycling and rowing are safe alternatives during pregnancy as well. In addition, some hospitals and fitness centers offer yoga or other low-impact exercise classes specifically for pregnant women.
During early pregnancy, you can likely continue weight training activities with some changes. According to the American Pregnancy Association, exercises that strain your lower back muscles should be avoided. Your lower back will become increasingly strained as pregnancy progresses. Pass on heavy weights and use smaller weights or bands to improve tone. For cycling or hiking, stick to the even terrain of tracks and roads to prevent falling injuries.
While most exercises are safe during early pregnancy, you should avoid certain activities all together. Avoid contact sports such as rugby, tackle football or wrestling during pregnancy. Additionally, stay away from activities with a high fall risk such as downhill skiing and skating. You can do exercises that involve lying flat on your back before the end of the first trimester. In the second and third trimester, these exercises should be avoided as lying in this position will reduce blood flow to your baby.