The 4-1-1 on Soccer Fitness Tests

The 4-1-1 on Soccer Fitness Tests

The 4-1-1 on Soccer Fitness Tests


Depending on if these tests are coming from your high school, college, national team, or any quality-level soccer team, there are a variety of different tests used to measure how fit a player is, from their body composition to their level of conditioning.


Here are a few tests you should be familiar with:


  • Body Fat: Whether you are doing the skin fold test method or monitoring body weight changes, a test proctor can easily put your body composition into readable numbers. Having excess body fat increases fatigue on the field and decreases the ability to move quickly and for a long period of time.


  • Flexibility: Having muscle flexibility is important for injury prevention. It can easily be proctored with a sit and reach test to see how flexible the hamstrings and lower back are.


  • Strength: To measure leg strength, this test can either be tested in the weight room using the one-rep squat test or the vertical jump test. This will overall dictate how much strength and power you have in your legs for the game of soccer.


  • Speed: The 40-yard dash is a simple test to measure acceleration and speed. Depending on gender and age, there should be an average time for you as a player to reach.


  • Agility: There are various agility tests, like the 505, the 5-15-20-25 yard suicides or the T-test are all great ones. Agility test measures your ability to change direction, which is extremely important in soccer.


  • Aerobic Fitness: One of the most tested measurements in soccer is conditioning. There are various tests that can test how long and how fast you can run for, which overall measures your conditioning level to be able to last 90 minutes in a game while still having the energy and power to give your all. Here are some aerobic fitness tests:


  • VO2 Max: Using the treadmill or bicycle, you can have the players work harder and harder until they simply cannot go anymore.
  • 12-Minute Run: Also known as the Cooper test, there are two variants. Either the player will run as far as they can for 12 minutes or they will have to complete 1.5, 1.75 or 2 miles in 12 minutes (depending on the gender and age group).
  • "Beep" Tests: One of the most dreaded fitness tests, the Beep tests come in two various styles. The 20-meter shuttle test works on pace and getting to a cone before the beep. The score records the distance covered. Here are the two types:
    • Continuous beep tests: There is no rest period and no distance to walk or run after you get to the original cone.
    • Intermittent beep tests: At the original cone there is a space for the player to jog or walk to be able to rest in between runs.

Again, depending where you're playing and at what level, it’ll be difficult to not run into one of these fitness tests at some point in your career. Which test you see, as well, is also not limited to this list.


Written By: Adriana Rodrigues is a professional soccer player and a coach. She has over twenty years of experience in soccer after having played in a Division 1 University and has represented two national teams, both Brazil and Portugal.

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