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Does Soccer Make Your Thighs Big?

Does Soccer Make Your Thighs Big?

While the rest of the world got busy with the “Thick thighs saves lives” acumen recently, soccer players have been at it for decades!

For a sport that particularly relies on lower body strength, it is only natural that its players develop bulky yet lean leg muscles.

And the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri and Roberto Carlos make anyone wonder whether all soccer players have big thighs. But then you see agile players like Angel di Maria and Peter Crouch and go, Nah!

So, it is not a hard-lined rule for all soccer players to have visibly big thighs and leg muscles. But it is more common for a soccer player to have muscular legs than an average person.

How to Get Bigger Legs - Soccer Fitness

Muscular legs can be lean, and they can be big. It goes both ways. And that’s because of the excessive work leg muscles undergo during soccer. Some soccer movements that make your leg muscles and thighs bigger are:

  •       Running
  •       Sprinting
  •       Jumping
  •       Dribbling
  •       Shooting
  •       Crossing
  •       Defending

However, there are other factors like time and training that conditions a soccer player’s leg muscles. And that’s precisely what we’ll uncover today!

How I Gained Strength and Size in my Legs

Does Soccer Make Your Thighs Big?

The most weighing factor for soccer players to have bigger thighs is how much time they’ve given to the sport.

Most soccer players start kicking a foam ball as soon as they’re on their feet and join an academy or club at 5-7 years of age. And by the time they reach the professional stage, they already have nearly 15 years of practice backing them up.

Fifteen years of showing up to training, playing matches every weekend, and participating in regular drills!

And seeing how you mainly work your lower body in soccer, years of training indeed does condition your legs.

A soccer player is taking a strong kick

It’s like having a leg day for 10-15 years of your life straight. And yet you still wonder how soccer players get bigger thighs and legs?

So yes, soccer does make your thighs bigger!

And for a better context, the following movements in a soccer game are the reason why players get big thighs.


Running is the main element of soccer. And that is evident from how an average soccer player covers about 7-9 miles of distance in each game.

If you’re not new to running, that’s a lot!

You use nearly all of your leg muscles while running. The thighs pull your leg up for a stride and then push you forward as soon as you step it on the ground.

The players are running on the soccer field

And all the while, your calves help give you the last push you need to lift yourself off the ground.

These compound movements, when repeated day-in and day-out, give your thighs the perfect shape. It builds them for endurance, power, speed, and flexibility.


Footwork is usually a term associated with boxing and other martial arts. But soccer demands as much footwork as any other sport, if not more.

The footwork in soccer comes down to dribbling and common-ball moments.

When you’re dribbling, you shift your entire body weight over to one leg. And while you carry precision movements with the leg in the air, you pivot, fake, and launch a sprint while being on one leg.

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This conditions your planted leg to support your body weight and still give you room to maneuver.

And in common-ball moments, when you have your hands down and are crouching in an active position for quicker reflexes, you work your thighs heavily again.


Jumping is an integral part of soccer. And the one that has started to attract much more attention than before.

Players who can jump higher than others are better at scoring goals, defending against aerial threats, and making remarkable saves.

But more importantly, jumping is a merciless workout for your leg muscles, and specifically the thighs!

the player is jumping up and making a header

Launching yourself high up in the air and then finding your balance at landing drains the quads, hamstrings, and calves.

And seeing how soccer players jump quite often during a game, it’s no wonder they have all this mass around their legs!


Running is the benchmark requirement for soccer. But if you want to perform better, your speed and acceleration play a vital role.

Soccer players are some of the fastest runners across all sports. And that’s because a soccer player makes at least a dozen decent sprints in a match.

Either for falling back quickly after a failed corner freekick. Or when launching into a notorious counter-attack where you have to outpace your opponents.

But since most soccer sprints last around 4-7 seconds, acceleration plays an even more critical role. And continuous training to improve a player’s acceleration is another major contributor to big thighs.

A soccer player is sprinting with the ball

Soccer players have to regularly train and condition their legs for higher speeds and quick accelerations. This regular training and conditioning are then visible as quicker sprints and bigger thighs!

Defensive Maneuvers

Defensive play is one of the exhaustive moments of soccer for a player’s thighs and legs in general.

The continuous leaning forward or backward while chasing an opponent stresses your thigh muscles, quads, and hamstrings.

Another defensive maneuver is when you’re shielding the ball from an opponent. Something Romelo Lukaku is exceptional at!

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Using your body to shield the ball from the continuous barges of an opponent in soccer takes quite a bit of strength. And with weak legs, you’ll topple over with the first push from your opponent!

Standing and sliding tackles, too, need a significant lower body strength. Again, you shift your weight onto one leg when making a standing tackle. And push yourself from momentum for a sliding tackle.

Frequently making such exhaustive movements for the thigh muscles are also what gives soccer players their trademark big thighs!


How Do You Get Big Thighs for Soccer?

We now know how many years of fitness and training backs up a soccer player for big thighs. But to get further on with the competition, a player needs to condition his thighs and legs even more.

Though all soccer players play games and attend fitness sessions, few go the extra mile to improve their lower body strength. And it is these few that gain the upper hand on the pitch against players who neglect further leg training.

Getting bigger thighs for soccer is less for the aesthetics and more for performance.

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With bigger and more muscular quads, hamstrings, and calves, you’ll run faster, jump higher, shoot faster, dribble better, and defend effectively.

And all of the movements work towards improving your game performance on matchday. So, let’s take a look at how you, too, can get bigger thighs for soccer and step up your game!

Follow Routine Training

Following routine soccer, training workouts comes first of all. It not only gets you more mass around the thighs but also makes sure you’re in touch with the game.

Soccer players train for an average of six hours a day. Since you have to be on your feet for all of the training exercises and skills, your legs develop endurance.

Soccer training also has a fair share of playing time. The players either entertain themselves with one-touch passes with a man in the middle. Or, they make two teams and play against each other for practice.


Both of these training sessions work your legs for more mass. Soccer’s active movements like sprinting, dribbling, shooting, and jumping become a routine part of these exercises.

While working on your game skills and passing techniques, you also passively train your leg muscles. And so, attending regular training sessions will take you a step closer towards bigger thighs.

Participate Actively in Various Drills

Soccer drills are exercises designed to mimic in-game moments. Freekick shootouts, penalty shootouts, cone drills, and sprints are some standard soccer drills.

The idea of these drills is that a player does them so many times that he builds muscle memory for these movements.

For example, in cone drills for soccer, a player runs through the cones on the field with a ball at his feet. And while crossing each cone, he has to turn, pivot, or dribble the ball.

Once a player becomes comfortable with the cones, he can then use the same skills in a soccer match. And the same goes for other drills like shootouts and sprints.

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These training drills focus actively on a single movement for soccer, i.e., shooting, sprinting, dribbling, passing, etc.

And while you’re picking up skills, you’re also continuously tiring your leg muscles out. Your quads, hamstrings, and calves work much harder in these actively designed drills.

And in return, you get to have a much speedier gain of mass for your thighs!

Hit the Gym

Lifting weights has become a necessary part of soccer training recently.

Professional players like Ronaldo, Bale, and Hulk have introduced a new line of soccer training. But is lifting weights effective for game performance? Yes!

Lifting weights lets you isolate your muscle movements that are not possible in a game or traditional soccer drills. And isolated muscle movements are the most effective for mass growth.

Exercises like Squats, Lunges, Leg Extensions, Leg Presses, Leg-Curls, and Calf lifts work on the explosive energy of your muscles.

So, lifting weights not only gets you bigger thighs but also enhances in-game performance. You can jump higher, run fast, shoot harder, and defend better with bigger thighs.

However, lifting weights daily is not recommended for soccer players. They can pick up injuries, and that can harm their career.

To grow bigger thighs and be on the top of your game, a max of 2 days of weight lifting workouts is recommended for soccer players.

the man is lifting weights

Nutrition and Rebuilding

When you’re done with your workouts for bigger thighs, you come over to the most crucial part, the rest and rebuilding!

Rebuilding and nutrition are an essential part of any soccer player’s training. Bigger clubs even employ designated dieticians to come up with the perfect plan for players.

Rounding up the research of multiple sources, we can say that the recommended daily protein intake for soccer players is anywhere around 0.55-0.87 grams per pound of bodyweight.

This protein helps rebuild your muscles stronger. But the energy for the next workout comes from carbs and healthy fats. And this is what makes the largest portion of a soccer player’s diet.

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Moreover, post-workout nutrition of getting the electrolytes up in your body is vital as well.

So, if you’re working out your thigh muscles for soccer, you also need to ensure you get the proper nutrients in your body for growth!

Who Has the Biggest Thighs in Soccer?

Soccer has always had a mix of physiques when it comes to players. So, you may see a wide variety of how big the thighs are of soccer players.

But today, we talk about the ones that never missed leg day at the gym. And I’ll start off the list with a personal favorite:

Roberto Carlos

With a booming kick and a short build, the Brazilian left-back, without a doubt, has the biggest thighs in soccer. The guy looks like he waited around for the leg days to come!

Clarence Seedorf

The Dutch midfielder gives equal competition to Roberto Carlos when it comes to muscular thighs. The two shared the locker room at Real Madrid briefly in the late 90s. And perhaps that’s where the love for building leg muscles was born among the two!

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Cristiano Ronaldo

Though Ronaldo’s lean physique may not speak big thighs, the guy’s got arguably the strongest leg muscles in the sport. His impressive transformation since being Manchester United’s skinny star-boy has left a tremendous impact on his thighs.

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It’s hard to leave out a player from the list of the biggest thighs in soccer with a name like that! Hulk has one of the biggest thighs among soccer players. And he uses them well to score stunning goals and practice dominance over the pitch.

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Diego Maradona

Maradona was clearly not the one for discipline and workouts, but his thighs are legendary in the soccer universe. The most talented soccer player with outrageous skills and killer thighs!


Soccer players naturally have bigger thighs and other leg muscles. The years’ worth of training, working out and practicing tones and conditions the legs for players.

And though regularly playing soccer and attending training can build bigger thighs, other workouts shall compliment your growth.

A soccer player’s thighs are less for a display and more of a reflection of his hard work and training. The bigger thighs a soccer player has, the better impact he has on the pitch!