In soccer, having strong legs is of utmost importance. Players have to develop strength, endurance, and power for their legs because they are constantly on the move. They need big leg muscles for the short sprints, jogging, and jumping they do on the field.
Since they are competing multiple times per week for 90 minutes, players need to build a strong core and big leg muscles for power, strength, and stamina for the intense competition. And at the same, staying injury-free.
With the action of running, kicking, turning, and jumping, players are constantly on their feet. Leg strength is extremely important for the game of soccer. As you may know, the advantage of foot strength is the ability to dribble and sprint all through the 90 minutes of the game.
If you are looking for a way to have strong toned legs to properly execute the most on the field like Lionel Messi, then you are in the right place. Here, you would learn how to properly train your leg muscles to be stronger.
How is this possible? Let’s find out together!
How To Have Strong Legs For Soccer?
During the game, soccer players predominantly use their legs to tackle, block and slide, making it the most important trait they possess. Stronger legs make it capable for them to meet the demands of a full season of training and matches.
For the game, you’d discover that a high level of endurance and stamina are functional as optimal strength is key. For defense, the most important tool is your legs.
On average, soccer players are lean and slim. Although, some positions like the goalkeeper or a center back, require a bigger, stronger player. However, they all need to have powerful legs.
Regardless, their exceptional balance, low center level of gravity, and strong core strength aren’t in-built. Players have to adopt a workout routine that would help them develop strength, endurance, and stamina in their legs.
In this article, we’ve highlighted a few training techniques you can add to your workout routine to help you build stronger legs.
Method 1: Practise shots
As a player, you must know how to shoot a ball with utmost power and accuracy. This is a very essential skill to possess and the best way to develop this technique is by practicing.
When shooting a ball, you have to ensure you strike with the proper part of your foot. Make sure you aim at your target and hit the ball hard with the side of your foot, for a more precise shot. You have to practice with accuracy and push yourself till you become the best at it.
Learning to effectively practice shots would not only help improve your power and accuracy but also help to build leg strength. The continuous practices would help to strengthen your feet, giving rise to quicker stronger feet.
In soccer, there are several shooting techniques you could choose from including:
- Placement shot using the inside of your foot.
- Placement shoot using the outside of your foot.
- Knuckleball shoot.
- Full volley shot.
- Half volley shot.
- Back heel shot.
- Penalty shot.
- Toe smash.
- Bicycle kick
- Diving header shot
- Half field shot
- Back heel shot
- Corner kick shot
Steps to follow
- Survey your surroundings before you kick the ball.
- Look down back at the ball.
- Choose where to shoot.
- Keep your strides even as you run towards the ball.
- Place your non-kicking foot next to the ball.
- Take your kicking leg as back as possible.
- Plant your ankle firmly in place.
- Stand straight.
- Target the center of the ball.
- Strike with the side of your shoe.
- After striking, follow through with your kicking leg.
- You’d get better at kicking the ball on target
- Increases chances of scoring during the game
- Builds confidence
- Helps you become a good attacking player
- It helps to build accuracy when shooting
- You could miss the target and hurt someone
Method 2: Good nutrition
A proper diet is a very important aspect of a player’s life. Soccer requires a lot of energy, which is why what you feed yourself decides the kind of energy you give to your body. To improve endurance, motivation, sleep, recovery, etc, you have to eat right.
During training, players must modify their food and fluid intake to match their heavy training routines. A healthy diet rich in carbohydrates, protein, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fat, and whole grains helps to reduce fatigue.
As a player, having a proper diet benefits you in so many ways. Not only does it provide you with fuel for the strength you need, but it also helps you to build muscles in your feet. The more calories you eat, the more your body can maintain and further build muscles for your body and feet.
A balanced diet supports the needs of a lean, fit, and energetic player by sustaining performances and promoting muscle repair and recovery. Every class of food is important for a player’s overall health; however, some are the main sources of calories.
Carbs are your best friends! While others might think it’s healthy to cut them off, you would need this to replenish and adequately fuel your body. Carbs replenish your glycogen storage which you would need for all the explosive moments you would carry out while on the field.
A lot of vegetables, fruits white rice, and root vegetables like yam and sweet potatoes are good for you. However, you should take note of the good carbs and avoid the bad ones from processed food. You should be watchful of the type of carbohydrates you are taking into your body.
You would need the best source of protein to help you maintain your muscle mass. If you are looking to gain more mass you would have to give a more in-depth look at protein.
Make sure to eat lots of animal meat, fish, along with other seafood and eggs which is not only a great source of protein but also delicious and easy to cook.
This is very essential for your body as it helps you function to your optimal potential. Not just your body, your brain also needs it. Fats serve as an essential precursor to the hormones that control blood pressure, inflammation, and blood clotting.
However, they are bad fats you should not be eating. It’s best to avoid fats from processed foods. You should eat more monounsaturated fats which come from high-fat fruits like almonds, walnuts, and avocados.
Also, polyunsaturated fat is made up of omega-3 and omega-6 fats and saturated fats which is one of the best sources of energy for your body. It’s recommended that players must manage a proper nutritional lifestyle and should eat around 22 – 25 calories per pound of bodyweight.
- Reduces fatigue
- Provides energy and strength
- An adequate supply of vitamins
- Promotes muscle growth and repair
- Enhances performance level
- Promotes recovery time
- Reduces the risk of injuries
- You can’t always eat what you want
- You might not get enough calories needed to maintain a healthy weight
Method 3: Using leg exercises
Exercises help to improve overall athletic performances. A lower body workout routine would help to engage the major muscles of the leg, which would lead you to get stronger and more powerful legs for soccer.
For stronger legs, you’d have to follow a strict routine to help you build more muscle mass to give you the extra edge you need. And this leg muscle training mostly focuses on:
No matter what, leg training is the most important part of any player’s routine and you must get a routine and try to stay consistent with it. You would need to boost your leg muscles to effectively carry out explosive sprints while you are on the field.
Having a consistent leg workout routine would help you develop strength and power, making it easier for you to run, jump, sprint, and dribble your opponent with ease placing you at a higher advantage.
- Strengthens players stance
- Improves body control
- Enhances balance and stability
- Helps to sprint faster and kick the ball more effectively
- Strengthens your core
- Increases range of motion
- Improves cardiovascular system
- It reduces the risk of injuries
- Enhances functionality
- You could hurt your knee doing some strenuous exercises.
- Early fatigue might lead to poor posture
Down below, we’ve listed out a few leg exercises you could do to get stronger legs for soccer.
This exercise is very effective for building stronger muscles. Not only does it improve strength, flexibility, speed, and agility, It also targets every muscle you would need on the field during the game. Plus, it trains your cardiovascular system and helps to assist in the expansion of respiratory capacity, which is very important.
Bulgarian split squats
This exercise is a version of the single-leg squat. For the practice, you will need a stable elevated object like a bench or chair. This routine helps to strengthen the muscles of the leg, and as a lower body exercise, it forces your core to help you maintain balance.
This is a common strength training exercise that helps to sculpt and tone the lower body. This resistance exercise helps improve overall fitness and helps enhance athletic performances.
Glute bridge is more of a butt exercise. However, it does an incredible job of actively strengthening and stabilizing the core muscles. It also works for the lower back, hamstrings, and abs.
This exercise is also known as the knee tucks jump, and it’s an alteration of the standard vertical jump. Tuck jumps work on your legs, glutes, and quads and a proper jump should strengthen both the upper and lower body. Also, it increases your agility making it easier for you to jump higher.
Also known as long jump, this is mostly a track and field event. In this exercise, you are to leap forward, as far as you can, away from the takeoff point. During this exercise, power flows from the half to the hips. The ability to generate explosive strength is crucial and functional for performances during the game.
Single leg hops
In soccer, running and dribbling are all single-leg actions and balance is a very necessary requirement when you are on the field. Every player must incorporate a single leg movement exercise routine to activate muscle stability.
Other leg exercises include
- Single-leg deadlift
- Single leg squats
- Single leg Romanian deadlifts
- Mountain climbers
- Triple threat calf raise
- Calf hops
- Skater jumps
- Glute hamstrings walkout
- Walking lunges
- Leg press
- Stability ball hamstring curls
- Controlled sits
- Hip thrust
- Dumbbell side lunge
In soccer, strengthening your feet makes you a more effective player. You would need your hamstrings, quads, and calf muscles at their best to execute the most plays during the game. The more you improve your foot strength, the more you increase your ability to strike the ball with power.
The more you practice your shots, the better you get at it. It’s important you get as much practice as you can into your routine, that way you get better at perfecting your skills and the exercises would help to improve your leg strength.
Also, proper nutrition is key. You need to fuel your mind and body to get the most out of yourself. If you eat well, you train well, which automatically makes you a better player on the field.
Not only would these exercises help you build strength, but they would also improve speed and power. Other benefits also come with stronger feet like better balance, more powerful movement, and reduced risk of injuries.
The most important thing though is to be intentional with every one of these exercises. You have to put in optimally timed efforts to get maximal results. Committing to a training regime helps you become the best player you can be. Training hard is never easy, but it’s worth it!
It’s important to plan these exercises into your weekly routine. But, if you can’t properly manage yourself, we recommend you seek out a highly-qualified coach.
So what are you waiting for? Improve your feet strength with these methods and exercises to begin your journey of having stronger legs and see yourself become a more efficient and effective contributor to your team’s success.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!