Soccer Fitness: Leg Extensions and Hamstring Curls are Poor Options for Building Leg Strength

In any type of strength training for soccer players, it is imperative to build a solid foundation from scratch. Exercises that have a player sitting in a seat and extending the leg or lying prone and flexing the hamstrings lack functional and preventive value.

Unfortunately, there are still misinformed coaches giving incorrect information about soccer fitness and leg strength development. In particular, the leg extension exercise is performed to improve kick strength.

Here are three reasons why leg extensions and hamstring curls are poor options for developing leg strength.

1) The game of soccer is played primarily with one leg, while either foot is in contact with the ground. Neither leg extension nor hamstring exercises provide this opportunity. When in a game does a soccer player lie down on the ground and bring his buttocks to the ground or sit on the grass and straighten his leg? These exercises isolate the quadriceps muscle group or hamstring muscle group and put unwanted stress on the hip.

2) Sitting or lying down on any of these machines minimizes the integration of the deep core abdominal muscles as well as the buttock muscles. As you know, a strong “core” and strong glutes build lower body strength and power.

3) The ligaments that support the knee are either stressed inappropriately (too much stress on the anterior cruciate ligament) or not stressed at all. Remember that these exercises were designed for bodybuilders to isolate these muscles. These guys and girls pose a lot and don’t have to stop, start, and change direction.

Here are three exercises to build leg strength to run faster and kick harder:

1) Any form of one leg squat. This exercise can be done in different ways. You can squat with your airborne leg in front of or behind you.

2) Kicking action in movement with resistance. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place a band above or below the knee of the kicking leg. Make sure the band is anchored behind you. Now step forward with the supporting leg and then continue with a kicking motion with the other leg. This exercise emphasizes both the kicking leg for resistance and the supporting leg for single-leg strength and balance.

This type of exercise is closely related to kicking in a soccer game.

3) Stability ball curl. Lie on your back and place your heels on the stability ball. Raise your hips in the air and then bend the ball towards you and away from you. Keep your glutes firm. This combines the core muscles of the stomach and the muscles of the buttocks along with the hamstring muscles.

Keep a couple of things in mind about these exercises;

FOR) They include both the abdominal and gluteal muscles.

B) Actions are closely related to movements in a soccer game.

VS) They protect the knee joint.

So there you have it. Be well informed before you start building leg strength for your soccer fitness.

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