For a full 90 minutes, football players are moving around on their feet, using the power of their legs to travel around the pitch in an attempt to deliver the ball into the back of the net. While some footballers naturally have a good level of strength in their legs, others need to work to develop better power. Increased power in your legs can mean that you can more easily move around the pitch and is also an advantage for kicking the ball a distance, or with some power behind it. But how do you build better strength in your legs? Let’s take a closer look.
What Level Of Leg Power Are You Starting With?
Identify any areas for development and establish a benchmark for the power in your legs so that you understand where you are starting and can track your progress. One way of measuring the power in your legs is by measuring how high you can jump in the area. You may measure your vertical leap in a very simple way by holding a pencil or piece of chalk and marking the wall at the top of your jump. This will then allow you to measure the height and use this as a starting point. Additionally, you may want to measure your leg strength in other ways, as well, including how heavy you can squat, or how low you can move downwards with a single leg squat. Single-leg squats are also a great way to work out if one of your legs is weaker than the other – if it is, this leg will require more work. Throughout the time period that you are working on increasing the power within your legs, you can go back to these initial exercises and compare results.
Complete Lower Body Workouts
In order to increase the power within your legs, it is important to work on your whole lower body, as these muscles are connected, and work together with your core for maximum power. Therefore, complete lower-body workouts are a great way to increase power in your legs. Before any workout, it is important to properly warm-up to reduce the risk of injury. Good warm-ups for lower-body leg workouts include some light jogging and leg stretches.
When it comes to what exercises to complete during your lower body workout – a personal trainer or coach will be able to personalise these to your specific needs. Good exercises for leg strength include squats with weights, calf raises, dumbbell lunges, leg curls as well as some cardio such as short sprints, or bursts on the exercise bike. Between these exercises, be sure to rest to give your body some time to recover between sets – perhaps a minute or two between each exercise.
Vary The Type Of Workout
When working out your leg for football, you want to develop several different skills – balance, strength and even explosiveness to ensure that you can quickly burst to reach the ball when on the pitch. To work on each of these factors, you will want to look at varying your workouts – from a circuit like the one described above to weight training, to cardio, and even to yoga to increase balance and flexibility.