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The legs are the most important weapon for football players, and it is very important that you perform exercises of the lower body with perfection. Work on your calf and thigh muscles and give your leg the overall desired shape and strength.
This circuit of leg exercises, geared towards strength development and injury prevention, works your glutes, quads, adductors and hamstrings,” he says. Do it twice a week, but leave two days rest before a game. Take no rest between each exercise and perform the circuit three times, resting 90 seconds between each run through. Warm up for five minutes on a bike or cross trainer, then begin. You should be able to complete it in around 15 minutes.
Form First, place two small plates under your heels. “This reduces the pressure on your patellar tendon (heavily stressed during a football match), and also helps to isolate your quads,” explains Miller. With a barbell resting on your upper back, squat down over four seconds until your posterior is level with your knees, then lift quickly over one second. Complete six consecutive reps without rest. Then go straight on to the next exercise.
On field boost Squats are critical for building pure lower limb strength and keeping you injury-free when the crunching tackles start flying in.
Reps 12 each leg
Form Find some space in your gym and lunge continuously forward to complete twelve reps with each leg, holding two dumbbells at your sides. Keep your spine straight, take Ministry of Funny Walks-worthy giant strides, and make sure your trailing knee finishes level with your trailing ankle at the bottom of the rep before driving upwards explosively. Aim for two seconds of lowering into the lunge and one second bursting out of it and into the next rep.
On field boost Footballers are constantly accelerating and jumping off a single leg throughout a game. Walking lunges will improve your explosive speed, which translates to everything from more effective dashes down the wing to higher leaps when defending corners.
Form Holding two dumbbells at your side and once again elevating your heels with two plates, complete 25 consecutive squats. Concentrate on maintaining a speedy tempo: aim to take no more than a second down to the bottom position and rise equally quickly. “Ideally, the lowest point of the movement should find your posterior just below parallel with your knees,” says Miller.
On field boost Where the barbell squats built pure leg strength, these will boost your endurance, providing the muscle stamina needed for that match-winning injury-time dash into the penalty box.