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How to Get Big Soccer Legs
Although soccer requires running, it is not considered an aerobic sport. The American Council on Exercise says that because soccer requires many starts and stops, your body functions at an anaerobic level, meaning without oxygen. You can improve the look of your legs using a stop/start training principle, along with muscle-building exercises. Plyometrics are jump-training exercises that you can use to improve your leg speed and power, and your ability to jump to reach the ball with your head.
Set two cones on the ground. Set one for a start position, and set the second cone 25 yards away.
Sprint from the first cone to the second cone. Rest for one minute. Turn around and sprint from the second to the first cone. Rest for one minute.
Complete 6 to 10 sprints.
Place five cones on the ground spaced two to three feet apart.
Stand with your left side facing the first cone. Stand tall with your feet underneath your hips.
Jump to the left over the first cone. Land on both feet. Continue jumping left until you reach the final cone.
Immediately jump sideways to the right over the last cone. Land on both feet. Continue jumping right until you clear the first cone.
Complete three to five lateral cone hops in each direction.
As your anaerobic system improves, decrease the amount of rest during your speed drill. As your leg strength improves, land on one foot in between the cones during your lateral jumps.
- American Council on Exercise: Developing Winning Soccer Training Programs
- "Jumping into Plyometrics"; Donald Chu; 1998
- Milanović Z, Sporiš G, Trajković N, James N, Samija K. Effects of a 12 Week SAQ Training Programme on Agility with and without the Ball among Young Soccer Players. J Sports Sci Med. 2013;12(1):97–103. Published 2013 Mar 1.
- Kutlu M, Yapici H, Yilmaz A. Reliability and Validity of a New Test of Agility and Skill for Female Amateur Soccer Players. J Hum Kinet. 2017;56:219–227. Published 2017 Mar 12. doi:10.1515/hukin-2017-0039
- Feito Y, Heinrich KM, Butcher SJ, Poston WSC. High-intensity functional training (hift): definition and research implications for improved fitness. Sports (Basel). 2018;6(3):76. Published 2018 Aug 7. doi:10.3390/sports6030076
- Kutlu M, Yapıcı H, Yoncalık O, Celik S. Comparison of a new test for agility and skill in soccer with other agility tests. J Hum Kinet. 2012;33:143–150. doi:10.2478/v10078-012-0053-1
A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.