WeightLifting (legs in particular)

Discussion in 'Player' started by Austinite, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. Austinite

    Austinite New Member

    Jun 17, 2002
    Austin,TX
    I just started playing in a indoor league. I played off/on last couple years, but didn't get into it as much until recently. My endurance isn't that bad. I want to get a little more competitive and build my endurance. I work out regulary, but I don't do too much lifting w/ my legs. Should I start working out my legs (hamstring) more?
     
  2. benito camelpene

    May 31, 2003
    miami
    If you're going to lift weights to build up your legs than just be sure to dedicate equal time and effort to working out your thighs, hamstrings and calves. If you solely work out your hamstrings then it might lead to thigh strains(tears) because your hamstrings are going to be much stronger than your thighs.

    I myself workout my legs but with relatively light weight. I have muscular legs that I attribute more to running on the beach 2-3 times a week than to lifting weights at the gym.
     
  3. Austinite

    Austinite New Member

    Jun 17, 2002
    Austin,TX
    This might be a dumb question...but what are advantages/disadvantages of working out the legs? Does it help out w/ kick power/accuracy/less risk of injury/endurance, etc...?
     
  4. servotron

    servotron New Member

    Mar 4, 2004
    St Paul, MN
    It will help you kick harder, jump higher, and run faster... so yes it will help you in soccer.

    Your risk of injury will also decrease if your muscles (and your tendons, ligaments, etc) are strengthened.

    Working on your hamstrings is always a good thing. The chances of having your hammy's be stronger than ANYTHING else in your legs is extremely slim. You probably don't need to really work them hard unless you've had probelms in the past with them. Typically you'll have a hamstring pull or tear or whatnot because the muscles are not strong enough. Once you've healed you should work on strengthening the hammys so that it's less likely to happen again.

    Otherwise you should work on your quads (squats are the most effective way generally) and your calves, but don't forget the gluts (buttocks) and some of the sideways moving muscles like groin, hips, flexors, etc.

    Blah blah blah, I'm rambling. Work out with your legs 2-3 times a week. Always take a whole day of rest if you've "blasted" them before you blast them again.
     
  5. Austinite

    Austinite New Member

    Jun 17, 2002
    Austin,TX
    Thanks for the info...
     
  6. vanity_soccer13

    Apr 14, 2004
    would using a leg press machine adequately substitute doing squats? for whatever reason, I was never a big fan of squats, probably because the bar never felt very stable across my shoulders/back.
     
  7. benito camelpene

    May 31, 2003
    miami
    No other exercise can really replace squats. It's such a compound exercise. But don't force yourself to do it if the bar doesn't feel comfortable across your shoulders/back. Maybe you should try doing deadlifts...
     
  8. servotron

    servotron New Member

    Mar 4, 2004
    St Paul, MN
    benito adds something very important about squats: IT's not just your legs that are getting that workout. You also work your core when you do a typical squat, and you won't get that from a leg press machine. However, if you're looking for the same kind of result you could get it from working a leg press machine (or quad extension machine, the "kicking" motion one) and then also making sure to strengthen your core (abs, back, etc) via crunches, weighted or otherwise. An easy way to make sure you're getting your core work is to do all free-weight exercises while on a stability ball, one of those huge inflatable balls that you can sit on. it forces you to constantly engage your abdominals and back to stabilize yourself while lifting the weights in the target area you're addressing.
     
  9. bojendyk

    bojendyk New Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    South Loop, Chicago
    Soccer players have enough range of movement that they don't need to worry so much about shin splints, but I learned this summer that, if you're a runner, you should also exercise the shin area.
     
  10. vanity_soccer13

    Apr 14, 2004
    thanks benito and servotron. I figured leg press wasn't a complete substitute, but I think from what you say I have myself covered. M/Thur is legs(leg extention, curl, press and calf lifts), Tues/Friday is chest/arms, and then W/Sat is back and shoulders. In there, I throw in crunches about 3-5 times a week a long with a lot of running and biking, sometimes those crazy elliptical machines.
     
  11. w1zk1d7

    w1zk1d7 New Member

    Mar 16, 2005
    working out your legs to much can make your legs short
     
  12. torcida01

    torcida01 New Member

    Sep 13, 2005
    This is some fantastic information here guys! Squats are the mother of all compound movements. The benefit of squatting is that you are working many different muscles all in the one session, from your quadriceps to your hamstrings, your core, arms, back and your butt all get a training effect from utilising the squat. The main thing about utilising heavy compound movements with free weights is intensity. Intensity allows you to develop your fast twitch muscle fibers. This is particularly important for creating strength and generating power for improved overall performance.
     
  13. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Acnestia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Agree with all the comments about squats. I've been doing them for more than 20 years and in particular feel as if they've protected me from injury more than anything else.

    Incidentally, for those who don't like the idea of doing heavy squats: super setting by pre exhausting your quads via leg extensions then moving immediately to squats is a way of getting benefits without having to load up the bar with a lot of weight.

    I would also add that power cleans are a great supplement to squats and add dimensions of upper body work, coordination, and explosiveness to a leg workout.

    oh yeah: the point about balancing your workouts by exercising opposing muscle groups is really important. You'll likely spare yourself some pulled hammies and lower back spasms if you do it right.
     
  14. bostonsoccermdl

    bostonsoccermdl Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 3, 2002
    Denver, CO
    HUH? :rolleyes:

    Anyway, Be very careful not to ignore hamstrings. I learned the hardway, and now have chronic hamstring problems (due to over developed quads I am guessing)
     
  15. stucknutah

    stucknutah Member+

    Feb 14, 2002
    In the Office
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    It is very common for soccer players to have underdeveloped hammies due to the amount of kicking which tends to build your quads. Underdeveloped hammies tend to pull easily (especially as you get older and less flexible) and lead to knee problems due to lack of strength/flexibility in the hamstring.

    Non-weight related exercises for the hammy including running backward 1/4 to 1/3 of the time you go forward, and going backwards on a elliptical machine.

    re weight training for your hammy...if you are older, stick with the low weight high reps for more flexibility...younger players can go for the greater strength training.
     
  16. stucknutah

    stucknutah Member+

    Feb 14, 2002
    In the Office
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    I used to have the same problem. See previous post re the elliptical...I'll do up to 3-5 miles on that machine backward, and now have ZERO hamstring problems.
     
  17. bostonsoccermdl

    bostonsoccermdl Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 3, 2002
    Denver, CO

    Thanks will check it out. repped.
     
  18. bostonsoccermdl

    bostonsoccermdl Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 3, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Oh, and for those on the thread that have had problerms with hammies, after 4 months of physical therapy (stretching and ultrasound) I resorted to acupuncture as a suggestion from my physical therapist.

    I had 2 sessions and it did help. I still have problems , but I can jog and sprint and kick (feel sore for 2 days after though..) but at least I am not in a debilitated state like I was earlier (couldnt even jog)

    I would look into it if traditional methods dont work. It made a believer out of me.
     
  19. servotron

    servotron New Member

    Mar 4, 2004
    St Paul, MN
    quoted for extreme "WTF?!" value.

    WTF M8?
     
  20. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 New Member

    Jan 27, 2002
    Falls Church, VA
    Great info on squats. They are probably my favorite exercise.

    However, if you don't feel confortable doing squats with a barbell across your back here are some alternatives with Dumbells- they arent quite the same but still work areas similar to the squat and get you off the machines.

    Dumbell Squat-
    http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/DBSquat.html

    Dumbell Lunge - http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/DBLunge.html

    Single Leg Squat-http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/DBSingleLegSplitSquat.html

    You can also hold the barbell across the front in the squat, though I find this move more difficult (at least for me). http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/BBFrontSquat.html
     
  21. bostonsoccermdl

    bostonsoccermdl Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 3, 2002
    Denver, CO

    My legs are shrinking as we speak. Any advice?
     
  22. w1zk1d7

    w1zk1d7 New Member

    Mar 16, 2005
    These are for the ones that arent fully grown yet it will stop the growth in your legs my friends buddy has been lifting weights on his legs since 15 now hes 21 or so and he has the smallest but built little pecker legs.
     
  23. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Acnestia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Did you happen to notice how long his parents' legs are? I mean, maybe his legs were going to be short regardless.

    15 is not a bad age to start lifting weights. I talked to my doctor about my sons and he had some concerns for them under the age of 12, but older than that is fine, as long as the workout is designed with some sense. New weightlifters can get huge benefits without pushing a lot of weight. Circuit training, which uses light weights and short/no intervals between sets, mixed with flexibility and plyometric work is very good for soccer players and poses less risk to young joints than does heavier lifting for strength.
     
  24. bostonsoccermdl

    bostonsoccermdl Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 3, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Nonsense! I have shrank 5 inches since I have started working my legs. I look like a mere hobbit minus the hair!
     

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