How To Get Soccer Legs

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

These exercises will build powerful, conditioned legs without compromising technique and ball control. Do as your body and schedule permit, but for best results try to go through this regimen at least every other day. To begin, you'll need a sports ladder, soccer cleats, and a good pair of running shoes. Take a look at the "stuff needed" section below for my favorite products in each category.

Step 2

Stretch for ten minutes then go for a run. It doesn't have to be fast. Just warm up your legs and jog a mile or so. When you're finished, stretch again. Be sure to include your quads, hamstrings, and hip flexors.

Step 3

Now you get to use your new cleats and ladder. Both will prove invaluable tools in taking your game to the next level. Drill #1: High stepping Lay the ladder out flat in the grass and run through, stepping into each rung while pumping your opposite knee up to waist level. Go slowly until you get the technique down. Repeat 10 times.

Step 4

Drill #2: Jumping Plant both feet together in front of the first rung and jump over rungs 1 & 2. Land balanced. Try your best to keep both feet together throughout the exercise. Repeat until the end of the ladder. Repeat 10 times.

Step 5

Drill #3: The Crab Take your time on this one. It's difficult at first. Be sure to get the steps down by going through slowly a few times before attempting to speed things up. For this drill, imagine yourself as a crab scuttling down a beach and out of danger. With that image in mind, place both feet to the right side of the first rung. Our first step is to move our left foot into the space between the first two rungs. Step number two is to follow suit with our right. We then step with our left to the other side of the ladder, followed by our right. The process repeats one rung up in the opposite direction and all the way through the ladder. It's easy once you get the hang of it and muscle memory will kick in before too long. All you're doing with your left foot is stepping in, then out to the left, in, then out to the right. Your right foot simply follows each movement of your left. Soon you'll be flying through in a blur, but don't rush it. Technique is the most important aspect of any drill.

Step 6

Cool down run and stretch: Take another mile long jog and stretch out your muscles afterward. Like they say, "A long muscle is a strong muscle." It's always important to warm up and cool down before and after any exercise regimen. Don't skip these steps You'll kick yourself for it later (no pun intended).

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

Concentrate on not touching the ladder at all. Many players start out and try to go too fast. They kick up the ladder and have to restart. Do not become frustrated, just take your time and work at this. The best players have.

Stuff You'll Need

Suggested Further Reading

This Student Author

This Student Author's Background

Funny or interesting story about this topic...

Through club soccer, I was lucky enough to train with some of the players from the Columbus Crew. When I got to high school, I started hearing about leg lifts. Older players would ask me if I wanted to workout after school and how much I could put up doing leg lifts. One day at club practice, I asked one of Columbus' best what he thought of lifting and if it was necessary. His response: "Leg lifts are the single worst thing I ever did to my shot. I was blasting the ball all over the place until I quit doing them." The truth is, lots of running and ladder exercises are the best ways to maintain strong, yet balanced soccer legs.

When did you first do this & how did you get started?

I've been running and playing soccer since I was about five years old. Running is in my family. It's inescapable. Soccer is my thing though, and I've spent years not only playing, but studying game strategy and physical conditioning.

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