T Nation

Soccer Players/Nice Legs

I have sent emails to a few soccer experts or so it seems, and nobody has replied regarding what soccer players, especially those on TV or in the newspapers, professionals mainly, and the muscular legs they posess.

I am wanting to know from someone who is sure of the answer, what do they do besides just running alot to achieve such muscularity? Today’s USA Today newspaper shows a good photo, June 25, of some soccer players with bulging leg muscles. Are they lifting weights or just running alot? The rest of their body is not muscular at all for the most part, but the legs are huge in some cases.

I have seen my legs get bigger just from doing weight free squats or bodyweight squats almost daily, but plan on doing them several times per day in order to keep matabolism cranked throughout the day to lower bodyfat. And I run now for the first time in my 48 yrs. after years of thinking my knees could not hold up with a running regimen.

The squats are improving the knees by strengthening the muscles all around them and a good warmup allows me to run pain free for the most part, but I would love to know how to have larger leg muscles without doing heavy lifting and it looks like this might be possible viewing the soccer photos and thinking maybe they do no lifting for their legs. Thanks!

The soccer players at my D1 school do a lot of atg squats, deadlifts, and olympic lifts in addition to their running. Squatting multiple times every day seems a bit much especially in addition to running.

My belief is that the reason why soccer players have such well developed legs is because they are exposing them to many different types of forces at different angles.

Constantly starting, stopping, and turning at high velocities would cause them to adapt and grow from such a stimulus. Its similar to how the chest reacts from different stimulation from incline, decline, barbell, dumbbell, fly movements.

Chances are they weight train. I know that the USA national team has a pretty strict weight training program for there players.

Given, not all players around the world train with weights, but I bet a good hunk hunk of them do.

And just because there not in the rep range of 6-12 doesnt mean they cant get that look you are describing.

[quote]2quick wrote:
I would love to know how to have larger leg muscles without doing heavy lifting[/quote]

Have fun with that.

I’ve high school soccer players do atg squat jumps up steep mountains with lightly loaded barbells.

[quote]Shoebolt wrote:
I’ve high school soccer players do atg squat jumps up steep mountains with lightly loaded barbells.[/quote]

Hmm, do you think this would be a good exercise for hockey as well?


This guy (one of my clients) just did Tabata front squats, straight-leg deads, Bulgarian squats, military presses, chins and dips.

Muscularity cannot happen without hard work under heavy weights, period.

Here is is doing Farmers Walk, about 100lbs per hand for 200 feet or so.

Ya gotta be well-rounded to be an athlete.


Thick bar curls for reps (purely vanity for a soccer player!)


500 lb tire flip.

I’ll see if I can get a pic of the wheels. I see him tomorrow night. His legs are something to behold IMO.

Here’s a calf pic for now. Seen from behind, they’re diamond-cut. I just figured I’d send whatever I had for now. He gets comments all the time by strangers about his calves.

All we do for them is stretches. No need to waste valuable time.

They have to weight train to get the legs they have. Roberto Carlos probably has the “nicest” or biggest legs out there for soccer players and if you look at them he has to weight train.

Like someone said I think they get shocked to grow a lot with all of the turning and pivoting and pushing off of their legs.

Some kind of proof of them lifting is the movie ‘Goal’. It shows them in the weight room doing different exercises along with legs.

[quote]double1 wrote:
2quick wrote:
I would love to know how to have larger leg muscles without doing heavy lifting

Have fun with that.[/quote]

No thats definitely possible. I didn’t lift in high school and played soccer, and my legs grew significantly both in size and strength. It got to the point where, because i was a skinny kid, if i tried to lay on my back and do leg-lifts i would tip forward because i was so bottom heavy.

However if you think about the fact that this was the result of running 5-10 miles 6 days a week along with bodyweight exercises its definitely not the easiest/quickest way to go. Also soccer takes allot of sprinting and agility training which are closer to weight lifting than they are to jogging.

It’s the repetitive use of their legs, similar to the reason most baseball players have large forearms from batting so much.

Thank You all for you replies! Much appreciated. As for the person who said only under heavy lifting with weights, I believe you are dead wrong.

Lance Armstrong and some of his buddies do not lift weights, let alone heavy weights. And like I said, just doing body weight squats transformed my legs to a larger size. I just did not understand why the soccer players would only use the weight room for legs only and therefore figured maybe they did not lift weights at all. Body weight squats and lots of them are an incredible aerobic workout, reduce bodyfat bigtime, are not going to ruin or harm the joints, ligaments or any other structural component and the only reason I mentioned doing them several times per day for a couple weeks, is because I wanted to quickly rid myself of the small amount of flab around my waistline and felt this is a good way to keep the metabolism cranking bigtime throughout the day. Because it seems like, if you do some running on an empty stomach early in the day, then maybe slip and have too much to eat during one or two meals, you can combat that excess calorie intake by doing the squats all day long, maybe thirty or forty every other hour. I’m not interested in looking like the steroid freak super huge goon represented on the cover of all the hard core mags.

[quote]2quick wrote:
As for the person who said only under heavy lifting with weights, I believe you are dead wrong.

Lance Armstrong and some of his buddies do not lift weights, let alone heavy weights.[/quote]

LOL. Go away. Seriously.

This website is fucking dying.

[quote]2quick wrote:
I’m not interested in looking like the steroid freak super huge goon represented on the cover of all the hard core mags.[/quote]

It’s a good thing you slipped that in there or else you might wake up tomorrow and be able to win the olympia.

Most soccer players I know dont do weights.

If you want to be good at soccer then play lots of soccer!!

soccer players continuously accellerate/decellerate. Hence they are doing many sprint workouts during training and during matches

Didn’t Chad say recently that it’s speed that counts, well they move at high speed in rapidly changing directions with high frequency