Soccer's Effect on Leg Development

Hey so soccer seems to develop some great legs in many people. I’m not sure why this is but I figured finding out can only help one develop better legs. Let’s take a look at what is involved with the sport and see how it is different than other sports when it comes to leg development.

You spend a good amount of time running around. Ok, we’ll you do that in basketball and football too. Basketball is closer to soccer with the amount of cutting/footwork and involves more cardio. In football, you still run on a soft turf but there are more breaks in between.

Foot work:
You cut/juke in basketball, football and soccer. The biggest difference in soccer seems to be ball control. A little more concentrated footwork is needed to move the ball around the field, avoid opponents, steal the ball etc.

Kicking the ball: Not sure how much this helps but kicking power shots is not present in the other sports.

So not sure where the eureka stimulus is for leg development. Genetics aside, soccer has built some very large calves on people who never did a weighted calf raise in their life. If that can be tapped into then it can lead us to greater leg development.


Most FOOTBALL (Americans calling it soccer, wtf.) players train in the weight room and do squats etc. so thats why they have ‘OK’ legs.

That only applies to some of them also, many pro football players have skinny ass legs (ryan giggs as an example).

I ate/slept/breathed/shit football a few years ago, I was very good at it. My legs were skinny as shit, since I was only 15.

Anyways, football player legs are ok simply because they are running around a lot. Which the average person does not do. It still won’t make your legs bigger than squatting once a week.

That aside, running back and fourth constantly will make your calves excruciatingly sore the next day, and can cause a pump/DOMS equal to or worse than calf raises.

I know as this happened to me in the last couple of months of my football phase (they were in brutal pain every day), but then I got injured and had to stop.

So I can see how football can help toward calf development.

But i’ve said this before, and ill say it again - If you want to find the biggest legs/calves or anything for that matter: Look at bodybuilders.

Soccer players do a lot of sprinting in intervals. They also work their quads to improve kicking. I think these are the main causes for leg growth, or lack of it - some players just sprint or kick less because of their role on the field. As mentioned before, some have great quads, some are just “ok” compared to a normal person.

Any good soccer player spends the majority of the game on the toes, it makes turning and sidestepping easier when you have the ball, while defending you have to be on your toes to track the movement of the opposition players.

Walk around on your toes for 90 minutes, that’ll work your calves. However I stopped playing soccer 2 years ago when I first got into weight training and my calves are now 3 inches bigger. Most soccer players at a decent level would combine the 2.

I know Branch Warren plays soccer on the weekends. So does Trey Brewer.


Thanks guys. I just figured it was a worthy subject.

I remember at one point in training when i began doing a lot of cardio on an excercise bike in addition to the calf raises i was already doing, i saw an increase in size. So that kind of always stuck with me as far as maybe there being more one can do to build their calves other than just weighted calf raises.