Soccer: Improving Single Leg Strength

Although there are multiple strategies to improve one’s strength, for the majority of our athletes I tend to have a basic approach.  If they crush a set with a certain amount of weight, add 5lbs for the next set…

DB Reverse Lunges 3 x 8/side

Week 1:  They did 30s –> Start with 35s/40s next week

Week 2:  They did 35s–> Start with 40s/45s next week

Week 3:   Pretty simple right?

The programming is a bit boring but for relatively inexperienced trainees it works well and it comes down to being motivated to get better.  The programming strategy stems from the story of Milo…

     “The story of how Milo got his strength has been told for over 2,000 years. Briefly, his father gave him a bull calf for his son to raise. One day, his father asked him, ‘How big is your bull today?’ Milo ran outside, picked up the calf and carried him inside to show his father. Each day, his father asked him ‘How big is your bull today?’ and each day Milo ran outside, picked up the bull and carried him to his father. This went on for a number of years. As the bull grew, so did Milo’s strength. 
We know now that the story is not literally true. It’s a fable and as all fables, it has a moral. In my opinion, the moral of the story is this: Build strength by increasing the load so slowly that you hardly notice the increase in weight or effort required to lift it.”

Mike Boyle often talks about how they use a similar strategy and we know how well this works when you see this from a female athlete…

RFE Split Squat 120lbs x 20

Here is one of our female college soccer athlete’s with 88lbs x 6.  The goal is the above video 🙂
RFE Split Squat 88lbs x 6 @ Bodyweight of 115-120

The few strategies that we used so far are…

1.   Negatives in the beginning for reverse lunges (Eccentric portion)

2.   Adding holds in the bottom position of reverse lunges (Isometric)

3.   Progress to RFE Split Squat after the first two


For those that like to see a basic progression outline, here it goes….

DB Reverse Lunges (learn the movement)–>DB Reverse Lunges w/ 3-5s Negative–>DB Reverse Lunges with 3-5s Isometric–>RFE Split Squat (learn the movement).




Categories: Injury Prevention, Strength Training

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