The Best Leg Workouts To Improve Strength And Power

When someone thinks of a workout that develops strength, endurance, and power, leg workouts make the top of the list. A proper leg workout increases the distance a kicker or punter generates per kick. Kicker workout programs are mainly functional strength. But that being said, there should not be one type of workout that is better than the next.

Whatever the kicker needs to work on, they should. Leg workouts for kickers, no matter how easy or difficult, needs to have to goal of improvement by being uncomfortable.

Workouts for football kickers and football kicker stretches are great way to challenge, and properly recover the body for the leg dependent nature of a football kicker.

The highest paid Nfl Kicker, Justin Tucker or really any of the highest paid nfl kickers, place a huge priority on leg day importance.

Adam Vinateri, to date the best kicker to ever play the game of football, has a career earnings of $47.26M. It’s safe to say the Adam Vinateri salary was well earned and he definitely takes care of his body.

Every kicker should know what leg day importance means to them. Ultimately, there is no such thing as too much leg day. While we recommend leg day be every day, breaks are essential for recovery.

That is really all working out is. Making your muscles uncomfortable and through stress, they grow. Get better in small ways any chance you get! Stay tuned for a more detailed leg cheat sheet.

And for the love of science don’t be the buff guy skinny legs thing that you see at the gym. Being a guy with small legs are a pandemic in this country. Please please please don’t be known as the guy with the bigger upper body small lower body. You want to be the athlete with the well rounded physique! It’s best to work on developing the entire body, you’ll feel much better than the guy below.

Leg Workouts For Kickers

While the legs and hips seem so similar, there is a difference when it comes to exercising them. Having strong legs allows your weight to get through the ball.

When a kicker uses momentum to get through a ball, the entire body becomes a useful part of the kick. Eventually, all of the power for the kick becomes used with strong legs.

A good football kicker workout places a lot of the focus on developing functional strength in the legs.

Developing functional strength in the legs takes time, but it is better to have strength in the legs than relying on ball contact and everything to be perfect in order to make the kick. When weights are paired with a Kicking Coach, the kicker’s Consistency, Stretching routines, and Field Goals increase over time turning them into a Professional. (with time of course) Drills, Ball Contact, and Meditation improve the overall experience of the kicker.

A good kicker is strong enough to turn an ugly kick into 3 points. Rather than the one who gets so focused on all the small details and never gets any points.

Staying Mentally Tough for the Leg Workouts

Far too often, people think they can get through something by “sort of” doing the activity. When doing a challenging activity, do it with full intent of accomplishing it to the entirety.

Do not tell yourself, “okay since I got to the gym late, I can skip the last exercise.” You better superset, work with urgency, or bench press and squat at the same time. (please do not do this, though it would be awesome) However, the best way to get your leg workouts in, or any workouts for kickers in for that matter, is by being disciplined.

If that means going to the gym earlier to account for the rush at the end, then so be it. Likewise, we make excuses all the time on why we do not accomplish our goals. We make excuses in our minds about why it does not work out.

If you feel in a rush, plan your day the night before. Put all of your gym clothes in an organized way, or in a gym bag the night before. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

Box Jumps

  • Stand in an athletic position, with your feet shoulder-width apart, at a comfortable distance from the box.
  • When you are ready to jump, drop quickly into a quarter squat, then extend your hips, swing your arms, and push your feet through the floor to propel yourself onto the box.
  • Don’t “stick” your landing. Instead, envision the way cats land when they jump from something—you, too, should try to land this quietly.

The beauty of box jumps is that they are so amazing for creating an explosive baseline for the legs and their power. Through box jumps alone, a kicker develops the fast-twitch muscles necessary for hitting farther field goals.

Again, kicker exercises place a high importance on functional, explosive strength.

While they work on power, control becomes just as important. The box jumps have many variations as well. A kicker can do one leg box jumps, sprinting form, or high knees touching the box or even weights with a box jump.

As time progresses, the legs naturally get stronger, adding weight progressively needs to happen as it improves leg strength exponentially. Through progressive overload, the legs properly get challenged. Which then allows our body to flourish and grow!

Jumping Lunges

Oh boy, I hope you are sitting down, if you are not, you better, this one is funnnnn. the jumping lunge leg workouts just hit the body differently. When one does this exercise, get a partner to film you as there will be some Instagram worthy intensity going on.

That’s right, when the sweat drips off the nose, take the picture! I sure hope you get a massive amount of likes. The weight for this exercise needs to be one that both challenges you, and allows you to get fully off the ground for the target reps.

For example, if you decide to do 3 sets of 16 (1 rep would be each jump) then by the 3rd set, there should be no problem getting off the ground by rep 10.

Football kicker workouts need to challenge your explosive endurance more than raw strength. Since our motions are so explosive, a kicker workout program needs to be done the right way. Train explosive, fast, and smart!

Squattttsssss

Oh yes, enjoy these, the squats are among the best and least most fun to do in the gym. If there is one thing you gather from this paragraph, do not skip this exercise. Your gainz will thank you in the future.

When doing a squat, some basic tips must be brought up in order to maximize growth. The closer the legs are together, the more the quads get worked. Likewise, the farther away they are, the more the hamstrings get worked.

Therefore, if your legs go as far apart as possible, you guessed it, you are doing the splits with weights on your back. You might need to seek medical attention because you may have fallen and need someone to lift the weights from you.

By all means, if you can do the splits while holding weights on your back, do it, and film it. Jujimufu became famous for this, but we highly recommend against trying anything like that.

The squat does many things for your legs. One result being it creates a strong foundation for your body to perform at its highest level. So stay strong and squat on! (Hopefully, that catches on)

Goblet Squats

The granddaddy of mobility exercises, the goblet squat provides so many benefits.

You might be asking, what is a goblet squat?

Well friend,

The workout digest boils the goblet squat into 3 main benefits;

  1. It’s the Best Squat Variation for Beginners
  2. It Improves Posture by Strengthening Your Core
  3. It’s the Best Mobility and Activation Tool for the Lower Body

When doing a goblet squat, the load becomes much lighter, placing an emphasis on form and technique. This needs to be a focal point for every kicker everywhere, form and technique have become widely overlooked!

Goblet squats, when done correctly, create incredible growth. They are great for the core, legs, lats, and of course, glutes.

A wise man once said strong glutes makes the world go ‘round. (no one ever said it, it will catch on soon though!) even though in theory, goblet squats seem simple, do 3 sets of 20 goblet squat jumps with challenging weight then see how that goes, friend. Do not knock it until you try it!

Jump Squatttssss

Oh gee, this has to be one of the most rewarding, and challenging exercises available. When done right, the quads, hamstrings, hips, and the core get torched in this exercise.

A great trick is to keep it simple. Just try to explode off the ground. Keep the goals of the exercise simple, and small, results are going to happen. If doing a barbell squat jump, put the bar on the back, put the thumb on the side where all the other fingers rest. That way, the shoulders do not get hinged or hurt.

Proper form allows the body to fully utilize the muscles necessary for maximum gainzz. Do the movement carefully but with intensity, so you can maximize distance on your field goals. One of the biggest takeaways when watching new kickers and punters doing leg workouts; they have little to no direction in the gym.

A beautiful app, JEFIT has an incredible app that needs to be seen by the masses! Learning how the body works and how specific leg exercises benefit can be highly beneficial. JEFIT tracks your body weight, body numbers in general, your weight lifting statistics, and much much more.

For example, if I were to do a 500 pound squat 8 times for 3 sets (I wish) Jefit would then tell me what my numbers are for a 1 rep max all the way to 20. They have truly made an app that takes all the heavy lifting from you (pun completely intended.)

Broad Jumps

Oh yes, the ancient broad jump, our ancestors did the broad jump in order to see which one was more worthy of the next kingdom. The farther the jump, the more prestigious they were.

None of this ever happened but I sure would pay to see a movie about it. The beautiful thing about the broad jump is that it does not take a lot of energy to perform. In essence, it is simple; stand in once spot, then jump ass far forward as you can.

This exercise works on every muscle in the body. The broad jump, if done properly, improves explosiveness, acceleration, power, and control. Since it creates so much power in such a short time, then having to stop immediately after jumping, it tells the body to use maximum force for a limited time.

Much like kicking, broad jumps take place within a few seconds. Doing them before, after, or during kicking, practice instills the fact that the broad jump warm-up, and work out the muscles at the same time.

Just be careful jumping with running shoes on as they may not grab the turf as much as football kicking cleats might. You’re probably asking, “what are the best cleats for kickers??” Or “what are the best kicking cleats?” “I have to know or else I won’t be able to sleep!” Well friend, click this link to see our recommendation of the best football kicking cleats.

The best shoes for football kickers is a common theme we get asked on this site. Therefore, finding the best football cleats for kickers will greatly improve your confidence and give you the upper hand if they are comfortable to you. So check out the previous post to see Nike Kicking Cleats, or just the kicker cleats to take your kicking game to the next level. Click the link to see the best cleats for football kickers or to learn more about football kicker cleats.

If you are short for time and need some effective leg workouts, doing some jump squats with or without the bar, broad jumps, and goblet squat jumps will get your body moving in the right direction.

Leg Weight Swings

The leg weight swing needs to be utilized more. Many kickers do not understand the importance of functional strength. According to Antoni Luke-Akagi,

“functional strength training is the practice of motion against resistance, with an objective of improving a participant’s ability to perform a specific athletic activity. “

Antoni Luke-Akagi – Precor.com

The functional strength of leg weight kicking swings will undoubtedly increase range of motion, strength, and quick-twitch fibers. By using the exact movement kicking is, then adding weights, the body has no choice but to get stronger.

Personally, I use the EMVP Leg Speed Weights. They are incredible and definitely help me in terms of increasing my explosiveness when I kick. The leg weights come with .5 pound weights so you can either have little resistance allowing for a slight resistance kick. Or for the wild people, 5 pounds of weight per leg. This may not seem like a lot, but 5 extra pounds definitely take their toll on each and every movement you do.

These are great for warming up, kicking/punting, working out, stretches, and even daily activities. Every now and then if I feel guilty for overeating on the weekends, I will strap these bad boys on and walk around the grocery store to do my shopping. Just make sure you wear sweat pants so they do not interfere with the style.

One side note, the interior grips the leg pretty good. So either, wear pretty high socks or get a little sweat going on the legs BEFORE you put them on. They might pull a few leg hairs, definitely not fun. But at the same time, no pain no gain, so you decide.

The emvp leg weights providing proper leg workouts for athletes
The EMVP Leg Weights in Action

Front Squats Leg Workouts

A wise man once said a front squat a day keeps the skinny legs away. Well to be fair, no one said that, but I imagine it is a thing. This exercise when done properly creates a lot of core, quad, and overall flexibility. Since the bar goes in the front, the body goes deeper into the squat position. Therefore, a deeper amount of the muscles that normally do not get hit, feel it now.

DISCLAIMER; the front squat is made for those tough enough to withstand the challenges of having the weight in front. This exercise hits the quads almost twice as hard as the back squat.

Do this exercise with complete knowledge of how to do it. The bar can either rest on the clavicle bone with your elbows pointing away from you, or arms crossed. When the arms cross, the weight stays on the shoulders. Whichever hold position feels more comfortable, do that.

Develop Your Own Leg Workouts

When doing leg workouts, make sure the exercise focuses on different parts of the leg. Doing too much of anything can lead to bad things so make sure the focus remains on progress not overdoing one thing.

Keep the workouts in balance, your body will thank you for whichever one you choose. A recommendation; do one day of strength and weights, the next day should be plyometrics, and bodyweight exercises. Approach the leg workout programs with a yin and yang mentality. Balance out the workouts so you have better preparation for any scenario!

Now with this new knowledge about some additional leg workouts for kickers that improve explosiveness and overall power, go get after it!

If you enjoyed reading this article, please share this so we can continue to grow!

There was a great article posted on proper stretches for kickers. If you want to learn how to get more flexible, powerful, and mobile, click the link to see stretches for kickers/punters.

Also, check out this video to see how you can unlock your hip power, and reduce injuries through proper stretching.

Check out the link if you want a more in depth approach to Unlock Your Hip Flexors.

Also, if you have any suggestions for what we should write about next, let us know! Thanks for reading and stay amazing!

-Eric

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