If you are like me, you have spent countless hours in the gym doing squats, lunges, etc. trying to build sculpted pillars of steel. It gets old having the same exercises and the same routines over and over again. Then why do that to yourself?
Years ago, my friend and I read a book about building the perfect body. It did not give us step by step instructions on the body we should have; rather, it allowed us to customize. For example, I wanted the arms of a baseball player, the legs of a soccer pro, and the endurance of a boxer. Then there were chapters on how soccer players exercise legs, and likewise for the other sports too.
This is not simply cross-training, but an actual scripting of how to get desired results. I propose that the next time you are in an off season or looking for a change to explore different workouts. Not just reading how you can shake up your reps and sets doing the same routine; rather, shock your system.
Most plateaus in lifting happen due to muscle memory. Our muscles get used to the same exercises and only put out so much. When we take six weeks to pursue a soccer workout for leg strengthening, we are having our muscles learn something new.
To not leave you without some actionable advice on legs here is a simple soccer workout to shock your legs.
Soccer is about explosion. We want our muscles to explode into high gear without thinking. To do this you need to train them this way.
Knee highs are great explosive exercises. To do these get into a jumping stance: feet should width apart and squat slightly. Then you jump as high as you can and drive your knees to your chest. As soon as your toes touch the ground, drive upwards again.
Another great exercise is a rattle-snake sprint. It is said rattle-snakes are super fast for the first 10 or so feet and then they have nothing after that. Rightfully so, these sprints mimic the snake. Get into a sprinter stance like an Olympic runner. Then jump out of the blocks as quickly as you can for only a short distance. I like to do the width of a football field and high jump my way back to starting point.
Those two exercises alone will rewrite your muscle memory. However, you can add in some traditional weight training really make your legs hate you in the morning.
The moral to the story is that to really see different results, do something different.
(Photo courtesy of Gabriella Fabbri)