As promised, here is one great example of a single-leg strength training exercise that works very well for soccer players. It targets the knee and hip extensors (glutes, hamstrings, quads) and also the external rotators of the hip, which play a role in stabilizing the hip and knee while running, cutting, jumping and kicking.
To perform this exercise, stand in front of a step 12-24 inches high, holding a dumbbell in one hand, with the other hand held behind the back, then shift the weight of the body onto one foot (use the opposite leg of the hand holding the dumbbell (for example, if the dumbbell is held in the left hand, stand on the right leg). Slowly lower the dumbbell towards the step in front by bending the hip and knee of the standing leg, and leaning the trunk slightly forwards. Keeping the head up and chest out, continue to lower the dumbbell until it touches the step (“touch-down”). The knee of the standing leg may rotate slightly inwards; limit this movement by contracting the external rotators on the outside of the hip. Push through the heel of the standing foot, straightening the hip and knee, and returning to the starting position, before repeating the movement again. Use a weight that is comfortable for 10 repetitions, and perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions with each leg.
I hope you enjoyed learning abut this exercise, and that you find it helpful as part of your single-leg strength routine. I’d love to hear your thoughts – drop me a line here to get the conversation started.