Leg mass helps football players maintain ground against opponents.
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Muscle mass, particular in the lower body, offers an advantage to football players who have to physically go head-to-head with opponents. Putting on muscle in the thighs and calves takes high-volume workouts that feature compound exercises. Compound exercises, which include exercises like squats, lunges and deadlifts, are ones that require multiple joints to get involved. Isolation exercises -- like leg extensions, leg curls and calf raises -- are beneficial when you're trying to develop tone or definition, but are not ideal for putting on mass. When scheduling your weight-training workouts, take into account any football practices or competitions you have so that you're not fatigued when it comes time to perform on the field.1.
Schedule two lower-body, weight-training workouts into your weekly schedule. Your thighs and calves will be fatigued after each high-volume workout and will need 72 hours of rest in between each session, so allow for two to three days of recovery time.
Perform three to six sets of six to 12 reps of each exercise. Dr. Helen M. Binkley of the National Strength and Conditioning Association recommends this volume for building muscle mass. Keep rest periods between sets to 30 to 90 seconds.3.
Begin each workout with back squats. Back squats effectively develop your glutes, quadriceps and calves. With a weighted barbell on the back of your shoulders, set your feet to hip-width apart. Initiate the squat with your hips, pushing them back towards the wall behind you, and then bend your knees to lower your hips toward the floor. Continue until your thighs are parallel to the ground and then extend your knees and hips to return to standing position.4.
Incorporate deadlifts into your workout. Deadlifts work your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps and calves. Stand with your feet underneath a weighted barbell resting on the floor. Push your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a squat and then grip the bar with both hands. Your hands should be just wider than your hips and palms should face your shins. Drive your feet into the floor as you extend your hips and knees to stand up, pulling the bar off the floor. Lower the bar back to the floor by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. The bar should never travel beyond the vertical line of your toes.5.
Finish your workouts with barbell lunges, which will develop your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps and calves. Set a weighted barbell on the back of your shoulders. Take a big step forward with one foot to place you in a staggered stance. Both sets of toes should face forward. Keep your torso erect as you bend your lead knee so that your back knee lowers toward the floor. Rise back up and bring your lead foot back to finish the rep. Switch legs every rep until you're finished with the set.
- Weight-training equipment
- A muscle-building, hypertrophy workout program is ideally performed during the football off-season. Because of the high volume of the sessions needed to bring about muscle mass, they can cause you to be too fatigued during competition. Begin your mass-building program after football season is over and you've taken a couple weeks off to let your body heal from the high-stress season.
- Keep your knees safe during squats and lunges by never allowing them to travel forward beyond your toes. See your doctor before beginning a new workout regimen.