These 5 Exercises Will Help You Kick Like a World Cup Soccer Champ

Jul 8

BY: Stephanie Bann, DPT- Bel Air (Hickory) , MD

Rooting for Team USA during the 2014 World Cup Brazil might even motivate you to improve your soccer game. Here are five ways to get your legs World Cup ready:

1.) Hamstring stretch- A dynamic stretching routine for your legs before you start any exercise is essential.  The hamstring stretch will increase the flexibility of your legs, improving the power of your follow-through.  Lie flat on your back and hold the back of your right knee. With your left leg straight, bend and straighten your right knee, holding for 10 seconds when you feel a stretch.

Hamstring Stretch

2.) Squats- Another way to improve the power and speed of your kick is to strengthen your buttock, thighs and core.  When performing squats, it is important to maintain proper form: feet shoulder-width apart, knees in line with ankles, and core muscles engaged throughout the movement. Tip: squeeze your buttock throughout the movement


3.) Lunges- This exercise will increase your power and strength as you strike the ball by engaging your leg muscles in different planes of movement.  Start with your feet together, take a large step forward with your right leg so that your knee is in line with your ankle and your left knee bends toward the floor.  Return to starting position to finish.  Repeat to the side and behind to target different muscles.

Front Lunge

4.) Donkey kicks- Good hip mobility is important when you are trying to kick the ball farther.  Increased hip extension will allow you to put more power or force through the arc of motion before your foot contacts the ball.  Use a chair or countertop for balance and stability.  Bend your right knee and bring your right foot , extending your hip by squeezing your buttock.  Repeating this movement mimics the wind-up motion of your leg before striking the ball.

Donkey Kick

5.) One-legged heel raises- Working on balance, coordination and strength, this exercise will help your muscles as you approach the ball and with your follow through.  Using a chair or a countertop to assist with balance if needed, lift your right leg and slowly come onto your toes with your left foot.  Decreasing your speed will increase your endurance and muscle control.

Single Leg Heel Raise

For more specific explanations of all exercises, please visit and enter prescription code HWUFZETG

We can’t predict how Team USA with fare, but these five exercises will help you kick with more power and speed.  As with all exercise programs, please consult your doctor before attempting.


Exercises to Improve Soccer Kick - Drayer Physical Therapy Institute