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Improve Soccer Strength With A Reverse Lunge To Knee Drive

Improved leg strength has been shown to increase speed on the field. This exercise is used to improve strength and stability of the ground based or closed chain leg and the hip flexors of the non-ground based or open chain leg. The exercise will strengthen the quadriceps, hamstring and glutes on the closed chain leg and the psoas, iliacus and rectus femoris on the open chain leg. The hip flexor group is important in the recovery phase of the running stride as it brings the knee back to the waist line in order to drive the leg back into the ground thus propelling the body forward. The hip flexors are also frequently injured and strengthening them can help prevent future muscle strains.

This exercise can be performed without resistance, but for this article, we will utilize a weight attached to a pulley system to enhance the exercise. The weight will be attached to the open chain ankle typically using a velcro strap. The athlete will perform a reverse lunge stepping back towards the weight stack. The focus should be on getting the thigh parallel to the ground with the knee slightly over the toe on the closed chain leg. The closed chain leg should bear most of your weight. Return to the starting position adding a knee drive with the open chain leg until the knee is waist high. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions on each side and perform 2-3 sets using light weight such as 5-15 pounds.

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