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Quad and Hamstring Training Mistakes

by Taylor Tollison

How do you train your quads and hamstrings? Its important to think about what you are teaching your athletes or if you are an athlete yourself how you are exercising. If youíve read some of my stuff in the past you know I am a big proponent on modern strength and conditioning. Todayís article is about avoiding training mistakes with your quads and hamstrings.

The two exercises in discussion are the leg extension and leg curl. Weíve all done those exercises, even me as I grew up. We didnít know any better. We just thought that if I hoped on a machine and did the curl and the extension I would improve my strength. Weíll, this is true. You will increase your strength. In addition, I donít think these exercises are horrible itís that they are not optimal. So letís talk about why.


The first reason I donít recommend either of those exercises for your regular strength training exercise is because they are done on machines. Machines are not best because they give you artificial stabilization. You are basically locked into one plane of motion. While training consider three planes of motion. The three planes are the sagittal, transverse and frontal planes ( Front, rotation and side to side). When the body is put into a machine it provides that artificial stability. This basically decreases one major aspect of training, injury prevention. How much or how little machine training takes away from injury reduction I donít know. But, it's still important to consider.

Real World Soccer

The leg extension and leg curl do not match the real world of soccer (I am talking about from a training standpoint). Think about it. When running, your hamstring is used as a leg extender not leg curler. So you need to train your hamstrings to extend well. This will help with speed too. To train for leg extension use exercises like dead lifts ( both SL and DL).

When running , jumping and cutting which movement seems closer to real life: The leg extension or the squat? The squat of course. So train your quads with single leg and regular squats.