Lower body strength critical to success

Kasey Judge Xiang Tak, a sophomore on the women's cross-country team, demonstrates lunges.
Kasey Judge
Xiang Tak, a sophomore on the women’s cross-country team, demonstrates lunges.

Name one sport that doesn’t require lower body strength. Having a hard time? That’s probably because lower body strength is a baseline to being great at nearly every sport.

Lower body strength is the most important aspect to being a strong soccer player, said Chico State forward Hector Cibrian.

Players need strong legs, calves and quads to become great players. And when they’re matched up one-on-one against an opponent, beating them is based on the power in their legs.

Even though the lower body is crucial in his sport, Cibrian prefers to bulk up his chest and arms.

“I’d rather work out my upper body honestly, but as a soccer player it’s probably better to work out your legs,” Cibrian said. “You need that balance because one helps the other.”

During the spring off-season, the team focuses on getting stronger by working out their legs with exercises such as squats, cleans, lunges and hamstrings, Cibrian said.

Lower body strength is vital as a runner because you can’t run if your legs aren’t strong, said Xiang Tak, a runner on the women’s cross-country team. Runners must strike a balance between legs that are strong but not too bulky, so the runner can take powerful strides along with many steps.

Chico State’s dancers also rely on conditioning to ensure they’re in tip-top shape.

Lower body strength is extremely important for dancers, said Stina Trignani, a dancer for Chico State’s dance group Momentum.

“Jumps, holds, turns and even simple movements such as walking on the correct count or beat use every muscle that your legs can offer,” she said. “After years of dance and cheer, it looks like I’m flexing even when I’m not. It’s a reminder of my hard work.”


Thembiso Mawema can be reached at [email protected] or @thembii_ on Twitter.