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Secrets of Speed and Quickness Training
A collection of articles
by Dr. Larry Van Such - Vol. 8


Why is it that the smallest guy on the team is the only one getting credit for having the strongest leg on the team?

We've all seen and heard of it before. You are there watching a good football game, and a punter, backed up into his own end zone, drills a 70 yarder dashing any hope of the opposing team working with a short field. Or, just before halftime or the end of a game, a place kicker nails a 55+ yarder.  And what is it that we hear from the announcers? “Wow, that guy has a strong leg!”

Standing 6'1" and weighing 175 pounds soaking wet, I can tell you as a former kicker myself that I did not have the strongest leg on my team. In fact, I would be willing to bet that I had the weakest leg on my team with respect to physical strength in the weight room. Yet, everyone believed I had a strong leg. Early on in my career this was flattering to hear. But, behind the scenes, and especially in the weight room, everyone knows the offensive and defensive linemen are the real strong men -- the ones with legendary feats of strength. But the funny thing is, you never hear anyone praising them for having a strong leg.

Why don’t those with the strongest leg muscles kick the ball farther?

So, two questions you have to ask yourself are:

1) If the linemen have the strongest legs on the team, why aren't they doing the kicking? 

2) Does the kicker really have a strong leg, or is it a more appropriate to ask if the kicker REALLY has a quick or fast leg?

Sounds like a stupid question, but when you consider that a typical college offensive lineman can squat upwards of 500 pounds and leg press upwards of 700 pounds, and the average kicker is lucky to do 300 and 500 respectively, it is something worth questioning.

So, with the obvious differences in strength between these two positions, where is this difference made up by the punters and kickers that allows them to firmly establish themselves on the team as having "the strongest leg?"

The answer is:  Punters and kickers have quicker muscular contraction rates in the muscles responsible for performing a punt, kickoff or field goal than the linemen trying to perform the same skill do.

Or in other words: The leg muscles of kickers accelerate the speed of the leg much quicker. Therefore when the foot meets the ball, the leg of the kicker is moving much faster than the leg of the lineman.

This boils down to a simple physics equation. If you're up to speed in this area, then you know that

F=MA  or  Force(F) = Mass(M) x Acceleration (A).

If we put aside for the moment that punting and kicking are specialized skills involving timing and ball placement on the kicker’s foot, the distance then that a ball will travel is directly related to the amount of mass (M) striking the ball times the amount of acceleration (A) or, speed.

Now I don't think there is much argument in the fact that an offensive or defensive lineman's leg and foot have more mass than the average kicker’s, so we will credit them for that. So then, the difference in the amount of force (F) generated has to be in the amount of speed/acceleration (A) that a kicker’s leg and foot impacts into the ball.

And, I am willing to bet that the average kicker can swing his leg between 2-5 times faster than the average lineman, and this is more than enough of a difference to compensate for any difference of physical strength in the weight room, thus resulting in a greater ability to kick a ball.

So where does this speed come from?

First, consider the muscles involved in performing a punt or kick. The muscles involved in punting are the thigh/hip flexors and quadriceps.

Thigh/Hip Flexors

Vastus Rectus
Adductor Magnus
Adductor Brevis


Vastus Lateralis
Vastus Rectus
Vastus Medialis
Vastus Intermedius

And, for performing a soccer style field goal or kickoff, we have one additional muscle group, the Adductors


Adductor Magnus
Adductor Longus
Adductor Brevis

These are the muscles involved in performing punting and kicking skills.

The speed of these muscles does not come in the weight room. It never has and never will, and kicking a ball very far is proof of that.

The speed can only come by conditioning the fast twitch muscle fibers found within the muscles. These are the muscle fibers that cause the muscle to respond with explosive speed and quickness.
And the best way to train the fast twitch fibers is by using products that by their very nature transfer speed qualities back into the muscles that are opposing them.

Here at Athletic we have a saying that says

"Athletes become like that which they train."
If you train with dynamic elastic resistance bands using an isometric training strategy the way we show you, then you will athletically become more dynamic, more responsive, and best of all faster.

The KICK FARTHER and RUN FASTER with Isometric Training program will help you to accomplish at least two of your athletic goals:

1) Kick farther whether it be a punt, field goal (soccer style or straight on), kick off (soccer style or straight on) or kicking on the soccer field;

2) And help you run faster then ever before because the KICK FARTHER and RUN FASTER with Isometric Training program contains all of the RUN FASTER with Isometric Training program exercises.

Always glad to help,

Dr. Larry Van Such


Speed Training For All Sports
Speed Training Exercises For Faster Muscles

Other Articles...

24 - Slow 40 Times? Football Coaches, Are you the Problem?

23 - Secrets of Speed Training to Make You Faster in Days - 4 part Series

22 - Pop Warner Football Player Scoring More Touchdowns!

21 - The glutes are often underdeveloped for 'pulling'

20 - Is Running Steps a Good Idea or a Bad Idea?

19 - Developing Speed and Power in the Tennis Serve - 3 Part Series

18 - Developing Bat Speed and Power in the Baseball Swing - 4 Part Series

17-4 - Becoming An All-Star Athlete.

17 - Why Isometric Training with Resistance Bands Differs From Isometric Training With Weights - 4 Part Series

16 - Muscle Confusion - What is the more complete definition?

15 - Improve your sports performance by training with all 3 muscle contractions - Part 1 of 2

14 - Bruce Lee - One of the fastest and quickest athletes ever

13 - 8 Tips to Incorporate Speed Training into Your Strength Routine

12 - Why You Must Train For Speed and Strength Separately

11 - When It Comes To Speed, Even The Best Machines Will Disappoint You

10 - Why Most 'Speed Training' Programs Do Not Deliver As Advertised

09 - Start speed training midseason and still see results in days

08 - Why the smallest guy on the team is getting credit for having the strongest leg.

07 - Golf - Golf Swing Muscles to Exercise for Swing Speed

06 - Todays' isometrics with resistance bands conditions muscles for speed, strength and coordination in ways static weights can not.

05 - The little known secret behind 'No Pain No Gain'.

04 - Not All Exercise Resistance Bands Are Created Equal.

03 - Baseball Players: An Exercise That Will Increase Bat Speed and Generate Power - Part 1

02 - To jump higher train your hip flexor muscles to contract quicker

01 - Isometric exercises with the resistance band  - The single most effective way to increase the speed of muscular contraction.

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