Why muscles at the back of the leg are important for football
Hamstrings, calves & Achilles tendons are used for bursts of 'power'. In football, they are also needed to work for long periods.
Leg power is essential for top level football
The muscles in the legs support, balance, and propel the body; without them, or with injured muscles, footballers cannot play their game.
Posterior (back) muscles, such as the Hamstrings (Semimembranosus, Semitendinosus & Biceps Femoris) and the Gluteus Maximus, produce the opposite movement than their anterior (front) counterparts; mainly extending the thigh at the hip and flexing the leg at the knee.
STRIKE: Hamstrings stretched & contracted ready for the calf to stabilise the foot before ball contact.
The calf muscles, including the gastrocnemius and soleus, form the Achilles tendon of the heel. These muscles contract to flex the foot — such as when standing on your tiptoes — and flex the toes. They also help to stabilise the ankle joint, foot, and to maintain the body’s balance.
Out of all these muscles, footballers injure the hamstrings more. Followed by calf injuries, both usually pull or strain when they happen. Achilles injuries are not as a common but cause the most trouble, as they take time and a careful process to heal.