Have you, as a parent, ever wondered how your child’s muscles work while they are playing football, well here are some facts.

For kids playing football when kicking a ball it primarily engages the quadriceps, gluts and hamstrings muscles of the upper leg and in addition foot muscles, hip and core as well as the shoulders.

As children run up to kick the ball they take a final step, plant one foot and load the other pulling it backward for the strike. This is when the glutes, hamstrings and adductors control their hips.  The quads and hamstrings flex and extend their knees and the plantar flexors flex their ankles. Abs and lower back muscles stabilize the trunk and deltoids align the shoulders square to the ball.

With contact and follow-through the kicking leg depends on the hamstrings, hip adductors and glutes to control the hip during contact and the hamstrings extends the knee. The muscles transfer force to the ball and the ball goes to where you want it to go for a successful pass or goal.

To kick a football it requires orchestrating your feet, hips, legs, torso, head and arms to ensure the proper form and provide balance.  The hip joint connects the femur or thighbone to the pelvis and serves as the cross roads for a kinetic chain that transmits power to the football.  The body’s most powerful muscles allow the elegantly designed hip joint to move forward, backward and rotate when thwacking the ball.

Muscles each have a specific function in our bodies.  Hamstrings flex the knee and rotate and extend the leg.  Gluteus maximus extends and rotates the hip, abductors enable the leg to move sideways in the hip joint and permit one to swing one leg across the front of another.  The muscles of the hip flex and send one leg backwards and then the muscles extend swinging the same leg forward through 60 degrees of motion until the heel strikes the ground.  A football kick entails more dramatic use of the hip joint and muscles.

Kicking a ball begins with placement of the supporting foot beside the ball, the hip join enjoys constant involvement with all phases of the kick.


  • Quadriceps – are the muscles on the front of the leg and originate at the hips and run down to just below the knees.  They extend the knee and flex the hip.
  • Hamstrings – works in the opposite way to your quadriceps and are located on the back of the upper leg.  Quadriceps are comprised of three different muscles which extend the hip and flex the knee.
  • Glutes – are butt muscles and they rotate and extend the hip when kicking a ball, it is important to have strong glutes to help prevent injuries.
  • Core muscles – are the muscles around the lower back and stomach area.

It is important to keep these muscles strong, enrol your children at First Touch and give them the opportunity to have loads of fun while they are looking after their muscles.

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