Home Football What muscles work when you play football?

What muscles work when you play football?

by Clare Louise

Football requires very little effort from the upper limbs.

Trunk and pelvis (Chest, stomach and back)

Abdominal: They consist of several muscular layers (rectus abdominis, external oblique , internal oblique , transverse ) whose function bending and rotation of the trunk.

Lower limbs (Glutes, thighs and calves)

The glutes: Located at the intersection of the lower limbs and the trunk, the gluteal or gluteal muscles (gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus) are among the largest and most powerful muscles in the body. They serve in particular the mobility of the thigh and the maintenance of the pelvis.

Calf muscles: Also called sural triceps, the calf muscles include 3 muscle bundles including the soleus and the twins (or gastrocnemius). These muscles promote the extension of the foot on the leg.

Sprints, jumps, change of direction, duels, football is an intense physical activity which mainly involves the lower limbs and the cardio-respiratory system.

In addition to aerobic work which trains the heart, football promotes the explosiveness of the muscles of the thigh (quadriceps, psoas, etc.), hamstrings, adductors and peroneal muscles.

Muscle injuries in football: for this first article on football player injuries, I have chosen to list all the injuries that can affect a muscle. What are the characteristics of a contracture, how do you differentiate an elongation from a tear. This article explains to you what a player is likely to feel in the event of muscular overexertion and more particularly in the hamstrings.

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Muscle injuries in football

The hamstrings : The hamstrings are muscles of the thigh allowing the flexion of the knee, they are antagonists of the quadriceps (serving for its extension). These muscles run from the hip to the back of the tibia and fibula.

We will therefore see 4 groups of Injuries

Muscle injuries in football


As the name suggests, contracture results from the exaggerated contraction of a part of the muscle. The pain is first felt at the end of the exercise, during the phases of rest. The player clearly perceives a disturbing area. A “hard” point is revealed on palpation. (the famous point behind the thigh) The contracture can come from a reflex contraction aiming to protect the muscle and the joint (s) in play following a strong stretch. The origin can also be a significant fatigue of the muscle leading to disorders of certain molecules at the cellular level (calcium, potassium, magnesium).This pathology can finally be favored by a recent muscular lesion (elongation, tear, contusion…) which means that the muscle fiber is not fully functional.


Elongation consists of micro-tears in the muscles due to exceeding the elasticity of the fibers without major tissue damage. It comes from an unusual stretch. It can be identified by the stinging sensation that accompanies it. Unlike stiffness, this pain associated with stretching occurs during exercise. It usually goes away during rest and reappears during subsequent exercises.

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