I’ve had thick thighs since my teen years (yes, that’s me in the pic above!), and if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that the world is not designed around legs like mine. Now, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having big legs (frankly, I like my own nowadays), but there are some things that they can make inconvenient. These are the struggles everyone with big thighs can relate to.

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1. Your dresses become shirts.

Sure, on the model in the ad, it’s a dress. On you, it suddenly becomes a tunic necessitating leggings underneath. Dear designers: Can’t you make ’em just a little longer for us with naturally, ahem, ample upper legs?

2. “Chub rub.”

You may hate the name of this particular issue, but if you have thick thighs, you know it well.

Lord of the Rings

3. Shopping for jeans is impossible.

Speaking of pants, trying to find a pair that fits your thighs is so hard! They’re all way too big in the waist or way too small in the legs.

4. All your jeans wear out first in between your legs.

Oh, and when you do find the perfect pair of jeans, your jeans all develop holes along the inner seams first due to the previous struggle.

5. Regular shorts being turned into short-shorts.

Who wears short-shorts? You do! But only because regular ones are transformed into tinier versions of themselves by your legs. Thanks, fashion industry.

6. Accidentally putting on your boyfriend’s pants…

…And not being able to get them past your knees.

7. The confused look on a friend’s face when they see you putting deodorant between your thighs.

Don’t bother explaining it — they’ll never understand.

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8. Constantly pulling up your pants.

It doesn’t matter what brand they’re from, what size they are, or if you wear a belt with them — if they’re not high-waisted, your jeans are in a perpetual state of sliding down.

9. Bikini shopping involves lots of mix-and-match.

A medium might fit perfectly on your top half, but trying to squeeze your legs into the same size on the bottom is just a pipe dream.

10. Occasionally wishing you had thigh gap simply because you hate #2 so much.

Sure, you love your figure, but sometimes that lack of friction sounds so appealing in the summer…

11. Vintage dresses never fit.

You’d love to be able to try on a 1950s frock every once in a while, but even if they fit your top half and your stomach, they cling like a bandage dress to your hips and thighs.

12. You check the temperature outside before deciding to wear a skirt.

Sure, you may love that new polka dot number in your closet, but if it’s 85 degrees out and 80% humidity, you know you will regret it. And pencil skirts? That’s just plain begging to get an inner thigh rash.

13. Giving up completely on Spanx.

No, I do not want to turn my legs into sausage casings, thanks anyway.

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14. Attempting to sit down at a restaurant table is a feat of agility.

If you have to squeeze between two tables to sit at the booth, you know you’re going to knock over somebody’s water. And whenever you walk down a narrow aisle at a concert or on an airplane, you practically hip-check each person on the way down.

15. Trying on dresses requires a specific order.

You need to pull them over your head, then pull them down. Otherwise, every dress inevitably gets trapped around your thighs.

16. Having no idea what your “shape” is.

Pear, apple, hourglass … you’re basically all of those, rolled into one confused (yet lovely!) package.

17. Your BMI is beyond baffling.

You can work out, eat right, and be in great shape, but your legs carry weight that bumps your BMI up, leading to your doctor giving you the side-eye whenever you go in for checkups.

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18. Everyone just assumes you’re athletic.

Even if you’ve never taken a dance class or played a game of soccer in your life, everyone infers that you’re basically Mia Hamm.

19. Standard-size desks never fit your legs underneath.

You either have to adjust your chair or sit with your legs out from under it. And forget trying to cross them.

20. The childhood nicknames.

Kids can be mean — especially about bodies. On the bright side, you’re an adult now and can embrace the beauty of your thighs! Even if they’re a little frustrating every now and again, you can still show ’em love every time you look in the mirror.

Giphy Sam Escobar Contributor Sam’s enthusiasm for makeup is only rivaled by their love of all things relating to cats.

F*ck A Thigh Gap: 11 Reasons Why I Want My Thighs Thick

The days of the thigh gap are over — though most of us would say they shouldn’t have started to begin with.

Girls have gone through great lengths to achieve a thigh gap: They’ve regarded images like this on Tumblr as a “beauty ideal”; they’ve developed a wide range of eating disorders; they’ve even used photoshop to fabricate one.

Even companies like Urban Outfitters and Target have tried to perpetuate this terrible, terrible trend.

Now, when you search “thigh gap” on Tumblr, a message comes up asking you if you’re OK. Because what was once seen online as beautiful, is increasingly seen as, well, only possible if your natural bone structure allows for it.

There are certainly women who have thigh gaps, and those women are certainly beautiful. But there are plenty more women who don’t and will never be able to have one.

And this is not because they aren’t dieting hard enough or because they’re overweight.

Instead, it’s because the width of their hip bones compared to the length of their femoral heads (the highest part of their thigh bones) prevents them from having one — which is not exactly something 1,000 leg exercises will change.

Thankfully, though, society has begun to admire women of all shapes and sizes, including women with wonderfully thick thighs.

So, here are 11 reasons why I want my thighs thick, and so should you.

1. The big booty movement, by default, loves big thighs.

In 2014, we experienced the booty movement. Big butts were everywhere — revered by Meghan Trainor in her catchy hit “All About That Bass,” admired in J.Lo and Iggy Azalea in their steamy music video for “Booty” and considered something fun to eat.

The best part about all of this is if you have a big booty, you probably have thick thighs anyway, so there’s no better time than right now to embrace them.

2. Strong is the new skinny.

If your thighs are thick, that means they’re strong. And “thinspiration” social media accounts are out.

It’s the female lift-positive fitness coaches and #GirlsWhoLift users you want to get onto your Instagram feed — those who will encourage you to brave those weights at the gym, to not deprive yourself of your favorite foods and, most importantly, to value strong over skinny, especially when it comes to your thighs.

Fitness model and coach Paige Hathaway has 1.7 million followers on Instagram.

She regularly posts photos of herself proudly showing off her muscular arms, sculpted ass and — you guessed it! — thick thighs.

And dozens of other female fitness gurus on Instagram share her dedication to strength, including Ana Delia De Iturrondo, Rachel Brathen and Amanda Kuclo.

The #GirlsWhoLift hashtag account is equally as inspiring. Its over 3 million posts are filled with real women who inspire other real women to work toward strength.

Strong is not only the new skinny, but the new beautiful.

3. You last longer dancing at the club than your friends.

Since your thighs are strong, they’re better suited for dancing long hours at a party or the club.

At 2 am, your friends will complain about how their legs just can’t even anymore. Your legs, however, always can.

And where others are falling at their heeled feet, you’ll be pressing on into the night, ready to hit up your favorite after-hours pizza place. And isn’t that all a girl really wants?

4. You have better sex.

When it comes to sex, physical strength — especially in your legs — is key to a good, lasting session.

So, ladies, forget those passive positions like missionary and doggy style; your thick, strong thighs are perfect for all those crazy sex positions that utilize a hell of a lot of leg muscle, including cowgirl and doing it while standing.

Your muscular thighs give you the confidence to embrace these positions and more that require some strength and effort — which means you’re a really awesome person to have sex with.

5. You have more warmth down there.

Who needs a cold, uncomfortable breeze to blow through your thighs in the wintertime? With thick thighs, you have extra warmth in between your legs when you’re walking outside.

After braving a winter as cold as this one, you’re sure to be grateful for a little extra meat on your bones.

6. Your phone won’t fall in the toilet if you drop it while playing with it.

Imagine you’re just innocently browsing Facebook while going to the bathroom when suddenly, you accidentally drop your phone onto your lap.

If you had a thigh gap, your brand new iPhone 6 would plunge right between your thighs and into the toilet, forcing you to say goodbye to it forever.

Your thick thighs, on the other hand, would catch the phone before it reached its demise and cradle it like a fragile newborn child. Thanks to your thighs, your phone is saved.

If that isn’t enough of a reason to love thick thighs, I don’t know what is.

7. You can give WWE finishers back to your boyfriend.

Enough said.

8. On the hot female cartoon character spectrum, you lean more toward Jessica Rabbit.

While everyone else is obsessed with emulating the unrealistic daintiness of Disney princesses like Belle, Ariel and Cinderella, your wide hips and voluptuous thighs resemble those of everyone’s favorite redhead, Jessica Rabbit.

And she’s way sexier than any princess.

9. Thick thighs might be healthier for your heart.

A 2009 Danish study suggests thicker thighs might decrease your risk of heart disease and increase your life expectancy.

Over the course of 10 years, researchers studied the health of 3,000 men and women and found that those whose thighs were over 23.6 inches in circumference experienced less risk of serious health problems than those with smaller thighs.

The researchers hypothesized that participants with narrow thighs didn’t have enough muscle mass to handle insulin correctly, which led to an increased risk of diabetes and, subsequently, heart disease.

10. Stressing about an impossible-to-achieve body isn’t fun.

Yearning for a thigh gap when your bone structure won’t allow you to have one is like yearning to grow wings from your spine.

Just a reminder that it literally, physically can’t happen, so why stress about it?

11. You’ll feel better if you embrace your natural body type than if you aspire for another one.

Thigh gaps are impossible to achieve if your body isn’t predispositioned for one. And true body confidence comes from seeing the positive in what you have, not worrying about what you don’t have.

If you admire the parts of your body that make you you, you’ll realize how wonderful your thick thighs are.

How “soccer girl” became the indisputably coolest look

As you may know, the women’s World Cup started this week, and the US team won their first game in the group stage of the tournament by a full 13 goals.

What you may not know is why you find the whole thing so irresistible. Might I suggest that you are — in addition to a fan of the sport and a little patriotic even though you try not to be nationalistic — in awe of the mystique of the players themselves and the ease with which they comport and dress themselves?

Part of that is their unfathomable talent, which we will never get used to, as it is not of this Earth. And part of it is the soccer girl aesthetic — arguably the best personal style aesthetic of them all.

This aesthetic is tricky to define but can be worn by soccer players and non-soccer players alike. It’s more about having a rotation of summer-y sport staples and a specific attitude than it is about having a good penalty shot. For example, Rihanna is a soccer girl. Lana Del Rey is a soccer girl. Sporty Spice was, I think we can all agree, specifically soccer-girl sporty — she grew up in Liverpool. Bella Hadid has been spotted in Off-White’s Umbro collaboration, and is tentatively a soccer girl.

my aesthetic: girls who play soccer

— (@alxshafarr) February 28, 2016

“Who’s that youth soccer player in the groovy tie-dye T-shirt clutching an extra-large glass of rosé?” Eliza Brooke wrote for Racked in summer 2017, way ahead of me when it comes to putting the soccer girl into print. “It’s me, trying to reclaim the boundless nothingness of school vacations while combating New York’s swamp weather in baggy athletic shorts, Adidas sneakers, and breathable cotton basics.” Does that not sound ideal?

Whether the soccer look is “good” or “popular” is not up for debate here. This is merely an explanation of how the soccer girl got so cool, and why she’ll be cool forever.

What are the key components of the soccer girl aesthetic?

First, we should define the soccer girl look (and I should say that I’m only saying “soccer girl” instead of “soccer woman” because that’s already the accepted nomenclature, born, perhaps, out of our youthful reverence for the soccer girls). I suspect that most of us can kind of visualize the soccer girl, but might struggle to say anything more useful than “sports clothes.”

Every summer from sixth grade to college I was literally a soccer girl because I was playing soccer. That involved shin guards and cleats and things that don’t really work as everyday wear. But last year I wanted my summer aesthetic to be “Lorde,” which is to say “highbrow soccer girl.” (Lorde does not play soccer. As I said, all girls who play soccer are soccer girls, but not all soccer girls play soccer.)

Lorde — whose Adidas Superstars are actually basketball shoes — commits to the soccer girl aesthetic mainly by wearing black sports bras as shirts, possibly in tribute to the most famous black sports bra of all time. She has also made custom Melodrama warm-up suits for her background singers, which are very soccer.

Soccer girl Lorde at the iHeartRADIO MuchMusic Video Awards in Canada in 2017.

As it turns out, there is a WikiHow titled “How to Dress Like a Soccer Player (Girls).” This is a remarkable web page. “While you’re not playing in games, you may want the world to recognize you as a soccer player,” it begins. The recommendations to wear “soccer shorts” and “sports shirts” are insultingly obvious, but the guide itself is not entirely useless.

“Wear casual hairstyles,” it suggests. “You can start pulling your hair into loose ponytails, messy buns, or braids. To keep stray hairs or bangs back from your face, wear a thin headband made from pre-wrap.” I can’t believe I’d forgotten about pre-wrap. The ultimate test of a soccer girl is whether she knows how long a piece of pre-wrap — stretchy foam ribbon designed to go underneath a sports bandage — to tear off the roll in order to have a just-right headband (not loose enough to fall off when she runs, not tight enough to leave an upsetting divet and cut off blood flow). Pre-wrap is cheap and practical, like many of the elements of the soccer girl look.

The guide also suggests strengthening your calf muscles, if you would like to seem like you play soccer. “Having strong calf muscles indicates that you are serious about soccer,” even if merely as an aesthetic. Interesting advice, and you can take it if you want, but I have to say I think body modification is kind of overkill.

early 2000s girls soccer aesthetic pic.twitter.com/QYiNbBcsLs

— Madame Zeroni (@runlikeskell) June 7, 2018

I would agree with my former coworker Eliza that tie-dye is a key component, particularly this year, with everyone rolling around in that ’90s summer camp nostalgia. (The cheap soccer socks at Dollar General were also always tie-dye.) Boxy tees, naturally. Only a specific type of jogger works because you have to be able to take them off over your cleats — tear-away pants are, I believe, more essentially soccer girl than would be a tapered sweat. Cowl-necked sweatshirts are also very soccer girl, as are muscle tanks that resemble scrimmage pinnies.

As for soccer shoes: Adidas’ signature indoor soccer shoe the Samba has been called “Europe’s Air Jordan.” Of course, cute boys notoriously love Sambas, but girls look incredible in them too. For example, Kristen Stewart. Last summer, Adidas released a bunch of new colors for the original unisex Samba, as well as a new slightly platformed women’s style called the Sambarose.

Adidas’ Adilette slide can also be part of the soccer girl look, though it was not specifically popularized by soccer girls. It was introduced in 1963 as an all-sports locker room shoe, and avoided any real pop culture significance beyond that until it popped up in the West Coast rap scene in the ’90s, then Odd Future videos, then on Odd Future fans (including Miley Cyrus), then on Karlie Kloss in a 2013 photo shoot for Interview magazine.

Mia Hamm at the 2004 Olympics in a classic soccer girl look. Note the ponytail! Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Most important: the soccer girl posture. The soccer girl look is very hands-on-hips. But also lying on the ground with a leg in the air! There’s a subtle brag inherent in sprawling out harmlessly — tummy out, or t-shirt so oversized as to be a nightie — all the while knowing you could crack a walnut between your calf and hamstring. Soccer girls stand like they know which angles are bad for their knees and spines. They have an enviably loose relationship to their arms and mouths. Have you ever seen a soccer girl drink out of a wide-mouthed Gatorade bottle? She’s just guessing! The main reason I ever wanted to be a soccer girl was because I envied the confidence it takes to just kind of flop your body around.

Related: There is also strong sleepover energy to the soccer girl look. It very much implies female camaraderie and dis-implies male gaze.

When did the soccer girl become cool?

The entire 2005 documentary Dare to Dream: The Story of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team is available on YouTube. It’s very helpful in providing examples of the soccer girl look.

It also makes it obvious how the soccer girl entered American popular culture. The stars of that national team, including Mia Hamm, Michelle Akers, Julie Foudy, and Briana Scurry, boycotted training for the 1996 Olympics to protest pervasive sexism and pay inequality in the US Soccer Federation — an extremely risky and brave show of solidarity by a group of athletes who were still fighting an uphill battle to be taken seriously. (Despite winning the inaugural women’s World Cup in 1991.) If you watch any footage of them at the World Cup in 1999, please be prepared to weep. They are absolutely talented beyond words and it’s no surprise that the next several years of teen movies were all about cool girl soccer players.

There was Julia Stiles’ acerbic Kat Stratford in 10 Things I Hate About You in 1999, then the rule-breaking best friends played by Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley in Bend It Like Beckham in 2002. Blake Lively as cool girl soccer player Bridget Vreeland in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants in 2005 (in Soffe shorts, naturally), then Amanda Bynes as cool girl soccer player Viola Hastings in She’s the Man in 2006.

There is now a sad lack of soccer girl movies, but soccer girls are represented in other art forms. Drake and Future played soccer with a bunch of cool soccer girls in 2016 in the video for “Used to This.” Sarah DeLappe’s play The Wolves is set entirely at a high school girls’ soccer practice and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2017. The anarchic Spanish girl band Hinds shot the video for their 2018 single “New For You” while also playing soccer. Soccer Mommy — who is cool — is named after soccer.

Soccer girls are extra cool because the fashion industry doesn’t want them

While soccer girls have always been cool, they have not usually been fashion. High fashion loves men’s soccer. Streetwear brands also love men’s soccer.

Versace and Burberry have made soccer-inspired menswear — mostly scarves and jerseys. Gosha Rubchinskiy and Koché have both made soccer clothes, the latter debuting inside of the Strand bookstore in Manhattan in December 2017. All kinds of cool guys have embraced the soccer aesthetic in the last couple of years, including New York-based Letter Racer NY, London-based skateboarding brand Palace, and Tokyo-based streetwear maker SOPH. The Village Soccer Shop in New York stocks artsy soccer brands like MIDFLD alongside official FIFA jerseys, but has no women’s section.

Blake Lively at soccer camp in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Warner Bros.

Season — a soccer, fashion, and fandom magazine based in London — ran its first issue in 2016. Editor Felicia Pennant explained that she had tried to write her thesis about the history of soccer and fashion and dug through the entire Condé Nast archive at the British Library before noticing “there were no girls in any of it; there was no female perspective, or voice.”

Even the biggest sportswear companies in the world have been apathetic toward the soccer girl until quite recently. Umbro — the most soccer-y of all the soccer brands — hired goalie Ashlyn Harris as its first-ever female global ambassador only two years ago. This year marks the first World Cup for which Nike designed uniforms specifically for the women’s teams, rather than providing them with regurgitations of whatever the men wore the year before.

Speaking to the New York Times, Nike’s senior apparel product manager for global football Cassie Looker described the women’s World Cup uniform design process, saying, “They are shaped differently than the standard body type. They generate most of their power from the lower body.” While the men like tight uniforms (“it makes them feel more powerful, like superheroes”), women want to be comfortable, look “professional,” and have “zero distractions.” This is why women’s soccer jerseys are looser and longer on the upper arm, with a lower crew neck that can fit over a ponytail.

The soccer girl is — because she is so cool — making some progress fashion-wise. Goal Five, a soccer apparel brand named after the UN’s fifth sustainable development goal (“Achieve equality and empower all women and girls”) launched in 2017, as did Girls Do Succeed, a sportswear brand and zine exploring “sports as art.” Last year, Nike and Off-White released a unisex capsule collection called “Football, Mon Amour.” This year, it hired four female designers — including Marine Serre and Ambush’s Yoon — to make soccer-inspired bodysuits and jersey dresses. Alexander Wang’s new Adidas collab is very soccer girl.

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Happy Birthday @k2rah_ Mixing the & since 2013. Big B : @warriorprintess

A post shared by Romance FC (@romance.fc) on Jun 4, 2018 at 10:07am PDT

Romance FC — a collection of female artists and musicians who formed a soccer club after meeting each other in London’s Boiler Room nightclub scene — designed their own line of jerseys for Nike last year in gradients inspired by “sunset and chemtrails.” Stylist and Romance FC founder Trisha Lewis told The Fader, “One of my main things was to bring the fun back into football kits. As they’ve evolved over the past ten years, everything’s been stripped back — it’s all about the technical element of jerseys now, making them dry quicker, etc. So, we started referencing old ’80s and ’90s football kits: great patterns, geometric shapes, and bold colors.”

Parts of the soccer girl look tie into ’90s nostalgia, but the soccer girl herself is timeless

The ’90s revival trend also explains the recent comeback of Umbro’s classic checkered shorts, including the unisex Vetements and Umbro collaboration released last year. But I don’t think the soccer girl look is dependent on ’90s nostalgia. Fashion has been trending toward gender neutrality for quite some time, and soccer clothes already lend themselves to that.

Last week, US soccer stars Meghan Klingenberg, Megan Rapinoe, Christen Press, and Tobin Heath announced the launch of their gender-neutral lifestyle brand Re-Inc, which is starting with two products that are sold along one size chart (XXS to XXL). They are, unfortunately, beige t-shirts, but that doesn’t mean I did not preorder one. They say “liberté, égalité, défendez” in blood red and navy, which is kind of goth.

Megan Rapinoe, extremely cool! Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

Of course, the main reason the soccer girl aesthetic is so cool now is the same reason it was so cool 20 years ago: On International Women’s Day this March, 28 players signed a class-action lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation alleging institutionalized gender discrimination. It is so very dumb that we are still talking about how underpaid the best soccer players in the world are — they wrote in this complaint that they make 38 percent of what the men’s team does, despite the fact that the men’s team doesn’t even win — but it’s still exhilarating to watch people have each other’s backs. Who would not want to dress up like these women? The lawsuit came out of a 2016 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint filed by Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Megan Rapinoe, absolutely the coolest athlete of our time (her hair is pink right now), at, once again, great personal risk. But they look so relaxed while they do it!

Rapinoe also told Yahoo Sports earlier this year that she considers herself a “walking protest” of the Trump administration’s LGBTQ+ policy agenda, explaining, “I feel like it’s kind of defiance in and of itself to just be who I am and wear the jersey, and represent . Because I’m talented as I am, I get to be here, you don’t get to tell me if I can be here or not.” Additionally, she was the first white athlete to kneel in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, saying, “I’ll probably never put my hand over my heart. I’ll probably never sing the national anthem again.” True to her word, she did not sing it at the US’ first World Cup game against Thailand on Tuesday. It was casual and cool: a real soccer girl look.

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The real reason the U.S. women’s soccer team isn’t getting equal pay


Carli Lloyd of the United States celebrates with teammates after scoring their third goal in their match against Chile on June 16. (Christian Hartmann/Reuters) By Lindsay Parks Pieper and Tate Royer June 20, 2019

In a dazzling display of skill, the U.S. women’s soccer team outscored the opposition a combined 16-0 in its first two games in the Women’s World Cup. The opening victory over Thailand (a 13-0 win) broke the World Cup record for largest margin of victory in a game and most goals scored in a single match — men’s or women’s.

This decisive win not only showcased the athletes’ impressive talent, but it also provided evidence supporting their demand for equal pay, training and traveling conditions. In a lawsuit filed in March, 28 members of the team alleged that U.S. Soccer has “stubbornly refused to treat its female employees who are members of the WNT equally to its male employees who are members of the MNT.” This mistreatment occurs despite the fact that the women’s record, with three World Cup titles and four Olympic gold medals, is far better than the men’s. The women have also brought in more revenue than the men’s squad.

But there is an area where the women remain severely outmatched, one that helps explain the disparity in treatment of the men’s and women’s teams: the boardroom. And only by changing this will female athletes be treated equally.

Women are underrepresented in decision-making positions in sports, from top to bottom. The International Olympic Committee has never had a female president, and only 11 percent of all accredited coaches at the 2016 Rio Olympics were women. The United States Olympic Committee likewise did not have a female president for its first 100 years of operation, only ending the male line of succession in 2000. At the 2018 Winter Olympics, eight women served as coaches for Team USA, in contrast to 58 men.

The overwhelmingly male leadership in soccer stems from the widespread belief that physical competitions showcase masculine traits and are the natural domain of men; therefore, women are seen as inherently less competent at all levels of sport with negative repercussion reverberating throughout the sport.

Men actually did not originally oversee women’s sport. Because male leaders were disinterested in — and often disgusted by — women’s athletic endeavors, female physical educators assumed responsibility and organized women’s competitions in the 1920s. These women worried that the men’s model of sport, which prioritized competition for a small number of participants, harmed athletes. They therefore introduced modified versions of the games for their female charges in a format that prioritized participation for all.

Men’s and women’s athletic programs therefore developed along separate paths. The NCAA, founded in 1906, was simply not interested in overseeing women’s championships for almost the entire first century of its existence. And so, women founded other organizations through which to compete. In 1971, the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) was formed to administer intercollegiate championships for female athletes. The AIAW oversaw championships in a range of sports, including basketball, field hockey, lacrosse and soccer. Although Title IX created a boom in female participation on the field of play, it somewhat perversely led to male-dominated governing bodies taking control of women’s sports.

After first filing an unsuccessful lawsuit that challenged the legality of Title IX, the NCAA voted in 1981 to add Division I championships for women. But bringing women’s sports into the NCAA cost women leadership over their own sports. Women have not held a majority of leadership positions in college sports since. By 2018, only six women served as NCAA executives, compared with 11 men, and women held only 12 percent of Division I athletic director positions and made up only 40.1 percent of the coaches of Division I women’s teams.

The percentage of women in leadership roles plummeted for several reasons. When the NCAA added championships for women’s sports, most member institutions opted to send both their male and female teams to the NCAA competitions rather than maintain membership in separate governing bodies. This led to the demise of the AIAW in 1982 and consequently diminished the number of female executives in college sports. With the consolidation of authority under the NCAA, most schools then combined their men’s and women’s athletic departments, placing men at the helm as athletic directors.

Title IX also forced schools to provide more resources to women’s teams, which included higher-paid coaches. While women coached the majority of women’s teams during the 1970s, as the jobs became more lucrative, men started to fill them. Female coaches today also cite discrimination in hiring practices, gender bias in career advancement, persistence of stereotypes and work-life balance as additional obstacles.

Men have largely been responsible for organizing women’s soccer as well. FIFA was formed in 1904 to oversee men’s soccer. All 12 of its presidents have been men. In 2013, more than a century into its existence, it elected the first woman to its executive committee. Indicative of FIFA’s view of women as inferior leaders, then-president Joseph “Sepp” Blatter marked the occasion by shouting, “Say something ladies. You are always speaking at home, now you can say something here.” Given this blatant misogyny, it’s unsurprising that the FIFA Council still only counts six women among its 37 members.

U.S. Soccer has historically shared a similarly negative view of women as leaders. It took seven decades for the federation to elect Marty Mankamyer, the first woman on its executive committee, in 1984. She described her initial interaction with U.S. Soccer as a “nightmare” and recalled, “There were no leagues, no national team for women, no plans for one.” U.S. Soccer debuted a team in 1985, but the notion of women’s inferiority persisted.

Despite the U.S. women’s team’s greater successes on the field, women remain largely outnumbered in the organization. “I don’t remember one senior woman in the organization that you would deal with on a daily basis in a position that was making decisions,” said former player Julie Foudy. That trend persists, as only six women served on the 18-person executive committee in 2017.

This disparity also extends into coaching. Seven of the nine teams in the National Women’s Soccer League have male head coaches, and 22 of 28 assistant coaches are also male. By contrast, there are no female coaches in Major League Soccer. That the U.S. women’s team has had more male head coaches than female is particularly glaring.

American women soccer players have proven more successful than their male counterparts by a wide margin, but they are still viewed as less equipped to hold positions of authority. This discrepancy is rooted in the belief that sports are fundamentally a men’s world. Society assumes men are superior in all elements of sport, from playing to coaching to organizing.

This gender imbalance has systemic repercussions. With female leaders nonexistent, powerless or considered inept, it makes it harder to prevent and address gender discrimination. Studies suggest that while men typically support the idea of gender equality, they rarely implement policies to actually enforce gender parity.

Even more significantly, gender imbalances in the hierarchy of sports governing bodies and sports organizations send a message about women’s place in sport. They reaffirm the belief that men are inherently more qualified and better suited for all aspects of sports, from the executive suite to the playing field. These male hierarchies limit opportunities for women, both in terms of breaking into leadership and earning equal treatment as athletes.

And without women in decision-making positions, female athletes do not have advocates to combat this ingrained bias. More female presidents are needed to help counter setups that prioritize and promote men’s events more than women’s events. More female executives are needed to help challenge the belief that the women’s game is inherently inferior to the men’s. More female coaches are needed to help push back against the assumption that men are naturally more sport-oriented and better able to map strategy than women.

Only with more female decision-makers will female athletes and women’s sports gain equal treatment. Otherwise, they may continue to languish, no matter how successful the players.

Missing Swiss soccer player Florijana Ismaili’s body found

The body of Swiss national soccer team player Florijana Ismaili was recovered Tuesday, three days after she went missing in a swimming accident in Italy, officials said.

Ismaili, 24, who played 33 times for Switzerland and was captain of Young Boys Bern’s women’s team, did not surface Saturday after jumping from a boat into Lake Como in northern Italy.

“The Swiss Football Federation (SFV) has the painful task of informing about the death of its national player Florijana Ismaili. We are all upset, deeply affected and very, very sad,” the organization said in a statement.

“The SFV expresses its sincere condolences to the family, relatives and friends of Florijana Ismaili and wishes everyone all the strength in this difficult time.”

Italian authorities said Ismaili’s body was found at a depth of about 670 feet.

Swiss national women’s team coach Nils Nielsen said he was “deeply saddened and shaken” by her death.

“It’s hard to accept that Flori is gone. She always had a smile on her face and inspired us with her happy nature. She was someone who faced every challenge and set the example,” he added.

“I can only imagine what it must be like for all those who knew Flori longer and closer than me. But my thoughts are with them in these difficult times.”

Teammate Lia Walti, who plays in the WSL for Arsenal, said: “Until the last moment, I still had hoped for a miracle and wished in my heart that everything was just a bad dream.

“The news has hit me deeply and you can not find any right words at such a moment. I just hope very much that Flori did not have to suffer,” she added, according to the BBC.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in a statement that it was an “extremely sad moment for all the football community, particularly at a time when we gather at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.”

Six packs and minimal body fat percentages have almost become the norm for professional football players in the modern era.

Every English club from the Premier League down to League Two is now equipped with dieticians, nutritionists and personal trainers to keep players in tiptop condition.

It’s the same everywhere else in Europe, too, not to mention in Major League Soccer (MLS) and the Chinese Super League.

Players have all the tools they need to maintain and improve their physiques, which is why it’s such a rarity to see fat footballers.

Working out in the gym has even become common practice at professional clubs, whereas 20 years ago building muscle wasn’t seen as a necessity.

This change in emphasis has seen a rise in muscular football players – and there really are some absolute beasts out there.

Adebayo Akinfenwa is one of the biggest. The 36-year-old Wycombe Wanderers striker is 5′ 10″ and weighs 102kg, which is largely unheard of in professional football.

Here’s a look at eight footballers who probably spend as much time in the gym as they do on the football pitch in order of how much they could bench press – because why not?

8TH – XHERDAN SHAQIRI

Predicted one rep max – 110kg

Bear with us on this one. Xherdan Shaqiri may be the shortest player on this list at 5′ 7″, but the Swiss never skips leg day and is renowned for being a little unit.

Indeed, during the 2018 World Cup, Shaqiri celebrated a goal for Switzerland against Serbia by removing his shirt and showing he’s ripped.

Shaqiri weighs just 72kg, but due to his physique and dedication to the gym there’s a good chance he can bench press a lot more than his body weight.

7TH – MICAH RICHARDS

Predicted one rep max – 120kg

Micah Richards’ career has fallen to pieces since leaving Manchester City for Aston Villa in 2015, but the fact remains he’s a beast who could outperform most footballers in the gym.

During his time as a right-back at City the 30-year-old became renowned for his size and he’s very quick for someone who weighs 83kg.

He’s naturally strong and well built, so when combined with regular gym workouts Richards’ one rep max could be somewhere in the region of 120kg.

6TH – HULK

Predicted one rep max – 120kg

A man sharing the same name as the Incredible Hulk is always going to be a big hit in the gym, isn’t he?

Hulk, who currently plays for Shanghai SIPG, has a lethal left foot and there are very few players who can say they’ve successfully muscled him off the ball.

EA Sports gave the Brazilian a strength rating of 88 on FIFA 19 and it’s statistics like those that suggest he could produce a big one rep max on bench press.

5TH – ROMELU LUKAKU

Predicted one rep max – 135kg

Imagine being able to bench press 100kg at 15 years old – well, that’s exactly what Romelu Lukaku claims he did during his teenage years.

“I used to bench press 100kg at 15. I really bulked up that year,” said the Belgian in 2016, whose game revolves around beating defenders using his speed and strength.

Lukaku is now 10 years older and bigger than he used to be, so a one rep max of 135kg seems a fair assumption for someone of his size.

4TH – TROY DEENEY

Predicted one rep max – 145kg

Troy Deeney loves nothing more than bullying Premier League defenders and it’s no wonder considering he’s 6′ 0″ tall and has 90kg worth of weight to throw around.

But a lot of that 90kg is muscle and the 30-year-old is known as the hardest worker in the gym at Watford.

Deeney uses the same trainer as Anthony Joshua, Jamie Reynolds, and the workouts he posts on Instagram look gruelling, so he must be a monster on the bench press.

3RD – GEORGE ELOKOBI

Predicted one rep max – 165kg

Just look at the size of him. George Elokobi certainly isn’t your average centre-back and strikers must dread coming up against him.

The 32-year-old claims he’s stopped doing extra weights in the gym but reckons he’s still as big and strong as ever – and we believe him.

If Deeney is able to bench press something in the region of 145kg then Elokobi, given his size, would be able to do quite a bit more we think.

2ND – ADEBAYO AKINFENWA

Predicted one rep max – 190kg

Bet you didn’t see this coming. Akinfenwa is aptly nicknamed ‘The Beast’ by football fans and you need only look at his gym videos to see just how strong the striker is.

He’s also the strongest player on FIFA 19 with a scary strength rating of 97 – which is a Guinness World Record.

So when it comes to bench pressing Akinfenwa can lift a huge weight and in 2015 he posted a video of himself beating his personal best with 190kg.

1ST – STUART TOMLINSON

Predicted one rep max – 195kg

Sorry Adebayo, but when it comes to bench pressing it’s hard to look past goalkeeper and former WWE wrestler Stuart Tomlinson.

The 33-year-old has played for the likes of Crewe Alexander, Port Vale and Burton Albion and watching all 112kg of him dive across the goal is quite a sight.

He retired from football in 2013 to chase his WWE dream and later that year a video emerged of him bench pressing 180kg in flip flops, so a one rep max of 195kg sounds about right.

  • Adebayo Akinfenwa
  • Football
  • Premier League
  • Romelu Lukaku
  • Troy Deeney
  • Xherdan Shaqiri

News Now – Sport News

Football is a game that requires strength, skill and much practice time. It is a game that demands fitness and the players do take up the best physical fitness techniques to keep themselves up to the mark. Football has seen the strongest players in history as well as in the present. This article is about the Top 10 Strongest Football Players in the World 2019 who are counting among the best footballers in the world.

Strongest Football Players in the World

These strongest players deem fit for the game and have taken their teams to heights. These players are not only physically strong but they are also mentally much active and quick to perform. So, without further ado, scroll down and browse through this piece of writing. Have fun browsing!!

Top 10 Strongest Football Players in the World 2019

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

One of the richest soccer players, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, is a very talented big man who is considered to be the most stacked players in football. He is strong having a tough built and plays the game much competently. He gives a tough time to his opponents and he has led his team to many victories. So he comes at number 10 on our list of the Strongest Football Players.

Christian Benteke

Belgian star Christian Benteke

Christian Benteke is a strong Belgian who because of strength and physical fitness has made his name in the football world. He plays good football and knows how and where to go attacking in quest of knocking down the opponents. Benteke is a big threat to other teams as his attacking position leaves the other with no option but to surrender. He is at number 9 on our list of the strongest footballers.

Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku is another person on our list of the strongest footballers in the world. With his proven abilities, he has made his name in the world of football. And now, he plays for one of the richest football clubs, Manchester United. He knows how to distract the other player and how to unsettle the defender. Romelu Lukaku, though, is among the strongest players but he still needs to polish his skills and enhance his physical strength.

Yaya Toure

Yaya Toure takes the rank 7 on our list of the strongest football players in the world. Toure has spent recent seasons through Premier League midfielders. He is a big man possessing great football skills. He rose among the powerful midfielders. Yaya Toure is physically fit, strong and performs really well on the field.

Chris Samba

Chris Samba presents good defense and is strong yet physically very fit. He is a threat to his opponents as his competency is well known to the world. Samba is fully fit and dominates the penalty area. He possesses great skills at knocking others. He is thus at number 6 on our list of the strongest footballers.

Giorgio Chiellini

Giorgio Chiellini is another strong player on our list. He snatches the rank 5. Chiellini has led the team to success several times. His attacking ability fears the opponent because of him knowing how to tackle it all. He is brave yet strong, and his physical strength can be witnessed by his strong defensive style of play.

Victor Wanyama

Victor Wanyama is the highest-ranking top-level player in our list and also, the highest-ranking non-Nigerian. He is above six-feet tall and is a new breed of mobile but immensely powerful midfield players in one of the most popular football leagues, the Premier League. He is at number 4 on our list.

George Elokobi

George Elokobi: BEAST WORKOUT!

George Elokobi who weighs 90 kilograms and has a height of 5’9″ is a strong footballer who is at number 3 on our list. He has got a remarkable physique and is a fearless football player. The opponents consider him a threat to their team.

Danny Shittu

What a #tbt. #Millwall inspired & good memories of our past FA cup run.#GreatMemories #FACup #MillwallFC #noonelikesuswedontcare #feedthebeast #facup #COYL #millwallfc #facuprun #theden #NeverTooBigToShift #ThatsWhatWeDo #nevernottry #InspireTheYouth #astonvilla pic.twitter.com/QFQTmo03ZZ

— Dan Shittu (@danshittu) January 31, 2019

Danny Shittu is the runners up on our list of the 10 strongest players in the football world. The Nigerian has shown up as an excellent Championship defender and has knocked down the competitors much technically. He is strong, tough and a man with a strong defensive position.

Adebayo Akinfenwa

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Feeling PUMPED for the new @bmoclothing collection 🔥🔥🔥 #BMOClothing #BMOgang #BeastModeOn

A post shared by Adebayo Akinfenwa (@realakinfenwa) on Mar 20, 2019 at 10:01am PDT

The one who tops our list of the 10 strongest players in the football world is Adebayo Akinfenwa. He is strong, massive and possesses skilled football abilities. Akinfenwa weighs around 16 stone and is noting for his tremendous strength. So much so that in the computer game FIFA 19 he had the highest strength statistic of any player on the game.

And, we believe that you liked our list of the Top 10 Strongest Football Players in the World. Don’t forget to send us your opinion in the comment box below.

Summary Reviewer SportsShowReview Date 2019-08-31 Reviewed Item Top 10 Strongest Football Players in the World Author Rating 5

Table of Contents

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‘You don’t play on those skinny little legs do you?’ What it’s like running a women’s football team

Our gender was never discussed among the team and never felt like a barrier. Our concern was learning how to play football and, eventually, playing it well.

For the most part, we were met with more positivity than negativity. We had the support of local men’s teams, regular spectators and good coverage from the local press.

But the world of women’s sport, at a local level, was not without its challenges.

Some male friends lost my respect when they persistently told me that a men’s pub team could beat some of the best female football teams in the UK ‘hands down.’

This is simply untrue and said more about their inflated egos than anything else.

Another time I collected trophies for our end of season party and the man who sold them to me said: “Women don’t play football. Surely you don’t play on those skinny little legs of yours do you?”

The team playing in a charity match

In fact, 1.4 million girls and women currently play football in the UK.

Since Fifa was first launched in 1993, the number of women playing in affiliated league and cup competitions has risen from 10,400 to 147,000. There are 35,000 qualified female coaches in this country.

There is a grassroots movement afoot. And the higher profile of the women playing at this month’s World Cup will do that no end of good.

But what I’ve learnt over my years as a coach, is that we, as women, fail to realise is that change begins with us.

Don’t get me wrong, the media, sporting boardrooms and sponsors can do much, much more to raise the profile of the women’s game. And they should.

But a true cultural shift will only occur if we take action.

It is time we ignored the critics and stopped blaming others. The responsibility lies with us. This means mums taking their daughters to a local sports club or playing sport themselves and leading by example.

A report published last month by Women in Sport called ‘What Sways Women to Play Sport’ highlighted the huge role that ‘influencers’ – from parents to teachers – can have on females in taking up an activity.

But still, according to Sport England 2 million fewer women than men currently take part in sport on a regular basis in the UK.

Rachel’s team in action

It also means getting bums on seats at your local women’s sport fixtures. I was lucky enough to be part of a 70,000 strong crowd watching the Olympics women’s football final (Japan v USA) in London 2012, with an electric atmosphere. But this is a rarity.

The women’s FA and other organisations are doing a lot of work to increase participation and coverage of women’s football – indeed, the FA wants to make it the second most popular sport in the UK by 2016 – but we still need to fill those stadiums.

At the very least, we need to be watching the televised women’s sport, boosting viewing figures and talking about it on Facebook and Twitter.

Speaking about this week’s awareness campaign, Jessica Ennis-Hill said:

“For me, Women’s Sport Week is about highlighting to all girls and women the benefits of sport. Joining clubs and classes to take part in activity can have one of the most positive outcomes in your life.”

I couldn’t agree more. Deciding to set up a local sports team was one of the best things I have ever done.

I also became a football fan. I was kicking back at the fact that girls at my school were never allowed to play football or basketball in PE lessons, even though I preferred them to netball and hockey.

Today, many girls have greater opportunities to play football from a young age. Soon, they’ll grow up with female football players featured on popular computer games and women’s matches on TV will become more regular fixtures.

Then, just maybe, they can aspire to be a professional female footballer, rather than a WAG.

For more information about Women’s Sport Week, visit www.womenssportweek.org

Real talk: Seeing team USA win the 2019 Women’s World Cup was the biggest leg-day inspiration of all time. There’s nothing like watching a group of badass females break a world record (they scored a casual 26 goals over the course of the tournament) to make you think “hmm, maybe those squats are worth it after all.” Ready to hone your skills and feel strong enough to rival Alex Morgan? This workout has got you covered.

Here, Gold’s Gym Certified Personal Trainer and GOLD’S AMP Coach Ally McKinney, shares her favorite leg moves that will turn you into a soccer superstar—or at least, leave your lower body on fire for two full days after you leave the gym.

Back squat

“Back squats are a fantastic way to increase overall leg strength because it really forces our quad group and glute group to work and recruit all the muscle fibers,”McKinney says. “Soccer players are known for their beautiful quads so adding in back squats are going to give you exactly that.” Start by resting an empty squat bar between your traps so it isn’t putting pressure on your spine. Bring your feet shoulder width apart with your feet slightly turned out, and squeeze your glutes while bracing your core. As you bend your knees, drop your hips toward your heels and keep your chest up—try to get so low so that your hip crease is level with your knees. Keep your feet flat, and exhale as you stand back up.

Bulgarian split squat

“This exercise is an imbalance destroyer,” McKinney says. “We want both of our legs to be developed equally and adding is going to give you balance and stability between your two legs.” This move can be done weighted or unweighted—but if it’s your first time, you’re probably better off starting out with body weight. Stand in front of a bench or box, place one foot behind you on top of the surface and the other far enough in front of you to do a lunge. Try to get the top part of your foot flat on the box, or just put your toes on top. Brace your core and bend your front leg, aiming to get your hip crease level with your knee without dropping your chest. Once your hip crease has gotten level with your knee, press into your front foot and extend your leg back to a standing position.

Deadlifts

“Just as we talked about balance between legs, it’s vital to have balance between our quads and hamstrings,” McKinney says. “Any imbalances there can lead to injuries down the road.” She says adding deadlifts to your workout helps you define the back of your legs, getting the “hanging hammy” look that you’ll see on most soccer players.” Grab a weight (start light if this is your first time at the deadlift rodeo) and stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and your grip on the bar slightly wider than shoulder width. Engage your lats by pretending you’re holding pieces of paper in your armpits, and keep your feet flat as you push your hips back and hold the bar close to your body. Continue to descend until the bar reaches just past your knees—to keep your spine straight, fix your gaze about five feet in front of you. Then, squeeze your glutes, drive your feet into the ground, and stand tall.

Box step-ups

Box step ups are great for building balance between your legs and quadricep development. “These are also great in building explosive power, similar to what we would achieve with sprints,” she says. Place your foot flat on top of a box, and brace your core as you shift your weight to that leg as your other leg lifts off the floor. Allow your working leg to fully extend by squeezing your glutes as hard as you can as you stand up. Keeping your chest tall, descend with control—try taking two seconds as you return your non-working leg to the ground. “The goal here is to make your working leg actually do all the work, so that means as little push off as possible from the non-working leg,” McKinney adds.

Broad jumps

“Power is everything,” McKinney says. “To continue building muscle, and therefore muscular thickness in our thighs, we need to continue layering explosive movements into our training regimen.” With your feet shoulder width apart, raise your arms up overhead, then push your hips back, drive your arms down and explode forward in one quick successive movement. Be sure to land with your legs bent to absorb impact (and avoid hurting your knees). Let your momentum cary your forward, then reset and try to cover even more ground on your next jump.

Back-loaded calf raises

“Training your lower legs is just as important as training your upper legs.” McKinney says. “To complete the look and feel of those soccer player legs, we gotta make sure are calves are up to par.” Place a squat bar across your back, the same way you would for a squat. In a shoulder-width stance, brace your core and raise your heels off the ground with control, squeezing your calves as much as you can, so that only the ball of your foot is touching the ground. Pause for one second at the top and then slowly return your heels to the ground.

Skaters

Skaters are all about explosive, lateral movement— which means they require a lot of balance. They help define the medial and lateral stabilizers in our legs (read: the muscles that keep your knee in place) and burn out your outer hips—so basically, your whole lower body will be burning. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, a slight bend in your hips, and your weight on the balls of your feet. Lean into your left leg, and push off of your left leg to let your momentum carry you to land on your right leg. Repeat and head to the left. “The goal is to maintain this momentum and bounce back and forth while covering as much ground as you can with each hop,” says McKinney.

10-yard sprints

“Soccer players are explosive and if you want to achieve this, you want to incorporate sprints into your workout,” McKinney says. She says sprints give your lower body a muscular thickness, because they so many muscle fibers work to get your body moving. “This may slim your legs initially, but in the long term, as the muscles grow, you will notice some serious and great leg gains.” Set up markers 10 yards apart, push off the balls of your feet from the starting point, and don’t slow down until you’re past the mark. Then, walk back to the starting point and repeat.

Circuit examples:

Circuit 1

Back squat x 15

Broad Jump x 10

Bulgarian Split Squat x 10 each leg

Calf Raise x 25

Complete three rounds and rest as needed.

Circuit 2

Deadlifts x 15

Box Step Ups x 10 each leg

Skaters x 20 each leg

Sprint 40 yards

Complete three rounds and rest as needed.

Think you could pass the FBI fitness test? Give it a try. And why the 5/3/1 technique is the smartest, safest ways to move up in weight.

How is your body like a soccer team?

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