11 Feb ACL Injury Reduction: Research Says All Girls are Required to Strength Train
“Hand a girl a barbell and change her life.” – Emily Neff, Female Athlete Performance Coach
I couldn’t agree with my colleague more.
All female athletes must strength train. It’s non-negotiable.
Not only does strength training improve performance, it also decreases chance of ACL injury by 50%. Strength training safeguards the knee from rotational forces.Strength training decreases chance of ACL injury by 50% Click To Tweet
One of my favorite researchers in ACL injury mitigation, Tim Hewett PhD, recently came on my podcast to discuss how female athletes can put themselves in a better position to keep injuries down. While we can’t fully prevent, we can absolutely reduce the chance by a lot.
Tim discussed four neuromuscular risk factors associated with high ACL risk (his research has included data from thousands of athletes over several years):
1. Ligament Dominance – muscles aren’t strong and don’t activate enough (particularly gluteals and hamstrings), so forces go to the joints instead
2. Trunk Dominance – the trunk (anterior core, low back, and hips) shifts too much, which causes instability of the knee
3. Quadriceps Dominance – when an athlete decelerates and pumps the brakes, the quadriceps are used the most, which causes the tibia to come forward more and more strain to be put on the ACL
4. Leg Dominance – one side is stronger than the other
Later in the episode, he provides solutions to these risk factors, so that girls can build themselves into robust and resilient athletes.
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