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Exercises Female Athletes Should Be Doing for ACL Injury Prevention: Linear Deceleration

Exercises Female Athletes Should Be Doing for ACL Injury Prevention: Linear Deceleration

I’ll be the first to celebrate strong girls.

There’s something so magical about a teenage girl crushing a 30lb pull over the bar:

And don’t you dare take away from her achievement by screeching, “that’s a CHIN-UP!!!”

Whether a young female athlete does overhand, underhand or neutral, it is darn impressive adding extra weight to your body and pulling against gravity.

I digress.

Strength is a potent tool for injury prevention and improved acceleration, speed and change of direction, but if we aren’t teaching young female athletes the proper positions for change of direction, we are missing a large piece to the injury prevention pie.

Strength is a potent tool for injury prevention and improved acceleration, speed and change of direction, but if we aren't teaching young female athletes the proper positions for change of direction, we are missing a large piece to… Click To Tweet

Early my career, regretfully, I just focused on strength and lifting heavy. The result? Female athletes were tweaking their ankles and knees. Thankfully, nothing serious like an ACL, but I could’ve been doing better.

So I studied biomechanics and physics deeper, and realized I  had to break down deceleration and change of direction more.

Here is a drill that is the first step to teaching girls how to “pump the brakes.” Things to keep in mind:

– Cue them to sink the hips down into “athletic stance” as fast as they can. You can make it a competition.
– Cue them to keep feet flat, ankles dorsiflexed (toes curled toward shin), knees softly bent, and hips piked back.
– Understand that too much knee extension is where we run into higher risk for ACL injury (more instability of the knee against forces).

 

To join the private mentorship community and get the Total Youth Female Athlete Fitness video course – learn how to teach female athletes strength technique, speed, and change of direction mechanics for injury reduction and performance, as well as learn about growth and maturation considerations, menstrual cycle, nutrition, and so much more go HERE


To Work With Me in person in Tampa, Florida for private and small group soccer speed, strength and conditioning training, get in touch HERE.

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