09 Aug Reducing Chance of ACL Injury in Female Soccer Players
Everyone wants that one piece of advice to prevent ACL injuries.
Everyone wants that one knee exercise.
Everyone wants that one strength routine that will ensure they stay resilient.
So what is it?
Be relentlessly consistent with strengthening your entire body.
You see, ACL injury reduction must be approached holistically. If one piece of the human movement system is weak, the other parts will suffer and compensate.
As an example, if you want to drive a car across the country, you will gas it up, inflate the tires, check the engine, ensure the braking systems works, and maintain it during the length of your drive.
I don’t care if you have a good engine, if their is a leak in your tires, you’re doomed. You won’t make it.
The human body is similar to a functioning car: make sure all of the parts are in place for the whole to work.The human body is similar to a functioning car: make sure all of the parts are in place for the whole to work. Click To Tweet
While soccer seems like a lower body dominant sport, the hips and up play a crucial role in the efficiency of the system.
If the shoulders are weak, the hips are weak. If the core and hip flexors are tight, the glutes are inhibited. If the glutes are inhibited, the hamstring are picking up the slack. If the foot is pronated, the pelvis is unstable. If the chest is tight, the rang of motion in the hips is limited. If the quads are loaded too much, the knee is unstable from the ankle not being flexed enough.
And the messy chain reaction goes on and on and on.
Here is a video explaining more in depth why the strengthening of the body as a unit is critical for ACL injury reduction and improving speed, agility and performance:
As discussed in the video, I want to list several exercise you guys can get started on ASAP to become a robust and resilient athlete – not just physically, but also, mentally.
1. Lunge ISO – pelvic stability, quadricep strength
2. Pull-Up – core strength, upper body strength, posture
3. Push-Up ISO – core strength, hip strength, pelvic stability
4. Crawling – core strength, pelvic stability, shoulder stability
5. Hanging – shoulder mobility, spinal health, posture
6. Deadlift – hamstring strength, gluteal strength, core stability, posture
7. Pallof Press – pelvic stability, core strength
8. Mini Jump – deceleration technique, pelvic stability
9. Lateral Bounding – lateral deceleration, lateral power
10. Hamstring Walkout – pelvic stability, eccentric hamstring strength
Of course, these are all glossing over the tip of the iceberg. There are so many amazing exercises to choose from to help female soccer players reduce chance of ACL, while improving performance.
Keep in mind, these are just the beginning. Once you nail these down, then you have to provide a more challenging stimulus to your muscle with new exercises and heavier load in order to continue to become stronger.
It’s similar to getting better at a soccer skill: first, you learn the move in place slowly, then you perform it on the run, then you perform it faster on the run, then you perform it against a defender and at a higher intensity situation than the game.
Resistance training must be progressed in a similar fashion: bodyweight, then more load, then increased challenge via more volume (sets/reps), more taxing muscle actions (eccentric), changing grip, and bilateral to unlitateral stance.
As young athletes, you are here to up the ante, allow your bodies to adapt to new challenges, then overcome them as a stronger self.
If you want a program that is a year-round progression of strength, speed and conditioning, The Total Youth Soccer Fitness 365 Program lays everything out for young female athletes workbook style.
You can get it HERE.
Keep progressing, keep challenging yourself, keep building your best you.