Prevent Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tears In Female Soccer Athletes; Improve Performance
Soccer athletes are dynamic in movement, and demand specific training protocols that warrant physiological gains for the long durations of playing time. Structural neuromuscular training, pre/post recovery modalities and nutritional emphasis should be in a Soccer athlete's daily prescription. So much of soccer training is thought of as running, agility and conditioning concepts. However, this couldn't be farther from the truth when it comes to excelling on the field for this particular sport.
Soccer athletes must get off the field and get into a Performance Training program that evokes the regeneration, recovery and building of functionally aligned explosive connective muscle tissue. This will aide in performance, but most importantly in the overall health and wellness of preventing ACL-MCL-PCL injuries that are so often attached to soccer athletes.
"I am a passionate advocate for APX as an integral component of our soccer athlete development model. We are fortunate to integrate this level of functional performance soccer-specific training to maximize our athletes' athleticism on the field.
As a coach, it allows me to focus on the technical, tactical and psychological aspects of the game - knowing that the physical, mental, injury prevention work and nutritional training is being done effectively. All of the APX coaches provide a positive, challenging environment that demands hard work and results."
Girls soccer has picked up in popularity in North America over the last ten years. Unfortunately there is a high incidence of anterior
cruciate ligament tears with young Female soccer players as well.
It is shocking to know that a female soccer player as young as 12 years old CAN suffer an ACL tear.
There are several “theories’ as to the cause of this injury in girls soccer. They range from the ligament itself being weaker than that of boys, muscle imbalances, poor landing and poor coordination. On the bright side there are exercises and drills that maybe done by girls who play soccer to minimize the chance of tearing their ACL.
Build Hip Strength: Exercises like the front squat emphasize the work of the buttocks muscle. Young female soccer players need to be hip dominant strong. This takes away some of the pressure from the knees. The key in this exercise is to drive from the heel.
Build Single Leg Strength: An exercise like the single leg squat is excellent for building strength, power and endurance. Remember in a soccer game most of it is played on one leg.
Jump Training: A proper progressive plyometric training program teaches the body how to land properly on one or two feet. Many ACL injuries in girls soccer occur because they do not know how to land properly.
Build A Solid Core: Building the muscles around the hip helps to stabilize pelvis and restrict unnecessary movement of the pelvic bones. This includes training the deep stomach (abdominal) muscles.
Proper conditioning: It is vital the girls playing soccer are properly conditioned. Sending girls out for a 20 to 30 minute jog for soccer fitness makes them both weaker and slower. They need to do some form of interval training. This type of training minimizes fatigue. One of the nice benefits of interval training is fat loss.