Players Fitness & Performance supports #HerMoJo - a gentle 'nudge' to help get more women & girls, more ACTIVE!
ACL recovery programme for women & girls. Scroll for all six videos.
#1 Anatomical Makeup
The Q-Angle is the relationship between the hips and knees. It is more pronounced in females because their hips are designed to be child-bearing.
Unfortunately, this angle from the hip to the knee puts girls at much higher risk for tearing their ACL and having other knee injuries.
But, fear not...there are solutions and injury prevention modalities you can learn below.
#2 Flexibility and Mobility
In a lot of ways, girls are more flexible than guys. It is a good thing for moany girls have hypermobile knees for example, which gives them the ability to hyperextend their knees. Again, not a good thing when it comes to jumping (I.E. netball players) or even accelerating from a stopped position (I.E. a lacrosse player attacking a ball after the draw).
Again, there are viable solutions every female athlete can do to strengthen the knees and counteract some of the unnecessary mobilities and flexibilities they have.
#3 Hormonal Changes
Research shows that the hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle can put them at a higher risk of injury. Check our article on training & menstruation. Now you know why, and you are asking yourself, “How can I give my daughter the best chance of AVOIDING the season and possible career ending ACL Tear?”
There are 6 exercises every female athlete should be doing year round to keep their knees resilient and injury-free.
Most of them they can do on their own with little to no equipment.
1) Clam Shell - WATCH on YouTube
This exercise will strengthen the glutes big time, which are the top muscles that stop the knee from caving in. The motion works directly against the inward force that causes ACL injuries.
2) Double Leg Bridge w/mini band - WATCH on YouTube
This exercise has multiple benefits. It is going to make you a lot faster, plus it will strengthen hamstrings AND glutes to further stabilize knee and hips.
3) Single Leg Step Behind - WATCH on YouTube
This one looks 10X easier than it is. To truly go all the way down and up, without the knee caving in and without pushing off the bottom pad, requires a ton of strength from the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. This one builds off the previous two.
4) Hex Bar Deadlift- 2-3 sets of 5-7 reps in-season - WATCH on You Tube
The hex bar allows athletes to achieve the optimal deadlift position without putting their lower back at risk (opposed to a barbell deadlift). This exercise not only reinforces all of the muscles and movements from above, but it is a total body exercise that also incorporates a lot of upper body. Highly effective for performance and ACL prevention when done correctly.
5) Mini Band Side Steps- 2-3 sets of 10 reps in-season - WATCH on YouTube
This one works the athlete in movement. Most ACL injuries come from cutting and changing direction. By doing the stationary side steps first, you are priming the body to withstand the knee from diving in when you go to plant and cut.
6) Single leg box jump stick - WATCH on YouTube
This is the highest level of difficulty of the six exercises, which means it is also the most effective and beneficial when done correctly. You will want to build up to this one, starting out with double leg jumps and landings before progressing to single leg. A female athletes ability to decelerate and keep the knee from wiggling is KEY to preventing ACL injury.
You can do a few of these exercises on your own with zero equipment. Make sure you are doing them correctly and with control. More from Player's Fitness & Performance - HERE
So why not join in? Keep active during the Coronavirus outbreak.
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Have you seen MoJoManuals? FOOTBALLMoJo, LACROSSEMoJo, ROWMoJo, NETBALLMoJo – www.WSNet.co.uk/MoJoManuals
MoJoManuals addressing the wide range of issues which teenage girls face as they engage in competitive sport. Predicated on 'Physical Literacy' but also cover a range of other emotive issues such as: body image, diet, fit or thin, social media, training with menstruation, coaching style etc. – which impact how girls engage/drop out of sport – and potentially go on to be elite athletes and confident, mature young women outside of sport.