Girl’s 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 girl’s 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.
Tip 1: Build Hip Strength
Exercises like the front squat emphasize the work of the buttocks muscle. Young female soccer players need to hip dominant strong. This takes away some of the pressure from the knees. The key in this exercise is to drive from the heel.
Tip 2: 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 leg.
Tip 3: Jump Training
A proper progressive plyometric training program teaches the body how to land properly on one or two feet. Many ACL injuries in girl’s soccer occur because they do not know how to land properly.
Tip 4: 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. A beginner exercise would the pelvic tilt. The player lies on her back with feet flat and knees bent. She then tightens the stomach and buttocks muscles at the same time for a six second hold. This is repeated eight to ten times.
Tip 5: 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.
In summary it is important that girls playing soccer to know what it takes off the field to prevent ACL injuries on the field. These tips make a big difference in game performance for young female soccer players. These exercises may be done at the field or the in comfort of home. Get more strength training tips for being faster and avoiding injury