11 Feb 4 Moves that Prevent ACL Injuries in Females
Did you know that women are eight times more likely to suffer an ACL injury than men? The ACL is a tough band of tissue that joins the thigh and shin bone together. It runs diagonally along the inside of the knee giving it stability. It can be injured when the knee is bent backward, twisted, or bent from side to side. An ACL injury can be devastating to a player’s career, and players who suffer this type of injury will most likely have to start back at square one.
But why are women at a higher risk for these injuries? Most of the time female anatomy is the culprit. The shape of the female pelvis results in a sharper angle where the thighs and legs meet which can cause alignment problems in the knee. Girls and women also tend to have less core strength than men, and the muscles that support the knee are not as strong in women as they are in men.
Fortunately, certain exercises have been shown to help prevent ACL injuries. According to a study found in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, stretching, strengthening, agility and jumping exercises could lower the chance of female athletes sustaining an ACL injury. Below are a few of commonly recommended exercises.
Place your feet about shoulder width apart.
Bend your knees and slowly lower yourself down like you are sitting down in a chair. Keep your back straight and lean slightly forward. Make sure your upper body is not over your knees. Keep your arms straight out, level with the ground, and your feet flat.
Stand back up.
Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart.
Take a step forward with your right leg.
Standing with one foot in front of the other, bend your knee so that it is at a 90 degree angle with the floor.
Keep your front foot flat to the ground, your front knee in line with your ankle and your back straight.
Keep your weight on your front heel, and push yourself back up to the starting position. Avoid knee strain by focusing on each rep and doing them slowly.
Repeat these motions with your other leg.
Get down in the floor like you were going to do a pushup, but keep your elbows bent 90 degrees and both forearms resting on the floor. Your elbows should be directly underneath your shoulders. Keep your body in a perfectly straight line from your head to your toes. Make sure you’re back is not sinking forward and that your hips are not up in the air. Try holding it for as long as you can. You may only be able to hold it for a few seconds at first ,but work yourself up to a minute. If you can hold it for four or five minutes, that’s awesome!
Start with your feet hip-distance apart.
Lower into a squat.
Keep your arms extended with your elbows slightly bent and your hands in loose fists.
Keep your weight on your heels, and push off the balls of your feet.
Let your arms swing behind you as you jump.
Softly land on the balls of your feet.
If you’ve experienced a knee injury recently or in the past, call us today to set up an appointment. We can show you ways to strengthen your knees and protect yourself from future injuries.