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A Great ACL Exercise For Womens Soccer

ACL injuries continue to remain a frustrating concern for young female soccer athletes. Generally speaking, ACL injures are 5 times more likely to occur in women than in men. There are many risk factors involved such as ligament laxity at certain stages of the menstrual cycle, females having wider hips, and other structural differences. You combine these factors with a sport like soccer that is associated with cutting, twisting, and deceleration movement, and you can see why a young female soccer athlete MUST INCLUDE INJURY PREVENTION as part of their training. There have been medical advancements in repairing ACL tears, but we want to avoid even getting to that point as much as we can in order to avoid high medical costs and time away from training. Fortunately, injury prevention is not only the smartest way to decrease the chances of ACL injuries, it is also the easiest and most cost effective way for coaches, parents,and athletes to do so.

There are many exercises to include in injury prevention, but one of the exercises I believe female soccer athletes must incorporate into their training is the standing clam exercise. This is a great exercise because it works to activate and strengthen your gluteal muslces, which in turn can provide some stability to your knees.  All you need is a small inexpensive mini-band. If you don't have one, you can get one by clicking on the Perform Better link on this page on 90strong.com. Place the band approximately 1 to 2 inches above your knees. Standing in an athletic position, with your feet shoulder width apart, simply rotate your knees in and out. You should able to feel this exercise working on your glutes, which is exactly what you want. The stronger your glute muscles are, the more stable your knees will be. When you perform this exercise, make sure to stay in an athletic position the entire time. Also, make sure that you don't use a band that has too much tension. You want to focus on volume and keeping your repetitions high. Do this exercise for 15-20 repetitions for 2 to 3 sets. You can do this 3 times a week as a part of your workout. See the video below to see how this exercise is performed.

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