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This Hurdle Drill Is Essential For Women Soccer Players To Prevent ACL Injury

ACL injuries are more prevalent than ever. The ACL provides rotational stability to the knee and rotational stability exercises are often ignored in both prevention and rehab protocols. The following is an excerpt from the National Athletic Trainers Association's Public Service Announcement.

"The ACL is one of four ligaments necessary for proper knee stability and function. Rigorous exercises or activities, such as basketball or soccer, that require sudden pivots or stops can significantly increase the chances of an ACL tear, a common injury among athletes – especially females. In fact recent studies reveal that young female athletes are up to eight times more likely than boys to tear their ACLs. Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that in 2006 there were more than 46,000 female athletes age 19 and younger who experienced a sprain and strain of the ACL. Nearly 30,000 of these injuries required repair."

“While there is no single exercise that can prevent ACL injuries, the chances of such an injury happening can be lowered by performing training drills that emphasize power and agility and by improving muscular reactions with jumping and balance drills,” said Letha “Etty” Griffin, MD, PhD, a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine at the Peachtree Orthopaedic Clinic in Atlanta and AAOS spokesperson. “This is especially true for female athletes who are more vulnerable to ACL tears.”

This hurdle drill will involve moving laterally, then rotating and landing with a stable knee. The athlete will perform a high knee run over a series of five hurdles. As they complete the series, the athlete will turn 90 degrees upon landing. The landing should remain static for 2-3 seconds. The focus is on the knee remaining in line with the hip and ankle and minimal side to side movement of the knee upon the landing. Perform 5-6 passes each way for 2-3 sets. The focus should still be on proper form.



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