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7 Exercises to Reduce the Risk of Knee Injuries in Soccer Players!

It is important to make sure you are regularly challenging your neuromuscular system and training it to tolerate the loads you take on as a soccer player.  Research has shown that performing a consistent neuromuscular training program can reduce the risk of injury.  There are obviously other factors involved in injury rates as well (i.e. fatigue, nutrition, strength, and sleep) but here we will focus on a simple neuromuscular training program that can be incorporated into a workout or be performed after a soccer practice.

Here are seven exercises that can be done several days per week to improve your stability and control in your trunk and legs in order to reduce the risk for knee injuries.  It is important to perform these exercises with the proper technique so you are repetitively teaching your body how to tolerate load safely.

Recommended Frequency of Performance

Pre- season and Off-season:  3 days/week

In-season:  1-2 days/week depending on your practice and game schedule

1.  3 Way Lunges – Perform 5-10 repetitions on each leg focusing on form

 

2.  Single Leg RDL’s – 10-15 repetitions on each leg focusing on form

 

3.  Skater Hops- 10-15 repetitions on each leg focusing on form

 

4.  Single Leg Split Squat- 10-15 repetitions on each leg focusing on form

 

5.  Single leg medial and lateral hopping- 10-15 repetitions on each leg focusing on form

 

6.  Wide plank ball rolls- 10-15 rolls with each arm focusing on form

 

7.  V-Drill with Lunge- 10 cuts/lunges to each side focusing on form

 

Omaha Physical Therapy Institute specializes in injury reduction strategies as well as soccer specific rehabilitation.  If you are wanting to start a proper neuromuscular training program or you have had an injury and you would like further specialized care with reducing your risk for future injuries, we can help!  Call Omaha Physical Therapy Institute today!

Katie Cordery, PT, DPT
Creighton Women’s Soccer Alumna

 

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References

Mandelbaum BR, Silvers HJ, Watanabe D, et al. Effectiveness of a neuromuscular and proprioceptive training program in preventing anterior cruciate ligament injuries in female athletes: two-year follow-up. Am J Sports Med. 2005;33:1003–1010. doi: 10.1177/0363546504272261. 

Myer GD, Sugimoto D, Thomas S, Hewett TE. The influence of age on the effectiveness of neuromuscular training to reduce anterior cruciate ligament injury in female athletes: a meta-analysis. Am J Sports Med. 2013 Jan; 41(1):203-15.

Steffen K, Myklebust G, Olsen OE, Holme I, Bahr R. Preventing injuries in female youth football–a cluster-randomized controlled trial. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2008 Oct; 18(5):605-14.

Hewett TE, Myer GD. The mechanistic connection between the trunk, hip, knee, and anterior cruciate ligament injury. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2011 Oct; 39(4):161-6.

Hewett TE, Myer GD, Ford KR, Heidt RS Jr, Colosimo AJ, McLean SG, van den Bogert AJ, Paterno MV, Succop P. Biomechanical measures of neuromuscular control and valgus loading of the knee predict anterior cruciate ligament injury risk in female athletes: a prospective study. Am J Sports Med. 2005 Apr; 33(4):492-501.

Hewett TE, Torg JS, Boden BP. Video analysis of trunk and knee motion during non-contact anterior cruciate ligament injury in female athletes: lateral trunk and knee abduction motion are combined components of the injury mechanism. Br J Sports Med. 2009 Jun; 43(6):417-22.

Sugimoto D, Myer GD, Bush HM, Klugman MF, Medina McKeon JM, Hewett TE. Compliance with neuromuscular training and anterior cruciate ligament injury risk reduction in female athletes: a meta-analysis. J Athl Train. 2012 Nov-Dec; 47(6):714-23.

Joy EA, Taylor JR, Novak MA, Chen M, Fink BP, Porucznik CA. Factors influencing the implementation of anterior cruciate ligament injury prevention strategies by girls soccer coaches.J Strength Cond Res. 2013 Aug; 27(8):2263-9.

Benjaminse A, Gokeler A, Dowling AV, Faigenbaum A, Ford KR, Hewett TE, Onate JA, Otten B, Myer GD. Optimization of the anterior cruciate ligament injury prevention paradigm: novel feedback techniques to enhance motor learning and reduce injury risk. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2015 Mar; 45(3):170-82.

Gilchrist J, Mandelbaum BR, Melancon H, et al. A randomized controlled trial to prevent noncontact anterior cruciate ligament injury in female collegiate soccer players. Am J Sports Med. 2008;36:1476–1483. doi: 10.1177/0363546508318188.

Grimm NL, Jacobs JC Jr, Kim J, Denney BS, Shea KG. Anterior Cruciate Ligament and Knee Injury Prevention Programs for Soccer Players: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Am J Sports Med. 2015 Aug; 43(8):2049-56.

Webster KE1Hewett TE. Meta-analysis of meta-analyses of anterior cruciate ligament injury reduction training programs. J Orthop Res. 2018 Oct;36(10):2696-2708. doi: 10.1002/jor.24043. Epub 2018 Jun 13.

Nessler T, Denney L, Sampley J. ACL Injury Prevention: What Does Research Tell Us? Curr Rev Musculoskeletal Med. 2017 Sep;  10(3): 281-288. Epub 2017 Jun 27.