Get Your Money’s Worth & Female ACL Injuries

Having a good day… So this isn’t very professional of me.

Personal Training Overlooking Melbourne Catego...
Image via Wikipedia

I love my job. I love training and watching people get results.

I have a few rules when I take personal training clients and I am pretty strict about them. They look like this:

  • Do Not Waste My Time.
  • Do Not Waste Your Time.
  • Follow The Program and Get Results.
  • If You Follow My Program and Don’t Get Results…
    Then The Program Sucks and I Owe You Money.

That last rule is very important, because I believe that all personal trainers should have the ability to stand behind their product like that. Because their product is the Program they have designed that should be tailored to get you results. If you sweat and hurt through a workout and you get ZERO results, then the truth is… THEIR PROGRAM SUCKS!

I say this because I was sitting there watching a trainer take their client through her program the other day because I

sat there wondering why in the world was this woman on her fifth set of knee extensions (using 60lbs.), for 15 reps, and I know for a fact that they did this same workout three days prior.

This kind of crap is ridiculous, because that workout looks so BORING, and she has looked the exact same for the last three weeks! Seriously. If you are not seeing body composition changes after the first 12 workouts and you are compliant with a sensible nutrition plan, drop’em.

Anyhow, below is an article from the Band Man, Dave Schmitz.

John David Reynolds III
Sacramento’s Most Hated Personal Trainer!

Protecting the Female athlete from ACL injuries
with Resistance Band Training

Dave Schmitz PT, LAT, CSCS, PES
Resistance Band

Right knee.
Image via Wikipedia

Why do female athletes incur more ACL injuries than males? The answer is not a simple one. Here are some of the expert opinions.

  1. Biomechanically, the female athlete is at greater risk.
  2. Monthly hormonal changes place the female athlete at greater risk.
  3. The female athlete does not develop adequate lower torso strength ratios needed to prevent non-contact ACL injuries.
  4. Females have a weaker ligamentous structures.

Along with these theories here are a few research facts:

  1. The female athlete is typically more anterior thigh vs. posterior thigh dominant which places them at a neuromuscular risk.
  2. Especially during running and side cutting the female athlete showed greater knee valgus angles which in turn placed greater strain on the ACL.
  3. During landing from jumping activities, the female athlete showed less knee flexion which meant they did not decelerate the lower torso as well. Loading is a key to avoiding ACL injury.

Now from my perspective, I would like to share some perceptions I have obtained over the past 10 years of training and rehabilitating the female athlete.

I have notice that they are often not required or provided the same opportunities
as their male counterpart when it comes to:

  • Weight room time
  • Appropriate Strength Training instruction
  • Coaches emphasizing an Off-season strength training program
  • Programs and Camps for strength and conditioning that emphasize functional training for the female athlete

With that said and based on the present research, I think one of the key elements to preventing non-contact ACL injuries is to make sure we are training the female athlete correctly and giving them the same opportunity as their male

counterpart. If you look at the research, all of them can be positively influenced with training. Granted the female athlete must want to train, but for those girls that are committed, we need to not only provide them proven, gender specific training programs but increase their opportunities to learn and train. Simply placing girls in a weight room and putting them on weight machines will not get it done.

I have been training a local female soccer team for 5 years. During that time they have suffer only 1 ACL injury. This is not a coincidence but is a fact that training does and can make a difference.
However the Female athlete:

  • Needs to learn how to functionally strengthen their posterior chain and core.
  • Needs to learn how to place their body under deceleration stress
  • Needs to learn and train how to load their body efficiently when jumping, cutting and running.
  • Must learn how and why they need to increase their squat, single leg squat and lunge strength
  • Must be encouraged and held responsible to workout in the off-season.

Resistance Band Training – Female Athletes – No ACL Injury!!

Why is rubber band training a great adjunct to a normal core weight lifting program???

It is really all about teaching your body how to handle the BIG 3:

Momentum, Ground Reaction, and Gravity.

  1. Resistance bands teach the body how to decelerate momentum faster. The#1 cause of ACL injuries is the inability of the female athlete to slow the body down quickly and effectively. Resistance Band training speeds up momentum therefore athletes must learn how to reflexively deal with it quicker. Just like strength training, the body develops faster reflexes for decelerating movement and avoids awkward injury causing situations.
  2. Resistance bands soften Ground reaction forces. It is not the fall that hurts. It’s the landing. Resistance band training teaches athletes to get off the ground faster which means they must have landed softer. Soft landings are less stressful on the body’s ligamentous and joint related structures.
  3. Gravity is here to stay… Get use to and learn to deal with it. Resistance bands don’t just increase gravity’s influences like weights do, they also accelerate it. Obviously traditional strength training will dramatically influence our ability to deal with gravity. This is why you need to develop your absolute strength. However, once again, teaching your body how to handle gravity faster is the key. Athletics are fast, which means slow, methodical weight training is not going to prepare your body to handle speed specific movements seen in sport. Gettingyour body to train quickly with resistance must eventually be the goal.

Female athletics is going to continue to become more aggressive and the competitive bar will continue to be raised. Therefore female training must match that aggressiveness or non-contact ACL injuries are going to continue to be an
epidemic in female athletics. To compete, the female athlete should be involved  in programs where
“Training for Performance is training for Prevention “.

I use these with my clients and in my boot camps, I recommend them to all my clients and now I am recomending them to you. This is a great starting package for anyone.

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