On Episode 167 we got a question from Hannah about training for soccer. Jon and I had a little bit of a disagreement about what she should be doing. If you haven’t already, check out the podcast and let us know your opinion. Anyways, here is the article I told Hannah I would write.
When it comes to female high school soccer players, or high school athletes in general (just females more so because of their higher rate of ACL and MCL injuries) they tend to lack the lateral stability and endurance that is necessary for optimal performance and injury prevention. Mike Boyle wrote in his article titled, “ACL Injury Prevention Is Just Good Training,” that, “estimates run to over 100,000 ACL tears per year, with 30,000 of them high school age females.” So 30% of ALL ACL tears happen to high school females. That is a pretty astounding statistic. All thanks to the Q-Angle of the female hip.
Building a Solid Off Season Program:
During the podcast I argued that Hannah (the listener) should be focusing some of her time on lateral work. This includes
- lateral warmups
- ladder drills
- and lateral plyometrics
Of course she should also be focusing on a solid weight lifting program. Do your lunges, single legged squats and deadlifts, glute activation, and upper body work. My point was that if she has 75-90 minutes 2-3 times per week to train, she should have plenty of time to do all she needs to do.
I would only recommend you focus on the lateral aspect of the warm up and plyos every other session to make sure you still do some linear work. For example:
- Session 1 (Lateral)
- Foam roll
- lateral dynamic warmup: forward lunges, lateral lunge/squat, 3 direction SLDL, along with her upper body warm ups
- Active warm up: side shuffle, carioca, ect
- Ladder work
- Lateral plyos (heidens, 1-leg later hops, ect)
- Session 2 (Linear)
- Foam roll
- Linear dynamic: walking lunges, toe touch squat to stands, and upper body (push ups, scap wall slides, reach roll and lift)
- Linear Dynamic (part 2): butt kick pull backs, knee hugs, walking lunges, spiderman lunges, inch worms
- Linear Active High knees skips, high knee run, butt kicks, back pedal, ect)
- Linear plyos (box jumps, depth drops, ect)
- Shuttles will be great for improving lateral movement speed and (when done correctly) teaching your body to decelerate.
I am not saying to do all of this, pick and chose and make a recipe that fits your training level, time of the year, and time you have for the session. Try to limit the hops to 20 each session. Also, keep in mind, this is just a basic outline for ideas, not a program.
Here are some videos of exercises and warm ups you should use:
(in regards to the video of me, make sure to land softly, toe then heal and stick the landing. You should be able to hold that position.