by Jennifer Schwartz, Alexandria Soccer Injury Prevention & Fitness
How to use this exercise:
- Each repetition should be guided by the bullet points in the video. Control of motion is a very important goal for knee strength gains. This should be accounted for with slow and thoughtful repetitions.
- For injury prevention and no pain present- perform twice a week for 10–15 repetitions with Core Basics (video) and the balancing lunge from the video (0:15) (2 min of lunges). Repeat entire sequence three times.
- For injury concern with tightness and discomfort present- perform this exercise barefoot following Active Stretch sequence (video).
Why does this help?
A player can potentially achieve multiple effects from including this exercise into his or her in-season program. They include:
- Improved strength symmetry- dominant to non-dominant leg
- Improved strength where soccer players critically need it- ankles, feet, and hamstrings
- Improved balance and foot strength if performed barefoot.
- Improved control of knee motion
- Increased lower back flexibility
- Decreased injury risk in regards to awareness of knee function and lowering overuse of muscles around the knee
It’s very easy to take the ankles and knees for granted. They withstand a lot of stress and are under a lot of pressure when sprinting and decelerating on the soccer field. By focusing on small daily activities and details, athletes can learn how to become stronger and faster while protecting themselves from these vulnerable joints.
The best players cannot rely on talent alone. They need the total package of leadership, decision making, agility, perseverance, and injury prevention. To achieve physical durability and be less likely to injure, two times a week, add this 15 minute routine to your other activities.