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Friday, October 31, 2014

Ways to Protect Female Athlete's Knees

Although there are certain considerations that must be accounted for in Female athlete and fitness Warrior programs, the basic protocols of injury prevention are the same. At US Sports Strength and Conditioning, we take a 9 month approach to long term injury prevention for a female athlete it would look like this:

The Women's Fitness Programs are designed to bring about a toning and shaping effect to the body by using lighter weights and higher repetitions. There is also a greater emphasis on the parts of the body that many females want to work on: hips, legs, buttocks, back of the arms etc.

One of the fundamentals in weight training is to not train the same bodypart on consecutive days. So, for these 3 Day Programs, take a day off in between each training session. However, the Consecutive Training Day Programs allow for grouping 3 training days any way one likes, depending on schedule.

The starting point of the workout is based on an initial fitness level. With feedback, the actual progression of the program will follow the body's unique adaptation process to exercise.
Fine tune the program to include all the exercises that feel best! To maximize the reduction of body fat, it is recommended to involve some cardiovascular exercise in the weekly exercise routine. Just choose one of the programs that has the cardio built right in. Have fun and get into the shape of your life!
This first training cycle (above) would prepare her to train for her sport of choice:


 
Sports Specific Workouts
The Sports Specific Programs are designed to give people an exercise program tailored to the demands of their chosen sporting activities. All sports, from Golf to Football, have specific movements and physical demands that can be improved with proper training. The knowledge and experience that goes into each of these sports specific programs is what makes them so effective.

The most important attribute of any quality training program is injury prevention. Knowing how to start a program is the first step. These Sports Specific Programs provide injury prevention by first establishing a strength and conditioning base. The sets, repetitions, exercise prescription, and actual weight of the programs are based off an initial fitness level and specific strength to bodyweight ratio's. With simple feedback, the progression of the program will follow the body’s unique adaptation process to exercise.

Whether the goal is performance enhancement or simply the enjoyment of participation in a favorite activity, these Sports Specific Programs can and will provide great results!
Then during her season she would keep her joints and muscles strong, and even get stronger as the season went along by doing one of our Strength and Power Programs:


The Strength and Power Programs were designed to maximize the body's ability to generate strength. There will also be a certain amount of muscle mass developed through the stimulus of using progressively heavier weights!

Throughout the length of the Strength and Power programs, the manipulation of the sets and repetitions for each exercise will be based on periodization concepts that involve changing the intensity and the volume of the workout.

The Strength and Power EXPRESS Programs are for those people short on time that still want a very effective workout. An EXPRESS Program will give you most of the benefits of the regular programs, but will take less time each day to complete. It will not change the primary emphasis of the program, it simply reduces the number of assistance exercises for the calves, forearms and neck muscle groups.
The Strength and Power ADVANCED Programs will really push you physically. Make sure to pay high attention to recovery processes such as eating quality foods and keeping the body properly hydrated. Sleeping at least 8 hours per night is also key. And, stretching or massage both before and after the workout is also vital. This will help to stimulate passive blood flow to the muscles aiding the removal of metabolic waste products. Crank it up!

And now the science behind the US Sports Strength and Conditioning Programs

Ways to Protect Women's Knees
WASHINGTON (AP) - It took just one wrong jump, and women's basketball star Rebecca Lobo was on the floor in agony, yet another victim of a torn knee ligament called the ACL.
The very day Lobo was writhing in pain last week, doctors were meeting to figure out how to battle a growing problem: Women are far more susceptible to this debilitating knee injury than men. It's not just a risk for professional female athletes, but for high school and college teams, and even women who like a little weekend skiing, soccer or hoops.
Anterior cruciate ligament injuries are notorious because they're so painful and can require months of treatment and rehabilitation. But they also can predispose people to serious knee arthritis later in life, said Dr. Joan McGowan of the National Institutes of Health. The good news: There are some ways women can protect their knees, lowering the risk of injury by strengthening their hamstrings and learning to crouch properly while jumping, concluded a consensus conference sponsored by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
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Now doctors' quest is to alert women. "These injuries affect young people, and can affect the rest of their lives," said Dr. Letha Griffin, team physician at Georgia State University, who organized the meeting. "We really need to ... help the public know that there are injury prevention techniques." Her message: "If I'm doing jumping, pivoting, cutting sports, I really need to look into some of these prevention techniques."
Inside the knee, two ligaments pass each other in the shape of a cross, connecting the upper and lower leg bones. The anterior cruciate ligament is the one in front, and it's important in pivoting. Many sports fans connect ACL injuries to football's crunching hits. But experts say most ACL tears actually are noncontact injuries - and studies show women suffer from them about five times more than men.
ACL injuries are particularly common with lots of jumping, quick deceleration and pivoting, like in basketball, soccer and skiing. But recreational athletes who run, take boxing classes, even do step aerobics can suffer, too, said McGowan. Scientists are studying everything from hormones to anatomy to explain the gender discrepancy. But neuromuscular factors seem to play the biggest role, and that's where women can lower the risk, Griffin said.
Hamstrings, muscles behind the thigh, relieve stress on the ACL when the knee bends. If your hamstrings are too weak, they may not protect the ACL. Men's hamstrings typically are 60 to 70 percent as strong as their quadriceps, muscles in front of the thigh. Women athletes may have strong quads, but they typically have significantly weaker hamstrings, said Dr. Thomas Lindenfeld of the Cincinnati Sportsmedicine Research and Education Foundation. So as they jump and pivot, the hamstrings don't do their job and the ACL tears. In addition, women jump and land differently than men - more straight-legged and flat-footed. Men bend their knees more as they jump and land, a built-in shock absorption.
The Cincinnati foundation created a program called Sportsmetrics to strengthen hamstrings and train female athletes to jump with their knees properly bent and body correctly aligned so they don't land off-balance. In a study of 1,200 high school athletes, the six-week program lowered girls' injury risk to equal boys' risk, Lindenfeld said. The foundation now sells a video that demonstrates the program, and dozens of high school and college teams already are adopting the techniques.
Also, many ski shops carry pamphlets describing Vermont research on avoiding ACL injuries. Scientists videotaped ski accidents to show positions where skiers got so off-balance that the stress tore an ACL. Teaching skiers about those risky positions and how to regain balance on the slopes can reduce injuries, Griffin said. This focus on injuries shouldn't scare off women - exercise is key to good health and American women don't exercise enough, stressed McGowan, who led a related NIH meeting last week on women and sports.
But learning to prevent injuries in professional athletes could translate to a more fit general population, she said. It's important to know "this is the kind of thing amenable to training."
Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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