Health - ACL Awareness

It’s been more than 30 years since Title IX paved the way for many of the girls and women who are playing soccer and other sports today. In that time, there have been numerous studies showing the risk of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in female athletes – particularly soccer players.

Research has shown that with specific training routines, the risk of a female athlete sustaining an ACL injury can be reduced.

Santa Monica Sports Medicine Foundation's PEP Program

This prevention program consists of a warm-up, stretching, strengthening, plyometrics, and sport specific agilities to address potential deficits in the strength and coordination of the stabilizing muscles around the knee joint.  It is important to use proper technique during all of the exercises. 

The coaches and trainers need to emphasize correct posture, straight up and down jumps without excessive side-to-side movement, and reinforce soft landings.  This program should be completed 3 times a week.  If you are using this program with athletes that are twelve or under, please perform the plyometrics over a visual line on the field or a flat 2” cone and land each jump with two feet. 

Do not perform single leg plyometrics with young individuals until they demonstrate substantial control.  (see addendum

The field should be set up 10 minutes prior to the warm-up.  This will allow for a smooth transition between the activities.  A sample field set-up has been included in your packet. 

This program should take approximately 15 - 20 minutes to complete.  However, when you first begin the program, it may take slightly longer due to the fact that you must first become well acquainted with the program and the transitions.  Along side each exercise you will notice a box with the approximate amount of time that should be spent on each activity.  This will serve as a guideline to you in order to conduct your warm-up in a time efficient manner.

Click Here to download a PDF copy of the entire program.


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