3 best exercises to start doing for women pre-season sport
Research has shown us that women in sport have a greater chance than men of injuring their knees and ankles
There are a combination of factors that may contribute to this including; higher oestrogen levels, along with less muscle mass and greater body fat percentage, increased flexibility around the joints, a wider pelvis, which may increase the stress on the knee and ankle joints.
Knowing there is a greater risk means that we need to take greater care to prepare our bodies to play sport, in particular around the hip and knee.
This article is going to take you through three of the best exercises for women pre-season sport to help get you started for the season ahead.
Although it is important to use these in conjunction with increasing your cardiovascular fitness and overall strength training.
Run with high bounding steps with a high knee lift, landing gently on the ball of your foot. Use an exaggerated arm swing for each step (opposite arm and leg). Try not to let your leading leg cross the midline of your body or let your knees buckle inward. Repeat the exercise until you reach the other side of the field, then jog back to recover. 2 sets
Bounding assists with stability and control around the hip and knee. It also helps to build explosive power through the legs, which is a huge help when you go for those quick sprints.
Land and hold
Starting on a box, take off on one leg and land on that same leg in a slight squat position. Make sure knee, foot and hip are all in line and not dropping inwards. Increase difficulty by increasing the speed off the box, the height of the box or by getting someone to throw a ball to you when you jump off.
This exercise will help strengthen the muscles around the hip and knee and focuses on a good single leg landing technique. This is especially important for ACL injury prevention.
Stand in the middle of a Y shape, using one leg extend it along one of the ‘arms’ of the Y whilst maintaining good positioning around the knee and ankle. Gradually increase the distance you can extend the leg. Repeat on each ‘arm’ then switch legs.
The Y-balance test is technically a test physio’s use to look at dynamic balance and control around the knee and ankles. It is, however, also a great exercise to assist with balance and control of the lower limb particularly around the ankle.
Summary of the importance of exercises for women pre season sport:
There are many different types of exercises that can be beneficial for women pre-season sport preparation.
Focusing on increasing strength and control around the hip and knee is a key factor particularly for women.
Our myPhysioSA Physio’s are here to help guide you to make sure you get the best start to the season as possible.
Call 1300 189 289 now to make an appointment!
by Danielle Tape, Sports Physiotherapist at myPhysioSA Payneham, Adelaide.
Danielle is an experienced Sports Physio and is currently involved with North Adelaide Women’s Football teams.