As Physical Therapists, part of our scope of practice is the Prevention of Neuromusculoskeletal Injuries. MHR clinicians are currently offering a Jump Training Program that is geared toward the prevention of knee injuries in female athletes.
There are more female athletes than ever playing sports in this country. Unfortunately with sports there is the increased risk of injury, especially knee injury in young female athletes. These knee injuries are occurring at a rate five times higher in females than males. Knee injuries are more common in sports that involve jumping and cutting motions like track and field, basketball, soccer, gymnastics and volleyball. Potential causes of knee injuries in females are a marked imbalance of strength and power between the hamstrings and quadriceps (hamstrings are weaker), and female athletes tend to depend on ligaments to protect their knees after a jump rather than use their muscles.
MHR's Jump Training Program is based on a program developed by Cincinnati Sportsmetrics. In one of Cincinnati Sportsmetrics recent investigations of 1200 high school athletes from 43 high school teams, they found that women who participated in the Sportsmetrics program were less likely to suffer a knee injury. See http://www.cincinnatisportsmed.com for more information and visit http://www.sportsmetrics.net
Jump Training consists of proper stretching, strengthening, and plyometrics (jumping). Jump technique is of greatest importance. Key factors emphasized are proper posture, body alignment, jumping straight up with no excessive movement, soft landings, and correct preparation for the next jump. Goals are to decrease harmful landing forces at the knee and increase muscular endurance, power, strength and speed.
Jump training will be in phases according to the athlete's ability. The progression of the program will be tailored as age and skill appropriate. Sports injury prevention strategies consist of pre-season training followed by pre-game warm-ups to include active stretching, jump, ball handling and shooting skills.
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