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This two-phase strengthening program develops proper form and builds strength over the course of a season. Keep in mind that exercises must be done with proper form for greatest benefit and to avoid injury.
Ready, Set, Prevent is a lower extremity sports injury prevention program developed by the Center for Sports Medicine and Performance at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Narrator: Strengthening. The Strength Program has two phases. The first phase is for weeks 1 through 4. It is designed to provide a framework for proper form development and baseline strength gains. Phase Two is more challenging and should be performed from week 5 through the end of the season. Exercises must be done with proper form in order to gain benefit from the program.
Phase One. The Double-leg Squat -- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and toes pointing forward. Bend your knees and lower into a squat as if you are sitting into a chair. Keep your knees in line with your toes. Make sure to keep your weight shifted back so your knees remain behind your toes. If you need help balancing, you can hold your arms out. Repeat 20 times.
The Alternating Lunge -- Begin with your feet hip-width apart. Lunge forward until the front thigh is parallel to the ground. Push off your front heel and return to standing. Repeat on the other side. Make sure to keep your knee from collapsing inward and keep your toes pointing forward. From the side view you can see that the knee does not progress beyond the toes. Perform 20 repetitions.
The Double-leg Bridge -- Lie on your back. Place your feet on top of a soccer ball or basketball. Pressing down through the heels, lift your hips until your body is in a straight line. Slowly lower back down. If a ball is not available, simply keep your feet on the ground. Repeat 20 times.
The Side Plank -- Lie on your side with your elbow directly under your shoulder and your feet stacked on top of one another. Lift yourself up until your body is in a straight line. Do not let your hips roll backward and do not flex at your trunk. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Repeat 3 times on each side.
After four weeks move on to Phase Two.
The Single-leg Squat -- Begin balanced on one leg. Bend at your knee and lower into a squat as if you are sitting into a chair. Lower as far as you can with good control. Make sure to keep your toes pointed forward and your knee in line with your foot. Keep your weight back and do not allow your knee to progress beyond your toes. As you improve, you will be able to squat lower. Repeat 10 times per leg. Remember, never sacrifice technique in order to squat lower.
The Side Lunge -- From a standing position, step out to the side and lunge so that your thigh is parallel to the ground while keeping your toes pointed forward. Keep your opposite knee straight. Press back to center and repeat on the opposite side. Make sure the bent knee does not progress beyond the toes. Perform 10 repetitions per leg.
The Single-leg Bridge -- Lie on your back. Place one leg on top of a soccer ball or basketball. If a ball is not available, simply keep your feet on the ground. Extend your opposite leg so the knee is straight. Press down through your heel and raise your hips off the ground. Pause when your body is in a straight line. Slowly lower back to the ground. Repeat 10 times per leg. You can use your arms to stabilize, but do not press down with your arms to create movement.
The Side Plank -- Lie on your side with your elbow directly under your shoulder and your feet stacked on top of one another. Lift yourself up until your body is in a straight line do not let your hips roll back ward and do not flex at your trunk. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Repeat three times on each side.