How to Reduce Knee Injuries for Football Players

As we inch closer and closer to the start of the football season now is the time to ensure we are doing as much as we can to prevent injuries during the season. This means that we need to assess any strength deficits or mobility dysfunctions that may be present. 
In football specifically we want to make sure that there are no mobility or strength deficits at the hip that could cause an increased stress at the knee. If there is a mobility deficit at the hip and the player gets tackled it could cause all of that force and torque to go straight to the knee. 
When it comes to mobility I always like to implement drills that will help improve mobility and strength. This is because you need adequate mobility AND strength at the hip, so why not work on both with one drill if we can?
Hold this position for about one minute, press the front shin down into the ground as hard as you can for about 10 seconds followed by trying to pull the shin upwards for about 10 seconds. Repeat this process 3-5 times depending on how “tight” your hips are feeling. For more in depth instructions on this drill check out the video at the end of this article.
Now that we have improved the mobility at the hip we want to strengthen that new range of motion. More specifically for football we want to work on the lateral strength of the hip complex. This can be done with lunge variations, squats, or our favorite here at Xcel, the banded sidestep. This exercise is one of our favorites because very rarely do patients have the muscular control to move in a lateral fashion. Being able to control lateral movement is very important for football due to the agility required for certain plays.
Check out the video below for a more in depth explanation and instructions on how to decrease the risk for knee injuries in high school football players.

If you're a player or parent concerned about a knee injury, come in and talk with one of our specialists about your specific concerns or problems. Click the link below to schedule your free orthopedic consultation.
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