Youth Conditioning – Prevent Knee Injuries in Youth Athletics
Younger athletes need a foundational level of skills in both the squat and proper technique in jumping mechanics to avoid knee injuries. It sounds quite simple, but many younger athletes have trouble performing these basic moves which could help save their knees from a lifetime of pain and knee injury.
Today the focus of our coaching is to try and correct one of the most common errors in squatting and jumping technique. Valgus collapse, essentially when the knees come together in a squat or jumping pattern.
Watch the video below to see one of our young athletes performing the jump squat and body weight squat.
As you can see from the video, our athlete Tristan, who is one of the hardest workers in the gym has developed a very poor squat/jump pattern where his knees collapse inward doing these two basic movements.
The Knees Only Bend Two Ways
The knees being the hinge joint that they are don’t function optimally when they try to extend explosively with a rotational element. The knees are designed to hinge much like a door, open and close. Rotational motion is severely limited and should always be minimized to prevent injury.
The rotation inward causes a loss of overall force production and the muscles-tendons-ligaments suffer from being overly stretched in a faulty pattern.
Wear and Tear is Progressive
Eventually, if this problem isn’t corrected it will cause excessive wear and tear on the joints and may result in injury. Naturally at this young age the problem may correct itself with age and awareness, but then again if an injury results because of this pattern then it may compromise an athlete for the rest of his or her career.
Through educating Tristan on the proper technique, reinforcing good habit of having the knees in alignment over the toes when jumping or squatting and increasing the strength in the adductors, glutes and hip extensors Tristan has gradually fallen out of this faulty movement pattern and is capable of busting out some near perfect form bodyweight squats and squat jumps.
One exercise that can help is putting a small resistance band around the knee joints themselves and making the athlete perform a controlled box squat. See the picture above.
Focusing on keeping the knees over the toes, while having to resist the bands force around the knees helps engage the medial glutes and forces the knees to remain over the toes.
It’s simply a matter of activating the right muscles at the right time to help assist with the lift. Additionally, having the band around the knees helps the athlete feel what muscles should be contracting. Getting this feel greatly enhances the training effect and creates the desired response.
Through proper training and technique, younger athletes can be taught how to exercise safely and prevent knee injuries before they happen.
Hostyle Youth Conditioning
If you’re curious of how to get your young athlete into our program check out our link here: http://188.8.131.52/service/youth-conditioning-orleans/
We’re serious about training your young athletes and keeping them strong, fast and able to handle the rigors of any sport.
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