Each year in the US, 1 in 100 high school female athletes will suffer a serious knee injury. In fact, females suffer two to ten times more serious noncontact knee ligament injuries than males participating in the same sport. There are several reasons for this. Poor movement patterns during jumping, landing, cutting, and pivoting place an athlete at increased risk as the knees drop inward and rotate.
Poor muscle strength and patterning also plays a role. The hamstring is one of the biggest protectors of the ACL when fired correctly. Female athletes tend to be very quad dominate, relying much more on the strength of their quad muscles to decelerate and change directions. Frequently, they won’t active the hamstring muscles at all. This unopposed quad contraction is detrimental to the ACL. From 13-16 years of age, most female athletes are growing and should be building strength. However, research has shown that these athletes are playing with the hamstring strength equivalent to that of a 9-year-old.
Developed by Dr. Frank Noyes and the researchers at Cincinnati SportsMedicine, Sportsmetrics™ is a training program scientifically proven to decrease serious knee ligament injuries in female athletes. It is the first ACL prevention program of its kind. Sportsmetrics™ is a 6-week jump training program that incorporates proper stretching, special plyometric exercises, and weight training. It focuses on developing overall leg strength as well as improving balance in strength from the front to the back of the thigh. Through specialized progressions of jump/plyometric drills, athletes learn proper techniques for jumping and landing; increase overall leg strength; improve symmetry in right to left leg power; and improve vertical jump. When Sportsmetrics™ was implemented with high school volleyball, basketball, and soccer teams in the Cincinnati area, average vertical jump height increased by 1.5 inches.
The goal of the Sportsmetrics™ National Program and their many certified clinical trainers is to implement this program in communities across the country in an effort to reach as many athletes as possible and provide them a with scientifically proven training program. Four Pines Physical Therapy is happy to be a part of this process. Sportsmetrics™ is specifically designed for soccer, volleyball, basketball, and lacrosse teams to implement prior to the start of their season in order to develop strong athletes with good technique to prevent injury and enhance performance.
Outside of team sports, Sportsmetrics™ training is ideal for the individual athlete who is looking to get back to being on top of their game. After a knee injury insurance visits typically run out before high level training even begins. Sportsmetrics™ is an excellent way to bridge the gap between traditional rehabilitation and return to play. Regardless of your sport, Sportsmetrics™ can change the way you move.
Along with the training program, Four Pines Physical Therapy also offers Sportsmetrics™ Sports Injury Testing. It takes less than 30 minutes and includes a video analysis of jumping/landing, single leg function hop tests, vertical jump height assessment, strength testing, and a written analysis of performance. Knowing where your athlete stands is key to keeping him/her off the sidelines.
Contact Four Pines Physical Therapy and discuss with them the options they have in place for ACL injury prevention, rehabilitation, injury screening, and performance enhancement.