Prevent Injury, Enhance Performance (PEP) - Knee
Updated: Nov 20, 2019
Knee injuries can sideline any athlete at the blink of an eye. In this blog, we discuss quickly discuss PEP programs to help reduce risk of injuries while simultaneous improving our performance.
Here I have a client completing a portion of my Knee PEP program. She is a former collegiate athlete who continues to participate in Lacrosse and Ice Hockey club teams. She was struggling to participate fully post knee injury a year ago but made great strides after beginning my program. She returns now after a few months off in preparation for her next Lacrosse season.
Research has shown there is an increased risk athletes participating in sports such as basketball, football, soccer, or lacrosse. Those chances are even greater in female athletes due to:
Quad Dominance - This occurs when there is an over utilization of anterior chain (quadriceps) rather than balance with posterior chain (e.g. hamstrings, glutes). Often presents with greater knee flexion and decreased hip flexion during squatting motions.
Leg Dominance - Due to preference of one leg, an athlete will often weight-shift and place greater strain on one leg than the other.
Ligament Dominance - over-reliance on static ligamentous stabilization rather than dynamic muscular stabilization.
Poor core stabilization - can be due to both poor strength or activation providing weak foundation for movements. Besides your abdominals other core musculature often ignored include: pelvic floor, diaphragm, multifidus, erector spinae, etc.
Current research supports integration of PEP programs with findings that have shown reduced risk of injuries. While various PEP programs exist, the majority share similar characteristics. The should seek to make improvements not only in and athletes warm-up, strength and flexibility but also emphasize neuromuscular training. This addresses quality of movement, training the body to coordinate and properly sequence firing of muscles to ensure proper mechanics and optimize athletic performance.