Leg Dominance and ACL Injury in Soccer Players
If you are suffering from leg dominance as a female athlete or leg dominance because of your ACL operation there are many strength training techniques to apply in order to increase strength in the non-dominant leg. In addition to your rehabilitation program make sure that you are doing extra repetitions on your weaker non-dominant leg. You can gain strength in phases by first increasing the repetitions on that leg in order to increase your endurance. I like to perform single leg moves to specifically target the non- dominant leg. Single Leg Step Ups, Lunges, Side Lunges, Single Leg Side Step Ups, Single Leg Hamstring Curls, Single Leg Deadlifts, Bulgarian Spilt Squats, Single Leg TRX Squats. When focusing on leg dominance issues I also perform some workouts only on the weaker less dominant leg so that it can catch up to the stronger dominant side. After increasing your repetitions to 20 reps, it’s time to switch your program up and increase your resistance and decrease your reps. Try doing some of the same moves holding a heavy dumbbell or kettlebell and focus on repetitions of 8 to 12. Again the main focus will still be the non-dominant leg so perform some of your workouts only on that leg until your strength becomes more even.
Through out your training program make sure that you are incorporating balance exercises on the non-dominant leg as well. Balance exercises should always be progressed based on time so start out with a single balance on the floor for 30 seconds and when that is easy move up to 45 seconds and 60 seconds. Then you can progress based on uneven surfaces so select a foam pad or bosu to stand on following the same time based protocol. When your balance and strength levels are equal on both legs then and only then should you start progressing your rehabilitation into more complex movements like running, landing mechanics, deceleration and change of direction drills, and sport specific training. This protocol might take you longer with the rehabilitation process but it will ensure that you have less compensations resulting from your surgery and a decreased risk of injury regarding issues with leg dominance.