As female soccer players, it’s important to have a strong and balanced lower body in order to perform at our best on the field. One exercise that can help us achieve this is the single leg deadlift. In this blog, we'll discuss three reasons why female soccer players should consider adding single leg deadlifts to their strength training program.
"Incorporating single leg deadlifts into a strength training program can also help to reduce the risk of knee injuries, as it helps to prevent muscle imbalances and ensures that both sides of the body are equally strong," says Dr. Jerry Yoo, CEO/Founder of Next Level Physio in Woodcliff Lake and Montclair, NJ.
"By training one leg at a time, female soccer players can better target and strengthen the muscles in their legs, core, and glutes, in particular, which can lead to increased power and performance as an added benefit."
1. Increased Strength and Power in the Lower Body
One of the main benefits of single leg deadlifts is that they help to increase strength and power in the lower body.
The hamstrings and glutes are responsible for generating the force needed to sprint, jump, and change direction quickly.
By training these muscles individually, we can better target and strengthen them, which can translate to improved performance AND knee protection on the field.
2. Improved Balance and Stability
Another benefit of single leg deadlifts is that they help to improve balance and stability.
In soccer, athletes are constantly changing direction and shifting our weight from one foot to the other. By training one leg at a time, we can better develop the balance and stability needed to perform these movements effectively on the field.
3. Reduced Risk of Injury
Finally, incorporating single leg deadlifts into our strength training program can help to reduce the risk of injury. By strengthening our legs and glutes individually, we can help to prevent imbalances and ensure that both sides of our body are equally strong. This can help to reduce the risk of muscle strains and other common soccer injuries.
In conclusion, single leg deadlifts are an important exercise for female soccer players to consider adding to their strength training program. Not only can they improve balance and stability, increase strength and power in the lower body, and reduce the risk of injury, but they can also help us perform at our best on the field.
Here’s how to perform the single leg deadlift (aka RDL):
Start with a light to medium dumbbell or kettlebell, if you’re just starting out. You’ll want to increase the weight as you become more skilled.
Keeping your back and hips squared, slowly bring one leg back and hinge at the waist as the top half of your body descends. Then, return to the starting position and repeat.
Where you should feel this exercise: In the hamstring/glutes of the standing limb.
Perform 4 sets of 8-12 repetitions on each side.
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