ACL Injury Prevention Program Agility Skills

Phase 5 Agility Skills

A girls soccer game.
A girls soccer game. Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Agility skill exercises are designed to improve the power and strength in the muscles. This program is part of the ACL Prevention Project created by the Santa Monica Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Foundation with a goal of decreasing ACL injuries in female soccer players. It is Phase 5 of the program. It is part of a 15-minute specific training session that replaces the traditional warm-up.

What You Will Need for These Exercises

You will need cones set up for running from cone to cone on a soccer field.

The minimum number of cones you need are four, but you can use more.

How Often to Do these Skills:

The program should be done at least two to three times per week during the playing season. The exercises below are the sport-specific agility training for soccer. It is part 5 of the training, and should be preceded by:

    Agility Skills - Phase 5 of ACL Injury Prevention Program 15-Minute Session

    The Elapsed Time shown is where these are performed during the 15-minute exercise period that includes the above phases. These agility exercises are done starting at the 12-minute mark, and each lasts for one minute.

    Shuttle run with forward/backward running

    • Elapsed Time: 12 - 13 minutes (you will do shuttle runs for one minute)
    • Purpose: Increase dynamic stability of the ankle/knee/hip complex.
    • Starting at the first cone,
    • sprint forward to the second cone,
    • run backward to the third cone,
    • sprint forward to the fourth cone (etc.). Continue for one minute.

    Diagonal runs (3 passes)

    • Elapsed Time: 13 - 14 minutes (you will do diagonal runs for one minute)
    • Purpose: To encourage proper technique/stabilization of the outside planted foot to deter the position from occurring.
    • Face forward and run to the first cone on the left.
    • Pivot off the left foot and run to the second cone.
    • Now pivot off the right leg and continue onto the third cone.
    • Make sure that the outside leg does not cave in.
    • Keep a slight bend to the knee and make sure the knee stays over the ankle joint.

    Bounding run (44 yds)

    • Elapsed Time: 14 - 15 minutes (you will do the bounding run for one minute)
    • Purpose: To increase hip flexion strength/increase power/speed.
    • Starting on the near sideline, run to the far side with knees up toward chest.
    • Bring your knees up high.
    • Land on the ball of your foot with a slight bend at the knee and a straight hip. Increase the distance as this exercise gets easier.

    Next page > Phase 6 Cool Down

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