Ask most parents their biggest concerns with youth sports and injury is near the top of every list. Add to that the studies that women are much more likely to suffer ACL injuries in high demand sports, like soccer, than men and all of us are right to be concerned about our girls getting hurt.

Reducing Injury Risk

While there is no way to prevent injury, being a well-rounded athlete helps to decrease risk dramatically. With soccer, in particular, having a good aerobic base plus the ability to accelerate and decelerate quickly and repetitively are key. But strength (in the feet and ankles, the hips, and the “core”) does more to prevent ACL injuries and ankle sprains than anything else.

A Starter Program

The following exercises are prescribed to strengthen those three specific areas. You’ll find exercises that target balance, force production and absorption, trunk / core stability and dynamic change of direction movements. Not to mimic soccer patterns, per say, but to build the foundation that those soccer patterns are built on and create resilient athletes.

This program is set to be completed in-season or out of season. 2-3 times per week ideally. While there are no progressions in here, the program provides a great baseline for strength training that our players (and their parents) can benefit from immensely. We’re always available for questions if you should have them.

Ideally, you’d perform this set of exercises 3 times through, 2 – 3 times per week. However, even one time through is beneficial.

  • Body weight squat x 10
  • Jump squat x 10
  • 1/2 kneel shin glides
  • Single leg deadlift x 10 per side
  • Lateral bounds x 5 per side
  • Forward lunge x 10 per side
  • Lateral bounds x 5 per side
  • Reverse lunge to balance x 10 per side
  • Lateral bounds x 5 per side
  • 2 foot jump to 1 foot land x 10 per side
  • side plank leg lift (bottom leg bent) x 10 per side
  • low plank x 30 seconds

Hyatt Strength + Wellness is a team of certified, enthusiastic and innovative personal trainers in Portland, Oregon. Get in touch with us by emailing