Why Neuromuscular Training is Great in Female Training Plans

Neuromuscular Training programs are defined as programs that are effective in increasing sports performance. These programs include but are not limited to increasing power, agility, speed and strength.

What Is Neuromuscular Training

Neuromuscular Training is basically summed up as the quality of movement.

The training itself focuses on correcting the movement pattern, and increasing the athletes performance, but at the same time aiming to reduce the risk of acute injury in athletes.

In context to female athletes, many girls when they are jumping tend to land awkwardly with their knees caving in, this would be classified as a risk factor to their performance.

Common injuries that occur from this are in the ankles and knees. However, by increasing awareness of how our bodies move, this will allow us to focus on implementation of the skill with an increased training age. 

Neuromuscular Training

What is Training Age

Simply, the length of time in which a female or male athlete has participated in training programs that are specific to their sports. 

When we take female athletes, the training age compared to males has been significantly low for a long time. However with new programs, opportunities and general awareness, has seen an increase in the focus on this area. 

Female Athletes

The expectation of our female athletes as coaches and players is “to perform at our best” and be successful. This may be individual or team performance.

Whatever the objective is within your training and sport, the way we prepare our athletes is crucial in helping them achieve their goals, and decrease the risk of lower limb injury, symptoms of RED-S (Relative Energy Deficiency)  and increase recovery in between games and training. 

As spoken about before, female athletes are 4.6% more likely to receive a lower limb injury, however Neuromuscular Training can increase an athlete’s ability to absorb force, improve muscle imbalances, biomechanics (how the muscle and joints move to create movement) and increase the strength of our bones, ligaments and tendons (Gregory et al, 2005). 

Educating female athletes and working with their coaches to  have a widespread understanding of high performance training programs and what they can do to help performance from a younger age, is critical in making sure that they can are ready to perform better if they are selected at a state, college or Institute level. 

A study sample by (Gregory et al, 2005) showed that in just short 6 weeks, 92% improvement was achieved. An important factor to note in this study is the improvement of knee stability specific to the group that trained versus those that didn’t. 

Further, noticeable among female athletes is the varus and valgus torques of the knee, for example when an athlete squats or lands and their knee caves in or wobbles out. This can be a risk factor for lower limb injuries.

Griffin 2000 found that a majority of ACL injuries occur when landing and cutting with the knee near extension. This supports athletic development training and protocols in exercises to have deep knee flexion during their movements. The combination of strength training and plyometric training is more effective than either or these training styles done alone. 

Female athletes should prioritise training prior to pre season training and build their athletic development to enhance their performance and secondly help have an injury free season.

A big mistake that female athletes make is reducing their strength training or gym training during the season.

If we build our development in strength training and plyometrics and then stop completely, the benefits will reduce during the season. So having 1-2 days minimum strength training with added plyometrics will continue to build resilience and assist in a better recovery post competition. It also assists with injury, so that if you have a strong base to start with and understand basic movement patterns, there is not a need to learn a whole new system and adapt in a longer period of time.

The bounce back to competition and performing optimally will decrease the risk of further injury of any other body mechanics. 

Practical Applications

Female athletes should be encouraged to participate in athletic development training programs.

Using the time spent between seasons to work on their speed, power, strength and agility, and increasing female athletes’ practical application of neuromuscular training programs will increase movement biomechanics and prevent injury, whilst helping to optimise their performance year round.

Want To Know More

If you would like to know more or you’re a female athlete looking for a performance coach and environment to train in, please contact our Strength & Conditioning Coach Shona O’Connell-Shea to book in a session.

How Do I Book An Appointment with Precision Athletica for Help?

We’re taking the health of our clients, members and staff very seriously and our preference would be for you to call to book an appointment so that we can make sure to explain our approach to keeping you safe. You can call our bookings team to schedule a session:

Online Consultations

Evolving with the current environment, we are also now offering online appointments, meaning that we can support anyone who is unable to leave their home. Sessions are done via our state of the art Telehealth system and as long as you have a laptop or tablet with an inbuilt camera, or a phone with camera, we can help!

To learn more about online consultations, please call us on any of the numbers listed above.

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