Proper lifting technique can prevent serious injuries, particularly in the knees and ankles—especially for female athletes, whose chances of tearing an ACL are higher than their male counterparts. Michelle Martin, strength and conditioning coach for the dominant Alabama softball team, makes sure her players train right to keep their joints safe. Here are her weight room dos and don’ts.
Don’t Wear ankle braces in the weight room [unless you’ve recently sprained your ankle] // Always use the same hamstring exercise; change it up // Let your knees collapse in when doing squats, lunges or step-ups // Rock onto your toes when squatting or lunging // Stop your squat until the tops of your thighs are parallel with the ground
Do A lot of single-leg exercises to simulate game situations // A lot of one-leg squats, which work foot stability and the ability to land properly // Hamstring work 3 days a week // 8-10 reps of hamstring exercises at first; then add weight and decrease to 6-8, then eventually 4 // Keep your heels on the ground when doing squats, lunges or step-ups