Female athletes are more at high risk of developing anterior cruciate ligament than their male counterparts. People suffering from ACL risk dismissal from the field and risk getting major diseases like degenerative arthritis. However, the PEP program plays a significant role in reducing non-contact ACL.
What is Female PEP?
PEP stands for Prevent Injury Enhance Performance program. It was developed by a team of therapists, physicians, and coaches with the aim of reducing female ACL injuries. The program is part of the team’s training sessions. It takes 15 minutes and should happen three times every week.
The program involves warm-ups, strengthening, stretching, and plyometrics and helps to strengthen knee muscles. Coaches should emphasize perfect positioning, and ensure effective up and down vertical jumps without exerting too much pressure.
Four PEP Exercises
Warm-ups - This is the first step in the program; it helps to alert the body and muscles for a vigorous process. PEP warm-ups include Line-to-line jogging, Shuttle run, and backward running, and they all take less than one minute.
Stretching - It is dangerous to stretch a cold muscle, hence the importance of doing warm-ups first. Stretching mainly involves calf stretches, quadriceps stretches, inner thighs stretches, and flex hips stretches. On average, the most engaging stretch can extend to 6 minutes.
Strengthening - This part is focused on strengthening the legs and knees. However, caution is required to avoid injuries. Strengthening includes walking lunges, one-toe raise, and the Russian Hamstring. This is a tiring session, and each exercise takes 10 minutes.
Plyometrics - This is the final most and most engaging exercise in the PEP program. However, to be perfect in this art, you need to learn proper landing techniques. Some of the exercises are lateral, forward, and single leg hops, and each should be repeated 20 times.
Research has qualified PEP as a good tactic of protecting females from ACL injuries.