How To Prevent ACL Tears in Women Athletes: It May Start with Tracking the 4 Phases of the Menstrual Cycle
Author: Jana Hubel
There is a lot of talk about how to prevent ACL in women athletes. But here are some unfortunate hard facts: Statistics show that women football players are up to six times more likely to suffer an ACL injury than men. Yet, there may not be enough studies to clearly state that women’s menstrual cycle is a reason for that, but aren’t indications sometimes enough to start counteracting?
The discussion recently picked up speed again after the English professional football (soccer) club, Arsenal W.F.C. saw four of their players suffer season-ending ACL injuries.
The hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle may affect the strength and stability of the ligaments in the knee. Specifically, estrogen and relaxin (a hormone that helps to loosen the ligaments) levels are highest during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, which may increase the risk of injury. More detailed research is still ongoing.
Here comes the good news: there is technology available to coaches and trainers that can help with player tracking and load recommendations according to cycle phases and symptoms.
The 4 Phases of the Menstrual Cycle and What to Consider the Menstrual Phase (Period)
1. Menstrual Phase: The menstrual phase is the first phase of the menstrual cycle. Some factors an athlete may have to manage during this phase include:
- Increased adaption to strength & high intensity training
- Reduced neuromuscular control
- Increased iron requirement
Your athlete may have to perform exercise(s) to treat and manage symptoms, since this is the phase when she is more likely to experience them.
2. Follicular Phase: The follicular phase is the second phase of the menstrual cycle lasting from the last day of bleeding until ovulation. This is also the phase when an athlete may be at her highest risk for an ACL tear. Factors athletes contend with in this phase include:
- Increased mood, alertness, energy level
- Increased adaption to strength and high intensity
- Alterations in joint laxity, which increases the risk for certain types of soft tissue injuries
During this phase it may be best to implement a progressive warm-up and a thorough cool-down to decrease risk. An emphasis on recovery is critical.
3. Ovulatory Phase: The ovulatory phase occurs when the dominant follicle releases a mature egg (ovulation). This usually occurs around day 14 of a 28-day cycle but can vary, and includes:
- Increased heart rate and breathing rate
- Slight increase in basal body temperature
- Increased muscle break down –> Focus on post-training recovery
- Increased appetite
To manage this phase, it might be best to stick with endurance-based training. Trainers may also consider lowering the athlete’s peak power, which is the same benefit she will get from a reduced load or reps.
4. Luteal Phase: The luteal phase starts after ovulation and lasts until the start of the next menstrual period. During this phase, the symptoms your athlete experiences may be exacerbated, and they may not be driven to train. Your athlete may also experience other symptoms, including:
- Low energy
- Disrupted sleep
- Increased stress (which can also increase symptoms)
Because of the increase in the amount and severity of the symptoms, more recovery may be needed during this phase. Exercise may help to decrease premenstrual symptoms. A healthy diet and good sleep habits are also encouraged
Is There Enough Evidence to Tie Menstrual Cycle to ACL tears in Women Athletes?
We think there is, and the time to start counteracting is now!
After gathering feedback and insights, we have the first dashboards ready and on-hand for teams to use. But what insights are they offering? Have a look at this guide to learn how the new KINEXON dashboards help teams to manage load — even cycle-oriented.
Why is Menstrual Cycle Tracking and Training Adjustment Important?
We are aware that all of this is plain theory. To find individual tendencies however, you must start tracking at some point. The goal is to treat each player individually, which is not easy in a team sport with a fixed season schedule.
Nevertheless, it is possible to train cycle-oriented rather than cycle-based by grouping players. We are aware that it is exceedingly difficult to train according to your players’ individual cycles, particularly in a team sport like soccer/football (with a fixed calendar and big squads).
However, it’s time to stop disregarding the natural indifferences between men and women and pay attention to individual needs.
It’s always valuable to track performance and be aware of high intensity loads and values.
If you are interested in learning more about how you may be able to help decrease the risk of injury, contact us today. Leave us a message or schedule a personal call whenever it fits your calendar:
How Sports Analytics Help Coaches Improve Player Performance
Author: Jeff Dillman
A coach’s success can be defined by recruiting classes, winning streaks, and championships. The root of all three common denominators is based on player performance on and off the field.
KINEXON’s Director of Sales, Jeff Dillman, is a strength and conditioning veteran with over 25 years of experience. Many people simply call him “Coach” from his time roaming the sidelines with the University of South Carolina football program and IMG Academy. He always finds the right levers to pull for athletes to reach peak performance levels leading up to game day, which is crucial for success.
So, we asked Coach for his thoughts on how technology is innovating the game of American Football.
Why Sports Analytics Help Coaches and Trainers Prevent Football Injuries
Author: Dave Grendzynski
Player safety has been the primary driver behind American football research. But there is also a push to enhance performance, which involves using sports performance software to monitor training intensity and prevent injuries simultaneously.
While player safety studies are leading to advancements in helmets and footwear, coaches and trainers are weaning valuable information from football analytics they collect through mobile-GPS devices. Let’s look at load management and how sports analytics in American football is helping coaches and trainers prevent injuries and keep their players in tip-top shape.
How to Use the Leading Handball-Specific Sports Performance Software for Load Management
Author: Michael Elmer
Handball is a sport with unique physical demands. It requires coaches and trainers to develop tailored training solutions and load management to optimize their players’ performance and prevent injuries. But a sports performance software that is handball-specific is simplifying the process by creating load profiles quickly and accurately.
New Football Player Tracking System: How KINEXON PERFORM GPS Pro is Changing the Game
Player tracking and player tracking systems are an integral part of American football. They provide sports analytics, which give us valuable insights into player performance. This information helps coaches make informed decisions about player fitness and tactical positioning that can help teams win more games and keep players healthy. Here’s how.
KINEXON X BMW: A revolutionary partnership to automate manufacturing and drive operational excellence.
A comprehensive collaboration with the potential to transform industries for manufacturers across the globe. We are thrilled to share with you the details and implications of this innovative partnership.
Download Free BMW Case Study
Sports Analytics For Women Athletes: FC Viktoria Becomes a KINEXON and AWS Flagship Team
KINEXON and AWS are two of the leading international players in sports analytics and live sports data. They’re working together and pushing for more equality in sports technology for women, and welcome Viktoria Berlin as their first-ever “flagship team.”
KINEXON and AWS hope to help female athletes achieve ambitious athletic goals by developing sports analysis software and load management data that’s customized for them, while Viktoria Berlin wants to help the two companies customize their products to meet the demands of women athletes all over the world. THIS is their story.
KINEXON and AWS Team Up to Challenge the Status Quo in Women's Sports
At KINEXON, we continue to challenge the notion of equal treatment for men and women athletes in both sports science and training preparation. To accelerate change, we are teaming up with AWS to advance our goal: innovate women’s sports with sports data analytics designed specifically for female athletes.
Managing the Madness: How the University of Miami Prepares Its Players to Peak During the NCAA Tournament
For the first time ever, the University of Miami has reached the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament. One of their critical success factors: KINEXON’s player tracking data which helped the Hurricanes’ coaching staff to prepare their athletes for March Madness. Tommy Otley, Physical Therapist & Sports Scientist for the University of Miami’s Women’s & Men’s Basketball program, explains the Hurricanes’ approach to promote athlete performance and provides valuable insights into training programming for college basketball athletes.
STILL's automation solutions integrate with KINEXON to bolster VDA 5050 compliant fleet management.
We drive automated vehicles – under this slogan STILL offers the iGo portfolio: different vehicle-based expansion stages for the automation of intralogistics, which can be individually adapted to individual requirements. iGo systems implement the automated interaction of one or multiple different industrial trucks in order to perform transport tasks in the warehouse without a driver.
SAFELOGs automation solutions as part of the VDA 5050 fleet management.
Welcome to this blog post about the SAFELOG AGV X1 1200 tt, the latest addition to the fleet of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) from SAFELOG. This advanced AGV is equipped with unique features, that increase its flexibility on unknown levels. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of the AGV X1 1200 tt and its ability to create value in various intralogistics use cases and applications, including material handling, and in manufacturing and warehousing. Furthermore, we will elaborate how the AGV X1 1200 tt is especially beneficial for brownfield projects and how it can be customized to suit specific process requirements.
Coaching Guide for March Madness: How to Get Ready for the Hottest Time of the Year
March Madness: You lose, you go home – You win, the dream lives on. The most important question for coaches and athletes alike: how to get ready for the hottest time of the year? Philipp Lienemann, Sr. Customer Success Manager at KINEXON, introduces an integrated approach — get the exclusive guide here!
How the French Basketball Federation Uses KINEXON IMU & LPS to Identify Talent and Maximize Youth Development
At the Institut National du Sport, de l’Expertise et de la Performance (INSEP), the French Basketball Federation’s (FFBB) Performance Specialist Yannis Irid and his team use KINEXON’s PERFORM IMU und LPS to develop young players, prevent injuries and tailor training plans to their needs. Here, Irid, who is also conducting a PhD thesis in collaboration with the FFBB and the Institute of Biomedical Research and Sports Epidemiology, gives insights into the process and explains how KINEXON also helps in talent evaluation.
OMRONs automation solutions as part of the VDA 5050 fleet management.
The world of automation and robotics is rapidly evolving, and the latest innovation from OMRON is making waves in the industry. The Mobile Manipulator, a combination of Cobot and the Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR), is set to revolutionize the manufacturing and intralogistics processes. Seamlessly integrated into the KINEXON AMR & AGV Fleet Manager, this technology boasts a standard interface of VDA 5050, promising to boost productivity and efficiency for businesses across industries.
Sports Performance Technology Helps Volleyball Coaches and Players
Giovanni “Vanny” Miale is a true expert in sports performance. Volleyball has been his game for over 20 years. He even played professionally. And when it comes to player tracking, the decorated performance coach for the Turkish volleyball club, VakıfBank Spor Kulübü, believes in the value technology provides athletes on and off the court. KINEXON caught up with Vanny, who shared his thoughts — read the interview here!
A Collection of Insights: 2022 State of Performance Tracking in College Basketball Report
While some collegiate programs utilize data to maximize performance on and off the court, others await their chance to take their skills to the next level. KINEXON surveyed more than 500 men’s and women’s college basketball student-athletes and interviewed coaches across the U.S. — get exclusive insights here!