Power output imbalance

I don’t get on here as often as I’d like, so hopefully somebody can point me to the correct thread if this issue has already come up. I have an athlete (14yo) who continued to play soccer through his left hamstring injury. I knew him before and during his injury but had not worked with him until recently. As a result, he became very dependent on his right side to propel him. Even when his hamstring healed, he continued this awkward style. He would drive very hard with his right leg, but left leg was slow and very inflexible. His right leg would also rotate outward just before foot contact. His upper body would jerk forward with each drive of his right leg. After playing through pain for about six months, he learned he had a stress fracture in the neck of his femur on his right leg. Needless to say, I was not entirely surprised. His doctor advised no high impact, no sprinting until mid November, but can continue moderate strength and flexibility work. My question here is, when he is fully released, what should I attack first and more often? Both anterior and posterior chain were affected.

The first thing is to restore ROM everywhere through therapy before working on any strength issues. Until this is done, you won’t really know what, if any, residual strength issues there will be with a 14yo whose physiology is changing rapidly.

Yes - agree completely, you need to get his posture fixed, using therapy, and also some basic exercises that target selected areas that would have shrunk in size due to lack of use. Once his posture if fixed, he can move onto the bigger exercises such as push ups, chin ups, dips, squats - then move into medball and tempo running work then move into basic weights, then into powerweights then into plyro’s then he might be ready for some speed?
Something like that might take at his age, like 12months to progress through? Best to do it right than to rush it.

Thanks for the great advice! I agree with everything I’ve just read. Now for another question. Does ROM difficiency because of lack of strength (ex. Hip flexor) classify as ROM restoration, or do you mean only flexibility? Also, once he’s cleared, is it a good idea for him to starting kicking immediately by slowly progressing the number of kicks, or should we keep him away from the ball for a few more weeks/ months. Before the initial injury, he ran like he was kicking a ball (a lot of backside, little heel flick, little knee lift). I don’t want him to pick up those habits again, but I’m not sure if him kicking the soccer will make it easier to do so.

don’t change his style yet, stand in front or behind and you will see him crossing his legs when he runs, slow down his pace and get him to run with one foot either side of the line, fit it in with normal training.

Thanks for the replies. I start working with him on Monday and will use what you guys said. Thank you.

Once you have taken him through the initial stages of a ‘return to play’ program, you might want to try implementing the ‘Hop & Stop Test’…great for soccer!


It is great for evaluating force production, force absorption, and asymmetries.