A frequent injury that a Physiotherapist will see is an ACL injury. Usually sustained on a sporting field in a non-contact way, ACL injuries in Australia and the Illawarra have become a significant talking point in recent years.
ACL injuries are commonly sustained in young athletes however they can occur in all ages and a variety of sports. The Illawarra has a strong sporting culture and as such we see a large number of ACL injuries.
There are currently multiple ways to treat an ACL injury however in this blog post I am going to focus on the best treatment of all, PREVENTION.
Here are 5 great exercises that will help prevent an ACL injury:
Double leg squat
A great warm up exercises and tool to promote good knee alignment.
- Set feet approximately shoulder width apart with toes facing in a comfortable direction.
- As you squat, push your knees out so they stay aligned with your toes, do not let them cave inwards.
- Generally, look to do 3 sets of 8-15
Beginning to develop more single leg strength and knee control.
- From a standing start hold body weight on one leg.
- Lunge back with the other leg as if you were ‘taking a knee’.
- Bend your back knee while maintaining body weight through your front leg through full range of movement.
- Keep front knee aligned over toes, do not let it cave in.
- Stand back up and repeat
- Generally, you can do 3 sets of 8 both sides.
Double leg bound
This exercise will work on double leg jumping and landing control.
- From the same stance as the squat bent into a squat position.
- Bound forward and land as softly as possible.
- Focus on knee control on the landing, cushioning the impact with your hips and keeping your knees aligned over your toes.
- Generally, you can do 4 sets of 6 bounds with a good rest in-between sets.
Single leg drop off step and hop
This exercise is more advanced to improve single leg landing control and single leg jumping control.
- Standing on a step on one leg.
- Drop off step, land softly on the same leg bending your hips and controlling your knee (do not let it cave in).
- In the same movement, hop as high as you can and land in the same manner on the same leg.
- Generally, you should do 4 sets of 4-6 both sides with a good rest in-between sets.
Cutting whilst running
Final sports-related exercise whilst running.
- Set a distance of 20m
- Run at 50% and turn sharply of one leg to change direction or ‘cut’, in the same run, turn sharply off the other leg.
- Repeat these run-throughs 3 times back and forth for a total of 6 times increasing intensity to finish your last run-through at 85%.
For further information, there are some fantastic resources out there that include ACL injury prevention programs including;
- FIFA 11+ program.
- AFL’s Prep-to-Play Program.
- Netball Australia KNEE program.
If you need more guidance please don’t hesitate to contact our team on 42608574 or book online to make a appointment.
Written by Luke Hogan