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5-Step Routine To Help Prevent ACL Injuries

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Positive Coaching Alliance is proud to share information on knee injury prevention from Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, the team physicians for the Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox.

To combat an increasing trend of knee injuries, Midwest Orthopaedics outlined a five step program for young athletes to protect themselves against ACL problems. Playing multiple sports is important in giving the body a chance to rest, but it is also suggested that certain regular exercises will strengthen muscles surrounding the knee so that injury is less likely. Midwest Orthopaedics provides a strategic plan for avoiding an ACL tear as a youth athlete with the suggested routine below:

1) Warm-Up

  • Jog from one end of the field and back. Repeat, but this time run sideways and then backwards. Remember to land on your toes each time.

2) Strengthen

  • Do 30 lunges on each leg, but make sure the knees don’t extend over the ankles
  • Russian hamstring stretch (begin by kneeling with your partner holding your ankles, fall forward then bend up)

3) Plyometric

  • sprint across a field, decelerate on the last 3 steps
  • Repeat this exercise with high knees, landing on the balls of your feet

4) Agility

  • Single and double leg hops, forward over a series of five cones
    b. Repeat, jumping sideways over the cones

5) Cool Down

  • Hip flexor stretches for no longer than 15 seconds
  • Quad Stretches
  • Calf Stretches

To see a video of these exercises, click here

Besides helping with injury prevention, these exercises increase strength, coordination and flexibility. To see these steps in more detail, check out the PDF below.

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