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Avoiding the dreaded ACL injury

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I hear so much now about the prevalence of the dreaded ACL injury. Clearly something has changed down the years as this injury seems to have increased dramatically in its frequency; shaped skis, higher speeds, more parky stuff; I'm not sure why.

 

Whilst clearly accidents happen and injuries can't be eradicated, I'm just wondering if with a whole preseason to prepare there are things we could do to minimise the risk. I try to work on good functional movement but I'm not an expert and would welcome exercises that would optimally stabilise the knee in order to reduce the risk. Any ideas?

post #2 of 15

most importantly strong quads and hamstrings, and a strong core to help keep you in balance which really protects against all injuries aswell as knees. 

So squats and lunges, with some small free weights in your hands when you are ready.  When doing lunges bend alternate elbows to 90 degrees as this helps replicate a pole plant and helps your core. 

For your core crunches and all varients that you know, with bicycle and plank aswell.

maybe alternate the strength stuff and core stuff each day so you do 3 days of each and have 1 rest day.  Rest and recovery is really important so maybe do 2 days of each to start with.

 

But if you haven't done much gym work before have an induction/see an instructor to get you going and tailor it to suit you better.  The above is based on what I did to get back to ski fitness after a knee injury and it made a massive difference I filt so much stronger and more stable on my skis.

 

Hope that helps!

post #3 of 15

Oh and balance work with a wobble cushion / swiss ball.  On a wobble board squats with ski poles to a tucking position and then back to a ski position repeatedly is really good.

post #4 of 15

I strongly recommend NOT jumping off of a moving horse while pregnant. Otherwise, I got nuthin' . . .

post #5 of 15

This is the answer: http://www.vermontskisafety.com/kneefriendly.php

 

Strong quads will not prevent ACL sprains. Extending the knee from a deeply flexed position places strain on the ACL, and strong quads increase that.  Strong hamstrings relieve strain on the ACL.  However you exercise you should try to develop balanced strength between the quads and hamstrings.

 

BK

post #6 of 15

plyo is also a great way to train for ACL's. AS bode correctly stated above, good balance flexibility and stability is very important.

post #7 of 15
  1. Sportsmetrics.org has a program that's been well received with girls soccer teams.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer View Post

This is the answer: http://www.vermontskisafety.com/kneefriendly.php


I found that document somewhat confusing. What do they mean by "Hips below the knees" in the list describing the profile of the "phantom foot" ACL injury? Do they mean knees are so bent that the hips are lower? I don't think they can mean hips are farther downhill than knees based on the 5 other simultaneous conditions in that list.

post #9 of 15

Hips below the knees means the knees are bent to the point that the hips are below where they would be if you had a chair behind you.

 

Strength and balance are ways to help your skiing which in turn helps reduce the chance of injury. Get strong to ski well.

post #10 of 15

^^^^^  Yes, my rehab center, Kenetics, and therapist does ACL injury prevention training in Steamboat. Finn (my therapist) stresses the need to do squats to this extent as part of rehab on my ACL and for prevention. 

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff2010 View Post


I found that document somewhat confusing. What do they mean by "Hips below the knees" in the list describing the profile of the "phantom foot" ACL injury? Do they mean knees are so bent that the hips are lower? I don't think they can mean hips are farther downhill than knees based on the 5 other simultaneous conditions in that list.

 

"Hips below the knees" refers to a situation where you are so unbalanced to the back that you are almost sitting on the tails of your skis.  Once your hips are below your knees, it's usually safer for your knees to to hit the ground than to struggle to recover.
Back in the late 90's I was in the first group of ski pros who were trained in "Knee Friendly Skiing," the Vermont Safety Research program.  IIRC the data from that showed that trained skiers had half the ACL sprains compared to untrained skiers.

 

BK

post #12 of 15

Thanks for the clarification. That seems like being rather far in the back seat!

post #13 of 15

it is but its not a ski tecnique specific movement.  its a acl/knee specific protection movement.

post #14 of 15

I can confirm the above!  I did the ACL in my knee by struggling to get back on my feet after a fall rather than sliding it out.  I was fit and strong at the time.  I did get up but was so in the backseat and had all my weight going backwards at speed and ping the ACL was gone.  So slide out the falls, and try to maintain a strong core to help stay balanced in the first place.  And don't ski over gates on the ground in a GS course!

post #15 of 15

As others have said, a strength imbalance between the quads and hamstrings can increase the risk on an ACL tear. Many people will train their quads, but ignore them hamstrings and glutes. This is one case when it is good to think like a bodybuilder. Bodybuilders are always worried about muscle balance (for appearance), but athletes should worry about muscle balance for proper functional strength. As you train your quads, you should also train your hammies and glutes. Two good exercises for the hamstrings and glutes are "Good Mornings" and "Romanian Deadlifts". The Glute-Ham Raise is also excellent. It is similar to the 45 degree back raise found in many gyms, but you position your body in a horizontal position. It has a rounded pad that allows you to lift your upper body off the pad using your hamstrings and glutes.

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