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Had ACL surgery 10/11; Ski Trip Booked for 1/13: Asking for Recs as to Top 2 Exercises to Get Ready?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Per title, I had a very bad knee injury in 10/11, including ACL tear, and had surgery.  I ordered a bunch of skiing blue-rays for inspiration and was a very diligent rehabber, though not super-agressive due to the severity of the knee injury.  PT ended in March and my wife and I had a baby in April.  My rehab declined a bit, but I work with a trainer once a week for rehab and I did some training to do a Sprint Tri in June, but I'm as likely to do rehab only 1x a week as I am 3x a week, due to family committments.

 

Anyway, I have booked a guy's Utah ski trip in January and a family trip in March.  I love moguls and want to return to skiing with no limitations and in better shape than ever.  I am motivated to take my rehab and exercising up a notch. 

 

I have researched ACL recovery and prevention exercises ad nauseum and have a library of "get-in-shape-for-skiiing" articles that goes back 15 years.  I am good at designing a workout plan with a bunch of wonderful, balanced exercises, but I really have to strike gold in terms of being able to schedule a workout that gives me enough time to do them.  My problem is that I am a bit of a perfectionist and it's hard for me to just pick a few key exercises to do no matter what. 

 

So what I'm really looking for is TWO exercises folks recommend that I can make sure I do 2-3x a week in addition to rehab with trainer, no matter my time constraints.  (I'll pick 3.)   I'd like to be able to do at home (as well as gym).  I have dumbells, exercise bench and a swiss ball at home and a driveway that is perfect for hill sprints (say, 100 yards uphill). 

 

Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 20

Stationary bike on high resistance for at least 1 hour a day is the best thing you can do for your knee. The next would be 90 degree squats.

post #3 of 20

When you put a program together, how long does it end up taking? 

 

And are you saying you want to do 2-3 exercises 2-3x/week, thinking that will be enough to ensure you'll be strong and fit enough to ski for a week straight without any injury concern? My honest answer to that, is "can't be done". Now, that doesn't mean that you will get injured if you don't train more than that, but you're certainly not playing your odds well.

 

Did you know that you are at a much higher risk of injury now that you've had a previous injury? And here's the thing - it's not necessarily risk of re-injury of the ACL; it's injury in general. Often athletes tear their other ACL when they return to sport post-ACL tear. This is likely because they started to favour the other side too much during rehab, and then it ends up taking too much strain. 

 

My advice: build or find a balanced program and make the time to do it. Or better yet, hire someone to train you so they can make sure you're movement is sound and help you optimize your time. If you found time to train for and run a sprint tri, you can find time to train for ski season. I think you can get away with 2-3x/week at 45 - 60 min.

 

Now within that recommendation, I will give you what I think are the 4 (can't do 2) most important exercises:

- single-leg Romanian deadlifts or deadlifts (form is key on both - for the latter, look for a hip shift away from the torn acl side; if it's there, you're not fully rehabbed yet).

- single-leg squats.  

- half-kneeling cable lifts

- 4-way band hip activation

 

Elsbeth

post #4 of 20

You'll have over a year since your surgery and should be OK.  Working out more than once a week would obviously help, but you could probably work in some wall sits if nothing else right before/after going to sleep.  A cheap stationary bike would go a long way, you can probably sneak in some time on it while watching TV if nothing else.

 

I started playing soccer about 11 months after my ACL surgery, and skied 14 months after the surgery.  Needless to say, there is no need to go and drop Corbett's on your first run.  Feel it out and work your way up.

post #5 of 20

Don't just build up strength.  Do some neuromuscular balance exercises, on both legs separately.  Not sure exactly what they are called, but "heel curls" on your back with heels on top of the swiss ball are great for hamstrings.

post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies.

 

(1) So I have one hour-long training session 1x a week, with a focus on rehab.  Very intense.  Lots of one-legged and balance work.  Intervals.  Full body.  Hops and jumps.  Often planks. 

 

(2) My self designed 55-60 min workout would look something like this:

 

- 2 sets squats on Bosu ball with 45 weight

- 1 set lunges with weights

- 1 set lunge-like scissors jumps

- 2 sets light RDLs (in between)

- 2 -sets One-legged bent-over rows

- 2-3 sets pushups

- 2 sets classic side-to-side ski jumps

- 2 sets one-legged hops around 4-corners of a box on (injured) leg

- 2 sets one-legged hops up onto box and then back down (forward)

- 1-2 sets one-legged side step ups on (injured) leg

 

(3) What I'm really looking for is 3-4 exercises I can do when I know I'm not going to make it to the gym for a full, intense workout.  Knowing myself, though, making sure I get at least these 3 exercises in every other day is going to greatly increase the chance I do a more intense 60-minute workout next. 

post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

Don't just build up strength.  Do some neuromuscular balance exercises, on both legs separately.  Not sure exactly what they are called, but "heel curls" on your back with heels on top of the swiss ball are great for hamstrings.

 

 

truth here!  What I don't see is enough balance or procipriation work.  stand on your bosu for 2 minutes and work up to 3 plus on one leg at a time. work in one legged squats on the bosu as well. A very useful and important drill is one legged jumps and landings (IF YOU HAVE BEEN CLEARED) both vertically, to the front and side; not just a foot at a time   Jump rope on one leg at a time. Strength is good but balance is key. unless you have relearned to use all of those muscles and nerves, you haven't rehabbed yet.  You need to be able to absorb the impact and maintain control of your knee and body both jumping and landing in control- think sticking the landings.

 

over a year out should not be an issue. I had surgery March of this year and will be back on my boards this december at the latest.  

post #8 of 20

Here are some exercises to consider.

 

post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks much.  Video is great!  I jotted down 8 good exercises I can do at home with a Bosu ball that shouldn't be too difficult to get done. 

post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by GP35 View Post

Thanks much.  Video is great!  I jotted down 8 good exercises I can do at home with a Bosu ball that shouldn't be too difficult to get done. 

Getting a BOSU for home use was the best investment I made after starting formal PT at Week 4 after popping off an ACL.

post #11 of 20

Haven't looked at this carefully, but you might find something useful.

 

http://www.epicski.com/a/exercises-for-pre-season-ski-training

post #12 of 20

I'm 33 and over 15 months post ACL rehab. I was skiing 6 months to the day after surgery. I'm very active. I run, bike, play coed soccer (with a brace), properly stretch with extra focus on the injured leg and I have no real pain but I feel like I need to start stepping it up for the season coming up. I was super diligent last year with doing extra work on the leg and now I'm just not sure if I need to continue to have focused workouts on the previously injured leg.  

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by GP35 View Post

Thanks for the replies.

 

(1) So I have one hour-long training session 1x a week, with a focus on rehab.  Very intense.  Lots of one-legged and balance work.  Intervals.  Full body.  Hops and jumps.  Often planks. 

 

(2) My self designed 55-60 min workout would look something like this:

 

- 2 sets squats on Bosu ball with 45 weight

- 1 set lunges with weights

- 1 set lunge-like scissors jumps

- 2 sets light RDLs (in between)

- 2 -sets One-legged bent-over rows

- 2-3 sets pushups

- 2 sets classic side-to-side ski jumps

- 2 sets one-legged hops around 4-corners of a box on (injured) leg

- 2 sets one-legged hops up onto box and then back down (forward)

- 1-2 sets one-legged side step ups on (injured) leg

 

(3) What I'm really looking for is 3-4 exercises I can do when I know I'm not going to make it to the gym for a full, intense workout.  Knowing myself, though, making sure I get at least these 3 exercises in every other day is going to greatly increase the chance I do a more intense 60-minute workout next. 

 

Three more thoughts from me:

 

1. Why light RDLs? Don't be afraid to go heavy as long as you build up gradually and with good form. 

2. In terms of a balanced-body, your program is not well balanced between hip dominant (deadlift type movements) and knee dominant (squat/lunge type movements). Typically you'd want at least 1:1, and in most cases more hip dominant than knee dominant. You've got more knee dominant than hip dominant.

3. Why hops on the injured leg only? Do both sides. injuring the "good leg" post-acl tear is common. Build 'em both up.

 

Elsbeth

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by BadGalSkier View Post

Stationary bike on high resistance for at least 1 hour a day is the best thing you can do for your knee. The next would be 90 degree squats.

Nothing against the bike, but one hour is a lot of investment in time for ? return other than cardio.
As for the 90 squats, I would ask why? 90 degrees is the greatest level of stress for the ACL in a squat.

I would advise less bike & full range squats w proper form & at progression.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by GP35 View Post

Thanks for the replies.

(1) So I have one hour-long training session 1x a week, with a focus on rehab.  Very intense.  Lots of one-legged and balance work.  Intervals.  Full body.  Hops and jumps.  Often planks. 

(2) My self designed 55-60 min workout would look something like this:

- 2 sets squats on Bosu ball with 45 weight
- 1 set lunges with weights
- 1 set lunge-like scissors jumps
- 2 sets light RDLs (in between)
- 2 -sets One-legged bent-over rows
- 2-3 sets pushups
- 2 sets classic side-to-side ski jumps
- 2 sets one-legged hops around 4-corners of a box on (injured) leg
- 2 sets one-legged hops up onto box and then back down (forward)
- 1-2 sets one-legged side step ups on (injured) leg

(3) What I'm really looking for is 3-4 exercises I can do when I know I'm not going to make it to the gym for a full, intense workout.  Knowing myself, though, making sure I get at least these 3 exercises in every other day is going to greatly increase the chance I do a more intense 60-minute workout next. 


Here is my take on your progression. You are about one year out & have been working rather hard. You want the best ROI on your time as you, like everyone, may not always have 60 min to work out.

If I was only to answer the question asked, I would say this...

If you only have time for 2-3 exercises, I would rotate them starting w the ones you like least. Avoid your favorites as they will tend to be the ones you are already good at.

I'll address taking this to the next level in another post!
post #16 of 20

Marznc, good video-thanks for posting.

 

Question for everyone.   I am 70yrs, pretty active, good skier, ski 60-90 days a year off piste 80% of time.  Torn/shredded meniscus last year, got scoped in April (cleaned it off) and am walking hills now at a pretty good pace, up to 2 hours, riding stationary bike.  The exercises in the video should I go ahead and hit them too or is there something better or more specific for me. Knee doesn't swell anymore but does "bother me"  at times.  Walking downhill is done a little carefully but level and uphill I can pound it pretty good.  Opinions welcome.

post #17 of 20

one thing I had to do this year was to reallign myself. My PT changed the way I did squats, jump/land and even walk. I found my bio-mechanics were contributors to my injury. By correcting my bio-mechanics, jumping/landing is much smoother, my squats distribute weight and energy to more of my glutes and upper quads away from medial quads and not in front of my knees. It will be interesting to see how this translates to skiing this season. My point here is that take a look in the mirror on how you are alligned and if you are alligned properly it could really make a considerable difference.

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

one thing I had to do this year was to reallign myself. My PT changed the way I did squats, jump/land and even walk. I found my bio-mechanics were contributors to my injury. By correcting my bio-mechanics, jumping/landing is much smoother, my squats distribute weight and energy to more of my glutes and upper quads away from medial quads and not in front of my knees. It will be interesting to see how this translates to skiing this season. My point here is that take a look in the mirror on how you are alligned and if you are alligned properly it could really make a considerable difference.

 

 

Will do, good points.  I have always been a little misaligned - so they tell me.

post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post

Marznc, good video-thanks for posting.

 

Question for everyone.   I am 70yrs, pretty active, good skier, ski 60-90 days a year off piste 80% of time.  Torn/shredded meniscus last year, got scoped in April (cleaned it off) and am walking hills now at a pretty good pace, up to 2 hours, riding stationary bike.  The exercises in the video should I go ahead and hit them too or is there something better or more specific for me. Knee doesn't swell anymore but does "bother me"  at times.  Walking downhill is done a little carefully but level and uphill I can pound it pretty good.  Opinions welcome.

DId you catch this thread?

http://www.epicski.com/t/114272/being-proactive-instead-of-reactive-with-your-knees

 

I posted a few links there for general ski conditioning for folks being careful with their knees.  Are you doing much for your hamstrings?

 

I tore my meniscus a few months ago when I ruptured an ACL.  Not doing ACLr surgery and doing fine as a coper, meaning I can do everything that I want to do and used to do in the last few years.  The tear was the type that can heal without medical intervention.  I did formal PT for 3 months.  By the last session, I was cleared to do any running or jumping exercises I was interested in doing.

 

From reading about various ACL-injury prevention programs, plyometrics (jumping) is key.  Not just jumping, but jumping with proper form and landing "soft" with knee over 2nd toe.  Not knock-kneed or going outwards.  

 

The idea of good form is illustrated in this video: Ski Exercises for Legs & Knees

 

post #20 of 20

exactly what I am taking about. relearning a lot of bio-mechanics. Flexing from the hip; getting the feel for how to and when to absorb impact, where you hold your arms, straightening your back, tilting your hips slightly forward (mine are too far tilted back and slightly twisted) keeping your head up and looking more forward.  Its been a lot! 

 

Good balance doesn't mean holding still it means the ability to maintain control when on terrain that is not consistent (for purposes of skiing, running etc.). For instance, I work with a Dyna ball, its much more squishy than a bosu, the goal is not to find a point where you are still, the goal is to be able to maintain your balance by constantly adjusting your body.  My Pt would stand behind me and if you got too steady he would push you off balance. I had to stand on a dolly and he would push left, right, forward/backwards all the time maintaining balance.

 

Don't forget your core- its the center of where everything happens; the core is your back, abs, obliques, and even neck

Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

DId you catch this thread?

http://www.epicski.com/t/114272/being-proactive-instead-of-reactive-with-your-knees

 

I posted a few links there for general ski conditioning for folks being careful with their knees.  Are you doing much for your hamstrings?

 

I tore my meniscus a few months ago when I ruptured an ACL.  Not doing ACLr surgery and doing fine as a coper, meaning I can do everything that I want to do and used to do in the last few years.  The tear was the type that can heal without medical intervention.  I did formal PT for 3 months.  By the last session, I was cleared to do any running or jumping exercises I was interested in doing.

 

From reading about various ACL-injury prevention programs, plyometrics (jumping) is key.  Not just jumping, but jumping with proper form and landing "soft" with knee over 2nd toe.  Not knock-kneed or going outwards.  

 

The idea of good form is illustrated in this video: Ski Exercises for Legs & Knees

 

 


Edited by Finndog - 10/26/12 at 7:07am
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