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ACL Training [injury prevention exercises]

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Since there's quite a few threads on ACL tears, I figured I'd share this Michael Boyle article, "ACL Injury Prevention is Just Good Training". A great read for anyone who is wondering about training to reduce the risk of ACL injuries. I had the pleasure of attending a mentorship with Coach Boyle in 2009 and not surprisingly my approach is now very similar to his (although I'm a bigger fan of bilateral deadlifts than he is). The approach has served my clients very well as they keep a very low injury rate (knocking on wood now) despite their demographic (30-70 year old athletes including many skiers). Definitely worth a read.

post #2 of 13
Excellent stuff.

Do you tweak this at all for skiers in terms of the jump and hop training? Boyle's point about the key to injury prevention being the ability to land on one leg is valid as a generalization for sports like soccer, but for skiing the typical ACL injury mechanisms are a bit different and sports-specific.
post #3 of 13

Thank you for that. I'm not preventing ACL injury I'm recouping from ACL injury (no surgery). The exercises shown will be very helpful to me.

post #4 of 13

I just did a couple of these things at the gym.  (Acl surgery 8 months ago).  I'd been thinking my workouts were too narrow.

post #5 of 13

No free weight bench exercises - seated extensions for quad strength, and lying on belly curls for hamstring strength?

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post

Excellent stuff.

Do you tweak this at all for skiers in terms of the jump and hop training? Boyle's point about the key to injury prevention being the ability to land on one leg is valid as a generalization for sports like soccer, but for skiing the typical ACL injury mechanisms are a bit different and sports-specific.

 

No. I think it's still valid. The idea of being able to decelerate power with each leg individually still stands, in my opinion. And the stabilizing muscles that are being asked to fire when landing a hop are really the muscles in the ankle and hip - they remain important in to stabilize the knee regardless of the scenario. Is it as important in skiing as in, say, basketball or soccer? No, but given the small amount of time it represents in a program (maybe 5 minutes 1-2 times per week for 2-4 weeks), I think it's still worth doing. I find the exercise also has a secondary benefit of being a great phase 1 plyometric - sort out the weaknesses before progressing to more advanced power work. 

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by steamboat1 View Post
 

Thank you for that. I'm not preventing ACL injury I'm recouping from ACL injury (no surgery). The exercises shown will be very helpful to me.

 

Glad to help. If you're really keen, there's a great article about ACL rehab on that site that I use as the foundation for training clients post-ACL surgery. https://www.strengthcoach.com/members/login.cfm?hpage=Post-Rehab-ACL-Training.cfm, but unfortunately you have to join the site to access it. There is a 3 day for $1 deal so you could do that, or if you're a real training geek, then stay a member - it's really worth it. Their approach is infinitely better than most of the protocols you see posted. 

 

I've trained 5 or 6 post-ACL surgery clients and all have done very well following the approach that I learned from Coach Boyle. It's really a great approach.

 

Elsbeth

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHRISfromRI View Post
 

No free weight bench exercises - seated extensions for quad strength, and lying on belly curls for hamstring strength?

 

Nope. It's just not needed, and there are better ways. Squats and split squats will strengthen your quads as well or better than leg extensions, and some form of deadlift (single leg Romanian and/or conventional - and is better than or) work the hamstrings well,  although stability ball leg curls can be a nice complement for a while.  

 

I do know some very smart and respected physios who still recommend the seated  leg extension and prone leg curls, but even they only recommend them in very few situations and usually as a temporary measure.

 

Beyond that, they are I actually think they can be a bit dangerous - you're basically bracing the ankle and the hip and asking the knee to flex or extend on a fixed axis. I think that's trouble. 

 

Elsbeth

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

One more reply: here's a video clip about knee injuries and training from a presentation I gave at a local ski show a couple of years ago.

 

post #10 of 13

This is good, interesting stuff! I have been doing single-leg dead lifts for several years now and LOVE them. (Does that make me a sadistic freak??!) I also do lunges off the back of a step (as in, Reebok Step) at various degrees, and walking lunges. I used to do a lot more plyometrics onto the step, also but haven't done as much since I've gotten older but think I need to reincorporate those.

 

Anyway, I am glad to see that without even knowing it, I have been doing stuff that could really benefit my ACL. I taught step classes for years and wish it would come back in popularity because it so much one-legged dynamic balancing without too much pounding. Thanks for bringing up a very interesting, relevant topic!

post #11 of 13

Plyometrics is clearly good stuff for knee injury prevention for folks with two ACLs, whether they are original or reconstructed.  As a coper missing one ACL, I  do a little plyometrics but focus more on  strength, especially hamstrings and core, and improving balance (proprioception).

 

I found this webpage with videos of basic exercises very helpful.  Scroll down to get to the ones geared towards ACL injury prevention.  Many of these exercises built on what I learned from formal PT for knee rehab last year.

 

http://ptsportswellness.wordpress.com/exercises/lower-body-strength/

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by evaino View Post
 

 

Nope. It's just not needed, and there are better ways. Squats and split squats will strengthen your quads as well or better than leg extensions, and some form of deadlift (single leg Romanian and/or conventional - and is better than or) work the hamstrings well,  although stability ball leg curls can be a nice complement for a while.  

 

I do know some very smart and respected physios who still recommend the seated  leg extension and prone leg curls, but even they only recommend them in very few situations and usually as a temporary measure.

 

Beyond that, they are I actually think they can be a bit dangerous - you're basically bracing the ankle and the hip and asking the knee to flex or extend on a fixed axis. I think that's trouble. 

 

Elsbeth

I for one have relied on quad extensions and hamstring curls pretty heavily since my ACL recon in 2008, and have since then skied 318 days. In fact, I have just started my 6th ski season after my ACL Recon with a week of ski camp on the Hintertux Glacier - last week:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wm9iXwWv5M4&feature=c4-overview&list=UUltljKJelagRniomJobeTeg

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHRISfromRI View Post
 

I for one have relied on quad extensions and hamstring curls pretty heavily since my ACL recon in 2008, and have since then skied 318 days...

Lots of people do them, but it doesn't make them a good answer to trying to strength train for a sport like skiing.

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