Key components of an ACL prevention program include:
- Dynamic stretching – Important muscle groups targeted are gluts, hip flexors, adductors, quadriceps, hamstrings (pictured in box A) and calf
- Running drills focusing on alignment of the lower extremity and form – such as running, bounding (pictures in box B) and change of direction
- Hip and knee strengthening – such as double leg squats (pictured in box C), single leg squats, step up and down, lunges, clam, bridge
- Core strengthening – such as front plank, side plank (pictured in box D), bridge, dead bug
- Plyometrics – such as hopping, jumping, single led hopping and cone drills (pictured in box E)
All of these exercises are performed with focus on quality of movement, form and alignment of the lower extremity.
From: Perspectives for Patients, Journal of Orthopaedics & Sports Physical Therapy website, available at https://doi.org/10.2519/jospt.2018.0509
Athletes are encouraged to perform these exercises several times per week, with sessions lasting at least 20 minutes and a minimum of 30 minutes weekly. The program should start during the preseason and continue during the regular season.
Knee injury prevention: Exercises to keep you from getting sidelined. Perspectives for Patients, J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2018; 48(9) 734. Available at https://doi.org/10.2519/jospt.2018.0509