3 EXERCISES TO PREVENT ACL TEARS

BY SEAN DEL BEN, MKIN, CSCS, FMS LVL.2, FRC

acl tear rugby tackle contact

 ONE ARM FARMER’S WALK

Reference Img: ACL tears can occur via contact and non-contact means

Lateral trunk motion during bilateral and unilateral landing and cutting movements often leads to excessive knee valgus.  Excessive knee valgus will put your ACL at risk for injury. Many athletes lack the neuromuscular control required throughout their trunk and hips in order to prevent lateral trunk motion. The single arm farmer’s walk is a simple, yet effective drill to help develop the neuromuscular control required to help prevent knee valgus during competition.

Be sure to keep your chest proud, shoulders pulled back, down, and part.  Also, keep the abs braced, and neck pulled back in-line with your spine.

DROP JUMPS

 

The ability to safely and effectively attenuate force, and achieve optimal quadriceps-hamstring co-contraction is critical for preventing anterior tibial translation and knee valgus in any sport where landing, cutting, and deceleration occur. A properly performed drop jump will teach you to achieve the 40° knee flexion that has been proven ideal for quadriceps-hamstring co-activation. It is also very important to ensure symmetrical force attenuation; therefore, land with symmetrical force distribution in each leg.

Start with a low drop height, progressively adding height as your strength and technique improves.

 

SPRINTING WALL DRILLS

 

Athletes who possess an anterior pelvic tilt will have dominant anterior gluteus medius muscle fibre’s. This anterior fibre dominance will lead to internal rotation at the hip, which is a culprit for knee valgus. One simple drill that can be utilized to lengthen the hip flexors, and activate the posterior gluteus medius and gluteus maximus fibres are sprinting wall drills. This drill will also teach proper hip dissociation (concurrent terminal hip extension and flexion).

HOW TO DO THEM…

Perform this drill by assuming a 45° lean towards a wall or hard vertical surface (preferably so that you may hold on with a neutral grip). Fully extend one hip, while fully flexing at the other hip (dorsi-flexed foot under knee), making sure to maintain your ‘rib to hip connection’.

You may perform this drill as a static hold, progressing to a slow march, and further to an explosive single exchange, and finally a triple exchange. An athlete absent anterior tilt and knee valgus should progress to ‘sport specific’ sprinting drills.

 

Please contact us at info@saltusathletics.ca if you have any questions regarding the concepts discussed.  Let us know if you are looking for progressions for the more advanced athlete, or are wondering how to incorporate these drills into your current program.

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