No one wants to get sidelined with an ACL injury. Ankle sprains and injuries to the knee, particularly ACL injuries (anterior cruciate ligament) are common in young athletes. Is there anything you can do to prevent yourself from missing valuable playing time? Absolutely!
Learn how to move with good alignment so you protect your knees. Develop body awareness, strength, and balance to support your knees and ankles. Always jump, land, stop, and move with your knees directly over your feet. Do NOT let your knees collapse inward. Develop strength in your hips and thighs. Warm up and stretch before games and practice. Perform a variety of drills until the movement patterns are second nature and you don’t have to think about it. Say to yourself:
Successful injury prevention programs may differ in specific exercises and drills but they share a common focus: improving flexibility, strength (particularly of the core, hips, and legs), balance, agility, and your ability to jump and land safely.
Practice these guidelines, exercises, and drills on your own and with your team. Don’t wait until the season starts. Get in shape to play; don’t play to get in shape!
Hip flexors: 1/2 kneel
Split with rotation
Single leg deadlifts
Chops and lifts
Multidirectional shuffle steps
Single leg ball pass
Single leg multiplanar reach with arm and leg
5. Agility-Changing Direction:
Jump side-to-side with both feet over the line.
Jump from your left to right foot over the line.
Jump forward-and-back with both feet over the line.
Jump forward-and-back over a line leading with your right foot. Keep feet hip width apart. Now lead with your left.
The information provided is for general educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as a recommendation of a specific plan or course of action. Exercise is not without risk, and this or any other exercise program may result in injury. As with any exercise program, if at any point during your workout you begin to have pain, feel faint, or experience significant physical discomfort of any kind, you should stop immediately and consult a physician. You should consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program.
Reviewed: 11/4/2009 Published: 3/24/2009