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ACL Prevention (best practices) -pt. 4

I’m continuing my series on ACL injury prevention.

Here are a few other things that need to be prioritized:

Jump and land mechanics

There are endless variations here that makes it hard for me to extrapolate on this in it’s entirety, but here are a few concepts that should be followed.

Athlete’s just be cognizant of not letting their knees collapse toward each other on take off and landing.

Athlete’s should land mid-foot, with weight evenly distributed, knees bent and the hips back.

Jumps should include a healthy combination of forward jumping, side jumping, rotational jumping, as well as double leg and single leg variations depending on skill level.

Cutting Mechanics

Again, there is a lot to take into consideration, but here are two main things.

Practice proper foot striking and alignment from ankle, knee, to hip. (see picture)

Secondly, be aware of trunk positioning during the redirection phase of a cut. Poor core control can to lead to a trunk that sways when cutting, which shifts the center of gravity and places more stress on the knees. This can be improved through building awareness and also implementing anti-rotation and lateral flexion core exercises (i.e side planks or pallof press).

Balance and Proprioception

Becoming proficient on one leg and maintaining stability is key to protecting the knees. Increase difficulty by adding unstable surfaces, closing your eyes, or adding external stimulus (see picture). Also, don’t fall like I did 🙂

In the next post, I’m going to continue this series and dive into nutritional ways to support knee health.