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How to reduce your chances for an ACL injury

ACL injuries are every athlete’s nightmare. No one wants to get sidelined with this type of injury, however, it’s one of the most common among young athletes. So what can you do to prevent yourself from getting benched? Here are some tips to make sure you take care of your knees properly.

Learn to Move

When we were babies, so much of our time was dedicated to learning how to move, how to balance our bodies to stand up and explore. Years later, this still holds to be true when we need to learn to move our bodies in a way that we are protecting the valuable assets that allow us to move so freely. It is very important to develop a good sense of body awareness, strength, and balance to correctly support your knees and ankles. To prevent ACL injuries it is vital to learn how to move with correct alignment to protect your knees. Make sure to always move, jump, land, and stop with your knees directly over your feet. Never allow your knees to collapse inward. To be sure your legs are able to support all of the parts that make them up, it is very important to develop strength in your hips and thighs. If you practice sports, always be sure to warm up and stretch before games and practice. You could come up with a routine that includes a variety of drills that practice the common movements you make when playing, practice these until their movements become second nature.

If you are part of a sports team, and are very active throughout a certain season of the year, make sure that you do not wait to get in shape when the season starts. By starting your training prior to the season you will ensure you are doing everything you can to reduce your change of a sports injury on the field. Remember, get fit to play; don’t play to get fit! Sportsmetrics is a method that uses both neuromuscular retraining techniques and sport-specific enhancement sets to significantly improve the skill of the player and their aerobic fitness. This method is specifically concentrated on decreasing the risk of injury to your knees.  When an athlete completes our Sportsmetrics training their risk for ACL injury is significantly decreased.  

Here are three great basic principles to follow in order to strengthen your body to reduce the chance of injuries.  We maximize these in our ACL prevention program:

  1. Warm up: This will get blood circulating to your muscles and joints to prepare them for action.
  2. Stretch: By continuously working on your flexibility you will be better able to maintain a fluid and ideal form. Be sure to include stretches for your thighs, calves, and hips, and pay special attention to any areas that are tight, or that you will use a lot during practice.
  3. Strengthen: By having strength in your hips and thighs you are providing your knees the support they need to prevent ACL injuries. Some of the most common exercises are squats and lunges to build strength. Exercises that build up core strength, balance, agility in changing direction, and jumping and landing safely are some of the most important types you should include when considering a routing to build for the care of your body’s ability. Whatever you do make sure to use a good technique. The quality of movement, rather than quantity, should be your goal.

On a final note, after doing all of these strengthening exercises don’t forget the most vital one of all: Rest. Don’t allow a full schedule of practices and games get in the way of making your technique perfect, because tired sloppy movements are one of the most common causes of injuries. Rest is absolutely essential for any improvements or gains to occur. Getting enough sleep, scheduling in rest days, and strategizing hard workouts with easier workouts are all important ways of reducing your risk of injury and ultimately making you the strong and powerful athlete you are.

If you are interested in learning more about the Sportsmetrics program read more about it here or call us today at 865-951-2975 to schedule a consultation.