Training Prevention: ACL Tears
Training Prevention: ACL Tears
With sports in full swing for the year, ACL tears are one of the most common season-ending injuries for any athlete. Specifically, in field sports, they are the most common. Take football, for example, in the NFL there have been over 80 ACL injuries in the 2018-2019 season. That is absolutely crazy! These are professional athletes that train and practice all year round and are still having these intense injuries. There are ways to train that can help prevent non-contact ACL injuries during your sports season.
Hands down the best exercises to help prevent ACL tears is Olympic weightlifting. Every pull strengthens your glutes and hamstrings, every time you stand up from the lift, you are strengthening your quads. Ever Olympic lift you take, whether that be snatch or clean, you are strengthening your entire lower body. Also, olympic weightlifting also improves the function of your central nervous system. Your nervous system firing faster help you react faster on the field, reacting fast could save a wrong step to tearing your ACL. You can get a custom olympic weightlifting program for your sport HERE.
Another group of exercises that could help prevent ACL tears is plyometrics. Plyometrics such as jumps and different variations of jumps can also strengthen different movements while playing a sport. Box jumps, hurdle hops, any kind of single leg jump and bi-lateral movement is also a tremendous way of strengthening muscles around the knee. A lot of ACL injuries happen when someone is changing directions on the field or cutting on the field. Bi-lateral jumps with a pause when you land is great for prevention of such injuries. Landing and having a small isometric hold strengthening and keeps tension on all the muscles around the knee.
Nutrition and supplementation are also a key factor into helping strengthen your legs and stabilize your knee to prevent ACL tears. Protein is key into building muscle mass so building the muscles around such as the quad and hamstrings will definitely help. Other supplements such as gelatin would also play a key factor. Gelatin helps reduce inflammation and also improves joint pain. The reduce of inflammation helps your body stay loose and ready to be active. You can checkout Earth Fed Muscle gelatin product HERE.
Last but not least, stretching. One of the number one causes of non contact ACL injuries is your muscles being super tight and not having the full range of motion in your knee. Tightness of you muscle such as your quad will cause pulling on tendons and put tension on them while exercising. The more tension your tendons and ligaments are under, the more likely you are to tear one or multiple. Rolling out and stretching your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and keeping a good range of motion all help decrease the chances of tears.
Overall, there are ways to help decrease the chances of a torn ACL. Proper strength training, bi-lateral plyometrics, proper nutrition and supplementation, and stretching will help prevent non-contact injuries. I’m not saying if you do all these things you won’t tear your ACL. If you do all of these steps though, it will significantly decrease your chances of tearing it.