TIPS FOR PREVENTING ACL TEARS
For serious athletes who’ve torn their ACLs, a structured programme to prevent re-injury is recommended. But for weekend warriors, here are three tips for protecting your ACL: Make a good landing. When you jump, land in a nearcrouch position with knees bent and aligned straight up and down – not “knock-kneed.” Viewing a video of your jumping style can help you fix it. Strengthen the muscles around the knee. Keeping your quadriceps and hamstring muscles strong and flexible will make the knee more stable. (The “quads” form the front of the thigh, and hamstring muscles, the back.) One exercise that strengthens the quads and hamstrings is the walking lunge, which involves taking a large step forward and dropping the back knee down toward the floor, keeping the front knee over your ankle. Keep your hip muscles strong. One-legged squats – knee bends done while standing on one leg – are an excellent way to strengthen the hips, quadriceps, and hamstrings and to improve your balance. When you do a one-legged squat, bend your knee slowly so it ends up just over your toes.
One-legged squat Lunge