ACL Prevention Dynamic Warm-Up
by Kevin Roberts, ATC, M.Ed.
The ACL is most commonly injured during a pivoting or twisting injury to the knee when the foot is planted on the
ground. This is a common injury to soccer, basketball, volleyball, and skiing.
However, female soccer players are 2 to 4 times more likely to tear their ACL's than male soccer players. The number of female soccer ACL tears is increasing every year with more girls playing the sport and year round competition. Therefore, although this is targeted for all athletes I primarily want female athletes (especially soccer players) to pay special attention the the following Dynamic Warm-Up routine before practice or competition.
This is the first part in a four part series.
Part 1: Dynamic Warm-Up
ACL injuries usually occur in a state of muscle fatigue and neuromuscular fatigue. Thus, doing a dynamic warm up to properly stretch and awaken the primary muscles involved is paramount. The following 4 Dynamic Warm Up routines should be performed before each practice session and competition.
Exercise 1 - Walking Hip Rotator Stretch
Walk forward, keeping the body straight ahead. Lift one leg in front of the body, bending at the knee. Rotate the knee outward and the foot inward. Hold the stretch for 3 sec. Repeat with the other leg. Do this 5-6 feet there and back.
Exercise 2 - Inch Worm
Start in the push up position. Keep the arms and legs straight. Now walk the feet towards the hands ( "V" position ) then walk the hands out away from the feet. Do this 5-6 feet there and back.
Exercise 3 - Retro Lunges
This is normal walking lunges in reverse. Lunge backwards slowly 8-10 feet then repeat.
Exercise 4 - Straight Leg Kicks
The athlete should walk with both arms and legs straight. Alternate bringing up each leg as high as possible without losing good form. Do this 8-10 feet then repeat. Swing arms in opposition.