ACL Prevention Series Part III - Strength Training
by Kevin Roberts, ATC, M.Ed.
We continue this very important series now with some easy strength training/core exercises that can be implemented before, during or after practices.
The following three exercises focus on the quads, hams and gluteal muscles which are essential for proper deceleration during sport activities.
Exercise 1 - Lateral Step with Band Plus Squats
The first exercise pictured below is the lateral Step with band plus squats. Place a resistance band around both ankles then SLOWLY step laterally taking big steps making sure to keep constant tension the the rubber band during the entire process. The athlete should step laterally approximately 10 ft, then stop and complete 15-20 quick air squats. Once finished the athlete should continue lateral stepping back to the starting spot, thus using both legs in each direction. This should be done 3-5 times.
Exercise 2 - SL Bridge
The second exercise is a SL Bridge. This exercise isolates the hamstring and glutei musculature. Lie flat on the ground and bend one leg as far back as possible. Extend the opposite leg in the air and push through the heel of the leg on the ground and lift the pelvis as high as possible in the air. Hold this position for approximately 20-25 seconds, 10 times on each leg.
Exercise 3 - Planks and Leg Lifts
The third exercise combines Planks with leg lifts. The athlete begins by lying face down, placing the elbows under the shoulders and forearms. Then lift the body into the air on your elbows and toes. Once set in this position, hold for approximately 30 seconds-60 seconds, then lift one leg at a time 5 times each. This should be performed 4-5 times.