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ACL Injury Prevention: Essential Exercises and Precautions

acl atlanta conditioning decatur dr. mike physical therapy recovery rehab strength training Feb 13, 2024

ACL rupture is a terrible, albeit common injury that can totally wreck an athlete’s participation.
The typical mechanism of an ACL rupture is a fast deceleration when landing on one leg with a
valgus force at the knee. Depending on your sport and goals as an athlete, surgery may or may
not be necessary. In the rehab world, we refer to individuals who can maintain function without
the presence of instability as Copers and these folks tend to not need reconstructive surgery.
Those playing pivoting sports are fairly certain to require reconstruction (ACLR) surgery for a
successful return to sport and unfortunately, ACLR doesn’t guarantee a return to prior abilities. 


SO… the best-case scenario is to put yourself in the best position to avoid such an injury.
Despite “injury prevention” being touted as a complete assurance in the sports medicine world,
there’s no way to offer such a guarantee. We can, however, mitigate the risk. Athletes who are
at the highest risk for ACL injury are pivoting athletes, specifically younger female athletes. 


What can be done to decrease your likelihood of injury? 

Well, first and foremost we should allocate focus towards the lowest hanging fruits such as: 
 Adequate sleep (7-9 hours/night) 
 Well-balanced diet tailored to the needs of your sport with appropriate macronutrients 
 Consistent strength training 


From a physical performance perspective, routine implementation of the following should be
 Quad strength
 Hamstring strength
 Hip strength 
 Proximal control (hip, pelvis, and trunk)  
 Plyometric training 
 Change of direction capacity

Though this isn’t an exhaustive list, it’s a great checklist to utilize for developing a routine program to implement alongside regular training. For further guidance in developing an individualized program, a strength and conditioning coach and/or a performance rehab professional would be a great resource to utilize. The key points to keep in mind are: have a set plan, complete this plan multiple times/week, and the plan should take 20+ minutes. 


If you have sustained a knee injury or feel like you may be at risk, give us a call at 470-355- 2106 or fill out the contact form in the link below for a 1:1 evaluation and develop a plan to put you in the best position to compete at your full potential! 


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Thanks for reading, 

Dr. Mike, PT, DPT, CSCS, PES

Let us help you figure out to live your best active life today! 

 Remember, Movement is Medicine! 

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