An ACL injury is a tear or sprain of the anterior cruciate ligament in your knee. These injuries commonly occur during sports that involve jumping, landing, and sudden stops or changes in direction. Soccer, basketball, football, and skiing are just some of the sports that involve this movement and often cause ACL injuries.
Athletes generally feel a “pop” in the knee when an ACL injury occurs, causing swelling and pain that make it painful to bear weight. A tear of the ACL can prevent athletes from fully participating in their respective sport, and may require surgery to repair the tear.
Many athletes have had to deal with an ACL injury, often becoming a roadblock in their training and performance. Alpine skier Anders Fannemel, American football player Tom Brady and tennis player Maria Sharapova are just some athletes who have had ACL injuries to recover from.
Having an ACL injury isn’t ideal for athletes who are competing and training to improve their performance. While this sort of injury is common in sports, the good news is there are ways to help prevent it from happening.
Strengthen your muscles to prevent an ACL injury
One of the most common ways to help prevent an ACL injury is to follow a strengthening program that focuses on increasing strength in your leg muscles. Following a consistent program will help to increase your leg strength and grow a more stable knee joint. Exercises such as walking lunges and hamstring leans are a great way to build strength in your knees.
Learn how to jump and land correctly
Jumping and landing improperly may cause excessive stress and strain on your knees, resulting in a tear of your ACL. Learning how to do so correctly can also help prevent future injuries. When jumping, it is important to limit the amount that your knees turn in and touch when jumping and landing. Working with a physical therapist and consistent training to learn how to properly jump and land will enable you to get used to landing in the right position to avoid injury.
Analyze your movements
Analyzing your movements and understanding what you may be doing right or wrong can also be beneficial in preventing ACL injuries. It is important to analyze the movements you make when jumping and landing to recognize any mistakes you may be making. By understanding your errors, your coach or physical therapist can help create an effective plan to help you avoid those movements that may result in an ACL tear. Sprongo’s AI video analysis can help you analyze your movements to prevent any future injuries.