ACL Sprain Exercises

The following ACL sprain exercises form part of our ACL Sprain rehab program. Created by elite sports physiotherapist Phil Pask they include mobility, proprioception, functional, plyometric, and agility exercises.

Stretching & mobility exercises

Mobility is most important and should begin as soon as possible. Exercises should not be painful to perform.

Patellofemoral mobes

Gently push from side to side, and glide from top to bottom.

Toe crunches

Scrunch the toes up. This can be done using a towel or picking up a pencil.

Sustained calf stretch

Take a resistance band and wrap it around both feet. Hold the other end of the band and pull your feet towards you and hold.

Myofascial hamstring stretch

There are 3 alternatives for hamstring stretches. Do whichever one you prefer.

Option 1: Standing

Place one foot in front of the other with hands on the floor. Straighten your legs keeping your hands flat on the floor, you should feel a stretch on the back leg.

Option 2: Sitting

Sit with one leg straight and one bent. Reach forward keeping your head and chest up, you should feel a stretch at the back of the straight leg.

Option 3: Lying on back

Lie on your back, and use a band to pull your leg up. Feel a stretch at the back of the leg.

Activation exercises

Clam in extension with band

Lie on your side with your knees bent, then lift your top leg up as far as possible in a slow and controlled movement. Slowly lower your leg back down.

Single leg turnouts

Balance on one leg with the other knee bent, foot resting on the inside of the supporting leg. Whilst maintaining your balance turn the knee out and in, to work your hip muscles whilst maintaining control and balance.

Ice skaters with band

Place a resistance band around your knees to increase the load on your lateral hip muscles, and walk forward and backwards. Maintain a good posture by keeping your head and chest up.

Strengthening exercises

Step down foot fixed

Stand with one foot on a box, and squat down until the toe of the free foot gently touches the floor. Then without using it to push off at all, stand again.

Inner range quads

Contract your quadriceps muscles and hold. Then use your hamstring muscles to push down, hold, relax and repeat.

Dumbbell squat to bench

Legs shoulder-width apart with the toes pointed out slightly. Bend your knees and slowly lower your body down onto the bench until your buttocks touch the bench. Don’t rest on the bench, slowly raise your body back up by pushing through your heels.

Functional exercises

Single-leg suitcase lift

Use a weight in the same arm and the same leg you are working. Also use a weight on the opposite arm to the leg you are working.

A lock at wall (Leaning Tower)

Drive the knee upwards and hold the position.

Lateral A skipping drill

The Skipping drill is a progression of the sideways marching drill. Keep up on your toes, more dynamic.

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