Linked Article: ACL Prevention Strategies-Jumping

There is a very informative article addressing training strategies to help prevent ACL injuries in athletes on the PhysicalTherapist.com site. Here is a brief excerpt:

ACL injuries are becoming ridiculously common amongst athletes from the junior high/high school level on through the professional levels of all sports. My personal thoughts on this issue have a lot to do with the poor training programs most of these kids go through. I won’t go there so much in this article, but want I want to look at is how best to prevent knee injuries from jumping.

The act of jumping and leaving the floor is not so much the problem. It’s the fact that what goes up must come down, and it’s not always pretty when it does. Landing incorrectly, with the knees in valgus, is a major cause of ACL injuries. Knee hyperextension is the other common cause of injury, but is a bit of a different animal. Hyper extension injuries are often the result of an inability to control the knee during deceleration so the body tries to pull out of rapid knee flexion and ends up over correcting into hyper extension. With these non-contact injuries, poor strength is usually at the root of the problem. This article will examine strength training as a way to combat ACL injuries.

Click here to read the rest.

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3 responses to “Linked Article: ACL Prevention Strategies-Jumping

  1. Bob,

    The article emphasizes that a safe position for landing off of a jump involves aligning the knee with the mid to outer sole of the foot, as opposed to a valgus position. What about for static stances, such as sanchin, or for accepting and shifting a load, as in hard punching or lifting a body? How do we reconcile the flat-footed “rootedness” emphasized in many stances with the safety concerns of more dynamic movement within those stances?

  2. Randy,
    Good eyes! I think a lot of the “received” wisdom regarding stances is just plain wrong, subjectively the excessive tension feels like it is doing something, but often obscures the functionality of the stance when analyzed in terms of strategy, arthrokinomatics, or biomechanics. For example, I think that the way sanchin dachi is usually practiced is far too extreme, often harmful, and impractical for fighting. I am working on an article that deals with some of the common issues (injuries, loss of power, loss of stability, etc) that result from the over aestheticization of the techniques. I know this will not go over well, but generally I think that “flat footed rootedness” is related to stabilization in close in encounters, rather than being that helpful in terms of making power. Consider Elmar Schmiezer’s “momentum leg” analogy; momentum can act to stabilize the technique in ways that can make some of the worries regarding the position of the heel irrelevant. I recommend institutionalizing a lot of the adaptations Chopper has had to make since the tree took out his knee. You and your students may not look as much like the grand old masters of the last fifty years if you do this, however you are likely to be more agile, faster, be able to hit harder, and have better knees as a result.

  3. “You and your students may not look as much like the grand old masters of the last fifty years if you do this, however you are likely to be more agile, faster, be able to hit harder, and have better knees as a result…”

    And avoid the Nishiyama-esque back problems from all of that stomping around. Indeed. My own knees react with a twinge of panic to the excessive inversion of the front foot often seen in sanchin, especially if the foot being totally flat is emphasized. Same for front stance- it just does not feel like a good idea to align the medial surface of my knee with the medial edge of the foot. Some of this is from running hurdles and sprints on a very poor surface in high school track- I’m reluctant to place any stress on the knee and ankle if it feels at all awkward when no stress is present, as in stance work. But the more I train the less I see static stance practice as being all that important. When in a free moving context, I find myself moving fastest and most efficiently by doing more or less the opposite of what stance work dictates. My heels are up, weight is on the toes, ball and midsole, and I find that I can hit a lot harder this way (w/o sacrificing mobility) without any of the instability concerns that the uber-traditionalists trot out when they see these things. Stances do have their place, but that place seems to be more for accepting a load of projecting one, and even then the resemblance is not 1:1.

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