Prevent ACL injuries with this quick stretching routine

ACL Injury Prevention Program Phase 2 - Stretching

acl stretching program
acl stretching program. Erik Isakson/Blend Images/Getty Images

The warm up before stretching is very important to decreasing risk of injury. The following exercises help improve range of motion, reduce stiffness, reduce post-exercise soreness, reduce the risk of injury and improve overall mobility and performance.

Don't bounce or jerk but gently stretch to a point of tension and hold. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, Breathe normally (don't hold your breath).

Calf stretch (30 seconds x 2 reps)

  • Elapsed Time: 1.5 to 2.5 minutes
  • Purpose: Stretch the calf muscle of the lower leg.
  • Stand leading with your right leg.
  • Bend forward at the waist and place your hands on the ground (V formation).
  • Keep your right knee slightly bent and your left leg straight.
  • Make sure your left foot is flat on the ground.
  • Do not bounce during the stretch.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

Quadricep stretch (30 seconds x 2 reps)

  • Elapsed Time: 2.5 to 3.5 minutes
  • Purpose: Stretch the quadricep muscle of the front of the thigh.
  • Place your left hand on your partner's left shoulder.
  • Reach back with your right hand and grab the front of your right ankle.
  • Bring your heel to buttock.
  • Make sure your knee is pointed down toward the ground.
  • Keep your right leg close to your left.
  • Do not allow knee to wing out to the side and do not bend at the waist.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.

Hamstring stretch (30 seconds x 2 reps)

  • Elapsed Time: 3.5 - 4.5 min
  • Purpose: To stretch the hamstring muscles of the back of the thigh.
  • Sit on the ground with your right leg extended out in front of you.
  • Bend your left knee and rest the bottom of your foot on your right inner thigh.
  • With a straight back, try to bring your chest toward your knee. Do not round your back.
  • If you can, reach down toward your toes and pull them up toward your head.
  • Do not bounce.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and repeat with the other leg.

Inner Thigh Stretch (20 seconds x 3 reps)

  • Elapsed Time: 4.5 - 5.5 min
  • Purpose: Elongate the muscles of the inner thigh (adductor group).
  • Remain seated on the ground.
  • Spread your legs evenly apart.
  • Slowly lower yourself to the center with a straight back.
  • You want to feel a stretch in the inner thigh.
  • Now reach toward the right with the right arm.
  • Bring your left arm overhead the stretch over to the right.
  • Hold the stretch and repeat on the opposite side.

Hip Flexor Stretch (20 seconds x 2 reps)

  • Elapsed Time: 5.5 - 6.5 min
  • Purpose: Elongate the hip flexors of the front of the thigh.
  • Lunge forward leading with your right leg.
  • Drop your left knee down to the ground.
  • Placing your hands on top of your right thigh, lean forward with your hips.
  • The hips should be square with your shoulders.
  • If possible, maintain your balance and lift back for the left ankle and pull your heel to your buttocks.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

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