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Two quad exercises that should be on your ACL rehab list

ACL Rehabilitation Exercises List

Studies show that 100,000 to 200,000 anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ruptures occur in the U.S. every year (UpToDate, 2019). These statistics mean that many athletes could be at risk of an ACL injury. 

Physical therapists can help athletes find ways to treat and prevent ACL injuries. If you already have such an injury, an ACL rehabilitation exercises list is beneficial. A study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that quadriceps exercises are especially helpful. In fact, it claims that such exercises help to increase knee stability, and they can also help improve knee range of motion. Here are two quadriceps exercises that could be included in your ACL rehab exercises list: 

1.  Heel slides

When you first injure your ACL, you’ll want to limit the movement of your knee to give your body time to begin the healing process. But not moving at all can be detrimental, too. Isometric therapeutic exercises are a good compromise between these two needs, and heel slides are an isometric exercise your therapist might add to your ACL rehabilitation exercises list. 

How to perform the heel slides exercise

  • Sit in a stable chair with your injured leg as straight as possible. 
  • Slowly slide your heel toward the chair. Stop at once if the movement begins to cause pain. 
  • Slowly slide your heel back toward its original position. 
  • Repeat these steps until you’ve done eight to 10 repetitions. 

2.  Balancing on one leg

Your therapist will likely add more challenging exercises to your ACL rehabilitation list as you heal. Some of these exercises might focus on increasing quadriceps strength and improving balance. The balancing on one leg exercise is an example of this type of exercise.

How to perform the balancing on one leg exercise

  • Stand behind a stable chair or beside a counter or table. 
  • Place one hand on the chair, counter or table to ensure you don’t fall over. 
  • Slowly bend the unaffected leg up toward your butt. 
  • Balance on the affected leg for 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Return your unaffected foot to the floor; rest for 30 seconds. 
  • Repeat these steps until you’ve done the exercise three to five times. 

Peak Performance can use more than exercises in your ACL rehab list

Therapeutic exercises are effective for ACL rehab, but they don’t have to be the only treatment on your list. Our team at Peak Performance can build you a personalized, multitreatment recovery plan. We’ll start by doing a complimentary screening on your knee. Our team will then fold the information we gather into your individualized treatment plan. This process helps ensure that your plan has the highest possible effectiveness. 

Are you ready to start getting our help with your ACL rehab? Contact us today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.