ACL Series: Programming Phases to Reduce Risk

Programming for Risk Reduction and Improved Performance:


There are many programs out there that have been shown to reduce the risk of injury when used in the pre-season. But… “Results suggest that training duration may be an important factor to consider when designing injury prevention programs that facilitate long-term changes in movement control (Padua, 2011).

Other research shows that programs that focused on performance gains as well as reduction of injury risk seemed to have more adherence than those programs that only focused on reduction of risk. With this in mind, we have set up our training programs to reflect both goals. This philosophy goes hand in hand with the philosophy of, “Rehab is Training and Training is Rehab” and this phrase seems to be catching on in the world of sports performance.

So to develop a well rounded program, we want to focus on 1) building a confidence in movement skill (getting into better positions) and then 2) strengthen these movements with the exercises from our list of research suggested exercises that reduce the risk of injury. We then want to 3) add a fitness component into this training program that allows the athletes to stay in a more focused, efficient state for longer bouts of intense work. Finally, 4) we want to maximize the speed and power of these movements, while reducing the transition or amortization phase as they sprint, jump/land or change direction. And if we do this all in a sport specific environment the athlete is more likely to understand the application of the exercise and therefore be more likely to apply it in specific situations.

This program is about perfecting movement that results in a more quality driven outcome. With this in mind, it is not always about how many sets, how much load and how many repetitions they perform. Instead it is about how well they move, how well they recover and their ability to execute movements at high speeds with athletic specific outcomes.



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