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Training to Reduce Non-contact Knee Injuries

by LaRue Cook
Date Released : 08 Feb 2013

Learning Objectives:

  1. To create an awareness in the reader and general trainer population in what activities and ‘events’ are high-risk for non-contact ACL injuries.
  2. To raise the awareness on the importance of a well-designed, multi-pronged training program designed to address the several components .......

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De Veirman, Lieven | 13 Feb 2013, 08:42 AM
Not sure if we should teach our athletes to consciously avoid a valgus knee position. Pronation is the most natural movement and I would prefer teaching my athlete's muscles how to get into pronation/valgus, decelerate the movement and explode back to the other direction.
Cook, LaRue | 12 Feb 2013, 04:09 AM
Hi Brian. Thanks for your comment. I agree that “discovering a pattern of weakness” is a key element of developing an effective program here. One such weakness is (or can be) the strength ratio gap between the quads and posterior chain musculature – a weakness that has been shown to be a potential contributing factor to non-contact knee injuries in sports.
“Cleaning up movement patterns” (where such defective patterns exist) is necessary as well, and oftentimes one of the primary movement pattern defects in this area – improper deceleration - is related to this muscular imbalance. Learning proper deceleration technique is a key to reducing the risk of non-contact knee injuries in sports movement, and obtaining or maintaining the requisite strength to properly decelerate goes hand-in-hand with this technique. The article speaks of three components to the training program --- strength development, deceleration technique and kinesthetic awareness. Each of these components is an important part of the program, and forms an integral part of the whole. Thanks again for your comment and I hope that you found the article somewhat helpful.
Strachan, Gary | 11 Feb 2013, 01:57 AM
I think training for function may be the best place to start. Replicate all the possibilities of where the knee may go, and train at different tempos, ROMs, under load, no load, different drivers etc. And look for mobility or lack of to structure.
Thurston, Brian | 08 Feb 2013, 18:36 PM
My belief is that there seems to be a great value in discovering a pattern of weakness or tightness and then exploring how to improve this pattern of weakness or tightness. I think to say that targeting the glute medius as a stamped out program for all athletes may not be the best way to go. Additionally, hamstring strength (as co-contrators) may not be as important to preventing sheer on the tibia-femoral region as we think. By strengthening the hamstrings without first cleaning up movement patterns, we may be doing what Gray Cook calls "adding fitness to imbalance".