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3 Exercises For Early Stage ACL Rehab (Not Straight Leg Raises)

The lack of creativity in the early stages of ACL rehab frustrates me. Too many therapists only give you clamshells and straight leg raises and wonder why you are not making progress. While there is nothing inherently wrong with these exercises, they can get super boring if they are never progressed or switched up occasionally. I do not believe therapy has to be all fun, sunshine and rainbows 24/7 BUT I do think it is valuable to give athletes hard exercises in those initial phases of ACL rehab.

The following exercises are 3 exercises I really like to switch things up as well as really challenge the athlete in a safe and effective manner.

1. Plank w/ Hip Extension

I love this exercise because it gets the whole body working and really requires the quad of the down leg to work super hard isometrically. This can be progressed from just marching to actually holding the position for 30-60 seconds.

2. Pike Opposite Leg Touch

I love this exercise to work on terminal knee extension (straightening the knee) as well as getting the whole body involved. Again this is a good exercise to get some gentle load through the quadriceps tendon early on in your ACL rehab.

3. High Plank KB Drag

Noticing a theme yet? I love this exercise again to get some weight shifting into the legs in a weight bearing environment. We spend so much time on our back in physical therapy I love these exercises to get the whole body involved and spice things up.

Giving patients the freedom to sweat early on in rehab is powerful. It makes them feel good and accomplished! Don't take that from them! Give these exercises a try and let me know how it goes.

If you are interested in rehabbing with us but are not sure where to start book a FREE Discovery Call with us here to learn more about what we have to offer.

Till next time.


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