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ACL Injury Prevention Program is First in Nation to Tackle Growing Problem
Date:2/9/2009

tes to be more efficient, and as a result, reduce the potential for non-contact ACL tears," said Andy Duncan, P.T., A.T.C., director of sports rehabilitation at USM.

It consists of a specialized warm-up program that must be completed two to three times a week, and includes exercises and training to increase muscle strength, plyometrics (active strengthening like jumps), agility, balance and flexibility. The program takes about 20-25 minutes to complete.

"We stress quality versus quantity with the girls. These exercises are so precise that they must be done properly or they will not receive any benefit at all," Duncan said. "In effect, we are re-teaching the muscles how to fire and respond to signals from the nervous system. At the end of six weeks, if the program is done correctly and consistently, these athletes will have a much better chance at preventing an ACL tear."

Beginning in the summer of 2009 USM athletic trainers will use a "train-the-trainer" approach to educate team coaches/representatives on the benefits and components of the PEP program. The sessions will be interactive, including demonstration and participation. Videos detailing each exercise will be given to each team to help guide the athletes through the program.

Sample PEP Exercises

  • Warm-ups: Jog, slides, backpedals
  • Strengthening: Lunge walk, ball bridge, calf raise
  • Plyometrics: Lateral, front/back and single leg hops, rebound jumps, scissor jumps
  • Agility: Shuttle and pivot runs
  • Stretching: Hamstrings, quads, calves, groin and hip flexors


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SOURCE University of Rochester Medical Center
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