From the Magazine: ACL Prevention

Every year, close to 400,000 people will suffer from a torn ACL, with an estimated $2 Billion price tag, with the high price tag not even including long term care.  While some of these injuries occur during a collision, many are of the non-contact variety.  They will typically occur during a rapid deceleration, change of direction, or landing, without the presence of player-to-player contact.  Female athletes are particularly at risk because of anatomical differences from male athletes.  Females are six times more likely to suffer from an ACL injury than their male counterparts. 

The good news is, there have been many advances in training programs to help reduce the risk of injury.  These programs are meant to address some of the risk factors which include the following:

  • lack of core strength
  • lack of ankle mobility
  • weak glutes
  • right v left asymmetry
  • proprioception and balance
  • lack of strength and endurance

In 2010, I began training a group of high school females to get ready for their season.  In the previous year, seven athletes from the team suffered from season-ending ACL injuries.  In the year after training with me and my team of trainers, there were zero.  There are many screens that we use to help us identify some of the risk factors when working with an athlete.  The 1 Leg Hop Screen is something that I learned from Scott Moody at AthleteFit, and it has become a useful tool.

Like this article? Also see, 3 Exercises to help reduce the risk of concussions.

Before we begin, remember that this is not meant to be the magic bullet that will help us prevent all ACL injuries.  Even with the best training and preventative measures, the nature of competition dictates that things will happen that are beyond control.  This screen is meant to be a part of the picture, information that can help us identify potential danger, and apply methods to address the issues. 

To get the 1 Leg Hop Screen images and video, download Amplified Soccer Athlete Magazine.