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Author Topic: All the exercises I have ever done throguhout ACLr  (Read 89785 times)

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Offline feeny

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All the exercises I have ever done throguhout ACLr
« on: August 19, 2006, 04:06:07 PM »
I thoguht I'd put a big list together. Some friends asked me for it. Some are basic - some are majorly advanced. Funnily enough - some I could never have done before my operation. Please get advice about any exercises if you are at all uncertain!!

Knee Exercises and ideas post ACL reconstruction[/u]

Basic Mobility:

Patella mobilisations:
Sit down with leg straight and extended, but relaxed. Gently move the patella around in small circles, going both sides. This helps prevent adhesions.

Quad Sets:
a) rolled up towel under the knee, bending toes back towards knee cap and push knee back into towel whist contracting quads to straighten leg as far as it will go - making sure that you are pushing knee back into towel the whole time - hold contraction for 10 seconds

b) rolled up towel under the heel, leg straight out with knee back and calf off the floor - contract quads trying to push the back of the knee into the floor whilst the leg is straight - hold contraction for 10 seconds

c) no towel for this one - leg straight out whilst sitting on the floor, as straight as it will go - push the back of the knee into the floor, contract quads and try raise the heel of your foot 1cm or so off the floor whilst your knee back is touching the floot - hold contraction for 10 seconds

d) lying on y our stomach - no towel required - stretch out both legs so you are flat on the floor, put the ball of your foot on the bad leg on the floor, and whilst keeping your hips on the floor contract the quad muscle which feels like your leg is almost "arching" straight up - hold contraction for 10 seconds.

Try to do 2-3 sets of about 10. All of these exercises must be done using the quad muscles in the legs. The objective is to teach and regain quad control evenly in both legs.

Basic quad and hamstring stretches. Always, and lots of them!

Mobility and water exercises:
Straight line striding / jogging / running in a pool - basically run in a straight line until the water is around shoulder height, turn around and run back. Remember -the deeper the water the more resistance and the lesser the impact on the knee.
Straight line hopping - as above - but hop up and down - be wary hopping in the shallower end as the water provides less bouyancy
Sideways running - as above, but facing sideways
Sideways hopping - as above, this time hopping
Kickboard - small in-line kicks only. This is a great all round exercise


Cardio Exercises:

a) Recumbent (sit down) bike: I find this excellent for both mobility and training the VMO (big quad muscle on the inside of your knee)
b) Orbital Strider / Free Runner / Cross Trainer: I find this excellent to help with fitness, strength and a non impact alternative to running
c) Step Machine: More strengthening and CV exercise
d) Treadmill: I basically run on the treadmill, but running is also a high impact CV exercise - CV benefits can be achieved on the machines above.
e) Skipping Rope - when you feel confident enough! Once you are skipping, start doing one legged skipping, focussing on the injured leg.

Cardio exercise regime is up to you. I have found it beneficial to increase resistance on the recumbent bike and orbital strider machines and in this way build endurance and regain muscle tone at the same time. Im not a huge fan of running great distances any more - I just cant see any good reason to put my knee under lots of impact in every day training.

Balance:
Drills on 1 leg, using a foam roller, a balance board, a wobble board, one legged, two legged etc. Balance is really important to train post acl. We must teach our knees to learn where they are in space and train our muscles to do all of the work - not rely on our ligaments! Proprioception is the body’s ability to know where al imb is in space - and our knees are deficient in this area. Balance training brings back this sense - it needs to be automatic = all the muscles around the knee need to react to protect it and balance exercises are the perfect way to train this sense. I personally own both a wobble board and a vew-do board and do all sorts of things from squats, lunges, medicine ball work and even some soccer juggling drills on these balance apparatus. I have found this has helped my chosen sports (snowboarding and soccer) tremendously. I cant speak highly enough os balance training.

The Squat

This is a very important exercise! I do all sorts of squats. When doing all types of squats - make sure you can still see your feet over your knees - your thighs should not stop you seeing your feet when you bend! Keep the back straight and stomach tucked in towards your spine. Feet about shoulder width apart. You should not go down further than 90 degrees. Use your heels to help push up!

a) Mini Squats: When beginning, back against the wall and start with 1/4 squats, go slow and focus on technique, build up to 1/2 squats and when confident go to unassisted full squats.
b) Standing squat: Basically stand with feet shoulder width apart and do a squat.
c) 1 leg squat: Stand on one leg, the other leg extended and raised a little, perform a squat going down as far as possible without falling over! Try not to keep your balance without any assistance.
d) Drop Squat: Like a standing squat but go down very very quickly and use your leg muscles to stop your "fall", then slowly return to start position (great for helping with patella tendonitis).
e) Jumping Squats: Slow squat down, engage the heels and explode up, jumping up as high as you can.
f) Sumo Squat: Feet out wide, pointing 45 degrees away from the body in opposite direction.
g) Decline squat: Stand on a bench which is on a decline, with your feet together and pointing downwards. Do a squat and hold the position with your knees bent. A decline angle of 15-20 degrees is perfect.

With weights:
You can weight all squat exercises if you want. I usually weight drop squats and jumping squats - holding dumb-bells whilst I do them. I dont like doing squats with a big heavy bar bell across my shoulders - but lots of other people do. If you are doing unweighted squats - do as many as you can!!! If you are using weights - I try for somewhere between 10-15 and 3 sets. You can also do squats holding a medicine ball in varying positions. One of my favourites is sumo squats whilst holding a medicine ball over my head and leaning from side to side as I come up from the squat.

On Unstable surfaces:
I try and do some squat exercises on an unstable surface like a foam roller, wobble board or balance board. This is an advanced exercise but is absolutely brilliant. I set my self a target number of squats to do on a foam roller and if I fall off I start again.

Other Leg Exercises:
Lunge: With both feet together, take a big step forward and bend your back knee slowly until it touches the floor. Try to make sure you can see your toes over your knee, keep your upper body straight with your stomach tucked in towards your spine. Step backwards when done, returning your feet together. This can also be done as a walk - taking steps forward. I also do this holding a medicine ball either directly in front of me with arms straight or directly above my head with arms straight.

Calf raises: Stand on a step with your heels hanging off the step. Push yourself up onto your toes and then lower your heels again. Variations: Do this one legged, and even more advanced, try to use as little balance assistance as you can. Try doing these one legged without holding on to anything. When it all gets too easy, hold a medicine ball over your head!

Hamstring with swiss ball: Get a swiss ball and put both your legs up on it, heels together, legs straight and raise your hips off the floor. You will be bearing your weight on your shoulders. Slowly roll the ball with your heels bending your knees and bringing the ball in towards your bum as far as it goes. Slowly roll it back to full extension. More advanced: Do this with one leg on the swiss ball and one leg in the air (hard!)

Some weight exercises:
Leg press machine: Slow leg press exercises, I do 2-legged and 1-legged to build my injured leg. Make sure that your foot is firmly planted on the plate, in line with your knee and hip.

Hamstring curl machine (lying on stomach): Again, 1-leg and 2-legged. Focus on technique and full flexion.

Dead lifts: With a barbell in front of you, feet in a squat position, take a wide grip on the bar and lift it through your legs, straightening your legs and keeping your back straight. you end in a position where you are standing straight with your arms straight hanging down holding the barbell. Return to starting position without arching your back and repeat.

Plyometrics:
These are exercises designed to develop power. The basic theory is that we jump higher if we crouch and then jump suddenly. This is because our muscles perform better when we contract them and then quickly expand them. This is the essence of plyometric exercises. The idea of plyometrics is all speed - each exercise should be done as quickly as possible but without neglecting technique! These are all fairly advanced - I generally dont do plyometric exercises during the same session as I do weight bearing exercises. 10-15 reps, 2-3 sets is plenty for plyometrics.

Skipping Rope: By its nature all skipping is plyometric! Great all around exercises and there are plenty of rope jumping drills for training different things.

Burpees: This is one of the hardest exercises I do. It all sounds easy, but few things tire me out as much as the burpee. Start standing tall, feet together. Quickly drop to the floor, bending your knees and landing on your hands, with your knees flexed close to your chest. Kick your legs out behind you, into a pushup positition. (Optional: Do a pushup). Spring off your toes bringing your knees back to your chest, with your palms still on your floor. Then power up through your heels into a jump as high as you can, raising your hands over your head and trying to touch the sky. The whole burpee should be done in 1-2 seconds. Repeat.

DIamond jumps: Use a square or an imaginary square and with feet together jump from corner to corner around the square as fast as possible. Combinations include diamond, front-back and lateral-side to side.

Front-Back step jumps: Using a box or step - and start on the lowest height. Basically, as quickly as possible, stand behind the step, facing it. Jump up onto the step and forwards off it, then without stopping or taking a step, jump straight backwards onto the step and backwards again off it. The objective is speed. When this becomes easy, raise the step height, or alternatively jump straight over the step and back again.

Lateral side-side step jumps: Using a box or step - and start on the lowest height. Basically, as quickly as possible, stand to the side of the step, facing forwards. Jump sideways onto the step whilst facing forwards then without stopping or taking a step, jump to the same side again off the step landing on the other side. Without stopping or take a step, jump sideways again onto the step and off in the same manner.. The objective is speed. When this becomes easy, raise the step height, or alternatively jump across over the whole step and back again.

Agility
I have done some sprint and agility drills such as sprinting between two cones forwards, backwards, sideways and zig zagging. However, I have found the best agility drill to be to ask someone to stand in front of you and shout directions to you (forward, backward, left, right) and then explode without pause in that direction, whilst facing the person the whole time. They should shout instructions rapidly, and just dont stop! For added effect have them shout in some exercises like star jumps, pushup, burpees, sprinting on the spot, run-to-me etc. This is all the agility work I need and is an absolutely exhausting workout!!!

My Current Workout Regime(s)
I decided to add this section here and list whatever my current workout routine is. I am at about 17 months post-op now - I work out every second day still, and I play one game of indoor soccer / week.

Common to both workouts - CV work at start
Miscellaneous CV work - I aim to burn 500-600 calories in a 30 minute intense CV period. Usually, by the end of this I am truly buggered. I have the choice of either increasing the time or the intensity - I opt for intensity because I dont really want to spend more time in the gym! I prefer lower impact CV work - so I will opt for freerunner / stepper / rower / bike over running.
I list all weights as a % of my bodyweight - not sure how relevant this is, but I guess if you weigh 200kg you will be lifting different things than if you weigh 50kg!

Workout 1 - Strength
(all 1-legged exercises to be done both sides!)

Leg Press - (180% body weight) 2 legged - 1-2 sets x 10-12
Leg Press - (125% body weight) - 1 legged 1-2 sets x 10-12 (1 leg I do 70% of the weight I do 2-leg)

Hamstring Curl - Max weight 2 legged 1-2 sets x 10-12
Hamstring Curl - Max weight* 70% 1 legged 1-2 sets x 10-12

1 legged squats - leg forward - 1 set 10-12
1 legged squats - leg back - 1 set 10-12

Calf raise 1-legged leg straight 1 set of 20 (use minimal balance aid!)
Calf raise 1-legged leg slightly bent 1 set of 20 (use minimal balance aid!)

Dead Lifts (66% of body weight) 2-3 sets x 10-12

---upper body---
---abs---
---stretches---

Workout 2 - Plyometric / Agility

(no breaks in the sequence below until the end)
Roller Squats (squats on a foam roller) - 1 set of 40
Jumping squats (barbells, 25% of body weight total) - 1 set of 12-15
Medicine ball sumo squats - 1 set of 12-15
Lateral Heaves (hips up, using hamstring) - 1 set of 20 - 30
- 1-2 minute break and repeat sequence 1-2 more times -

Plyometric lateral box jumps - 2x15 each side
Plometric front-back box jumps 2x15 each side
Plyometric 1 leg box hops / tuck jump 2x15 each side
Burpees 2 sets 10-15

OR (every second plyo workout I vary between box jumps and rope jumps)

Skipping rope 5-7 sets of 100 jumps, my drill is something like:
100 both legs
100 alternate legs
100 3-4 jumps on injured leg only for every 1 jump on uninjured leg
100 high speed, alternate legs
100 with double jumps, triple jumps and cross overs

---upper body---
---abs---
---stretches---
« Last Edit: April 06, 2007, 03:36:20 AM by feeny »
Sep-05 ACL rupture, Medial mensical tear, MCL rupture
Oct-05 Had it all repaired (hamstring graft, meniscal rivet)
-and then-
4.5 Months post-op Snowboarding like a demon
7 Months post-op Successful return to indoor soccer (YEH!)
-and then-
Mar-2015 Arthroscopy to fix meniscus

Offline jainemac

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Re: All the exercises I have ever done throguhout ACLr
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2006, 04:38:30 PM »
pretty exhaustive and exhausting! list there..think you have covered everything!
 :)
5/7/06 twisted ankle/(right)knee playing netball.ankle went one way knee went the other!
14/7/06 MRI shows LCL stretched,MCL partially torn,ACL complete rupture.bone bruising.Cartilage is fine!
intensive physio to reassess Sept21st surgery?
knee gave way .playing netball 11/06
ACLr done 14/12/06!

Offline jb-knee-geek

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Re: All the exercises I have ever done throguhout ACLr
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2006, 05:54:41 PM »
feenster - what a writeup, I'm exausted just reading it!

How about a feenster ACLr's rehab video, if anyone should cut one it should be you.

excellent, it's a keeper, thanks.

torn RK ACL March 2001, surgery Aug. 14 2006, after 4 knee sprains since Oct. '05.  Allograft, ~40% medial meniscus removed, some wear in the trochlear groove. Everything else looks good.

Post-op diary: http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=29749.

Offline rugby nut

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Re: All the exercises I have ever done throguhout ACLr
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2006, 12:43:42 PM »
Thanks for that comprehensive list. I'll read through it when I have time, got to go out shortly. I'll print it off & see I what I can use for my own rehab.
Right ACL & Meniscus Tear playing Tennis - July 5th 2004
NHS Arthroscopy - Jan 2005
Private MRI Scan - June 2006
Private ACLR (Hamstring Graft) - 3rd August 2006

Left Knee Medial Ligament & Meniscus Tear - 2012
X Rayed, Scanned, & surgery done!! Jan 2013

Offline sharshar

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Re: All the exercises I have ever done throguhout ACLr
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2006, 06:07:24 AM »
Wow, thanks feeny! I'm going to print it out and use it to plan my workouts in the future! As you mentioned, post-ACLR knee rehab never really ends, so this list will definitely come in handy for a very long time! =) Thanks!
January 2006 - left knee: ACLR (allograft), partial lateral meniscectomy (~20% trimmed)

June 2007 - left knee: lateral meniscectomy (~5% trimmed), medial meniscectomy (~5% trimmed)

Offline feeny

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Re: All the exercises I have ever done throguhout ACLr
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2006, 03:28:48 AM »
added water exercises I did in the early days  8)
Sep-05 ACL rupture, Medial mensical tear, MCL rupture
Oct-05 Had it all repaired (hamstring graft, meniscal rivet)
-and then-
4.5 Months post-op Snowboarding like a demon
7 Months post-op Successful return to indoor soccer (YEH!)
-and then-
Mar-2015 Arthroscopy to fix meniscus

Offline Guuma

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Re: All the exercises I have ever done throguhout ACLr
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2006, 05:09:30 PM »
Wow, great list!
ACL replacement (patella) Nov '06
MCL & LM Repair Nov '06

Offline ermintham

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Re: All the exercises I have ever done throguhout ACLr
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2006, 10:48:17 AM »
wat are the exercises to avoid if i had a ACLr hamstring autograft?
28/6/06 motorbike accident
31/8/06 scope to clean up the knee
16/11/06 ACLR
12/05/07 Diagnosed mild baja, ACL rupture due to malpositioned graft
1/6/07 ACLR revision

Post-op Diary: http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=36990.0

Offline Kai

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Re: All the exercises I have ever done throguhout ACLr
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2006, 03:11:26 PM »
Feeny.. Ive heard of gung ho mental, but you are their king..... ;)
ACLR - (patellar BTB autograft) left knee - May 31, 2006
Partial Lateral Meniscectomy right knee Feb 20, 2008
Partial Lateral Meniscectomy right knee Aug 11, 2008

Offline celinenj03

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Re: All the exercises I have ever done throguhout ACLr
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2006, 03:17:50 PM »
Feeny, you are awesome. I love this list. I read it OFTEN. I never had the improvement in my leg until I added squats and leg extensions. People underestimate just how detrimental atrophy can be to the knee. Also, we think our leg is back to normal muscle wise, but most often it is NOT. Even though I feel like it's just about strong enough, I know I have a ways to go. One should work out hard for a year after ACLR to get back to where they were pre-injury. THANKS for bumping this.
Terrible Triad - 1/16/06 - Basketball
3/15/06 - Scope/Cleanout of to achieve full ROM
5/3/06 - Surgery-ACL Reconstruction-Allograft
9/12/07 - Large Loose body removed;Grade 4 Lesion on LFC
9/17/08-Microfracture, Lateral Release (all right knee)

Offline rugby nut

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Re: All the exercises I have ever done throguhout ACLr
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2006, 05:25:50 PM »
Cheers Feeny for putting this back on top. It's just about THE definative list.
Right ACL & Meniscus Tear playing Tennis - July 5th 2004
NHS Arthroscopy - Jan 2005
Private MRI Scan - June 2006
Private ACLR (Hamstring Graft) - 3rd August 2006

Left Knee Medial Ligament & Meniscus Tear - 2012
X Rayed, Scanned, & surgery done!! Jan 2013

Offline feeny

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Re: All the exercises I have ever done throguhout ACLr
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2006, 06:15:31 AM »
I didnt bump it - someone else did. Glad its still of value though.

I think it was bumped by ermintham who was asking what to avoid if he had a hamstring graft.

Well, I *did* have a hamstring graft - and I do all those exercises! The thing with hamstring graft is to be gentle on your hamstrings for the first few weeks. Over one year on and my hamstring is still not the same... but it probably never will be - I am two tendons shorter in one leg - even though it doesnt interfere day to day with my activities at all.

So, ermintham, I suggest you take it easy on the hamstring exercises - and listen to your body. I was doing the swissball hamstring exercises at around week 4-6 - it may have been later - its so long ago I dont remember - but I put alot of work into rebuilding my hamstring exercises. It does pay off !!

I am now regularly doing one legged swissball hamstring curls, sumo squats and one legged hamstring curls on the hamstring-curl machine. Always focus on technique rather than weight lifted.

A hamstring should be 80-100% the strength of a quad. For us ACLr people it should be closer to 100%. That means whatever weight you can do with a leg extension machine you should be able to do 80-100% of it with a hamstring curl. The balance is important for knee health!

Now leg extension is an exercise that you should not attempt too soon after ACLr, no matter what graft type - I didnt do them for 6 or so months, even though my OS said I was fine from 3 months if i recall.

PS - Might ask kneeguru to sticky this list...
Sep-05 ACL rupture, Medial mensical tear, MCL rupture
Oct-05 Had it all repaired (hamstring graft, meniscal rivet)
-and then-
4.5 Months post-op Snowboarding like a demon
7 Months post-op Successful return to indoor soccer (YEH!)
-and then-
Mar-2015 Arthroscopy to fix meniscus

Offline ermintham

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Re: All the exercises I have ever done throguhout ACLr
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2006, 06:19:29 AM »
oh ok....but now its like 8 day post op for me... and i cant seem to be able to do SLR, coz i end up using my hamstring muscle, which will then hurt...

anyway i read tt pple who had hamstring autograft shldnt do heel raises for flexion as this exercise uses the hamstring muscles.
instead shld be sitting on th edge of the bed....and using the gd leg to help flex it

wonder how true is tt....hmmm
28/6/06 motorbike accident
31/8/06 scope to clean up the knee
16/11/06 ACLR
12/05/07 Diagnosed mild baja, ACL rupture due to malpositioned graft
1/6/07 ACLR revision

Post-op Diary: http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=36990.0

Offline loz8

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Re: All the exercises I have ever done throguhout ACLr
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2006, 09:25:35 PM »
feens you really are a SUPERKNEEGEEK!
great work big man.
loz
ACL Tear 2001
ACL Recon Oct 2005

Offline Mirek

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Re: All the exercises I have ever done throguhout ACLr
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2006, 11:25:57 PM »
Great List Feens, and thanks for the message.  I have fewer than 20 posts, so cannot reply yet.  I will be needing this soon - chack my new post.

Mirek
injury (soccer) 8 Sept/06
arthroscopy 26 Nov/06 confirmed completely torn ACL/parrot beak tear to meniscus and other tears - meniscus tear removed and debridement of chondrial tissue
ACLR (hamstring) Feb 08/07

ALL FOR ONE - GO TORONTO FC!