ACL Strengthening Exercises | ACL and Knee Conditioning Program | Best ACL Exercises | Phase 4

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Learn more about ACL reconstruction rehabilitation following ACL reconstruction surgery here: http://www.matthewboesmd.com/acl-reconstruction-rehabilitation/.

Welcome to Dr. Matthew Boes’s ACL Reconstruction Rehabilitation video series. This video is designed to help maximize your recovery following ACL reconstruction surgery. The goals of our Phase 4 program for ACL reconstruction rehabilitation are to improve strength, coordination and muscle endurance as precursors to future phases. This phase should be conducted within 6-12 weeks following surgery. Remember the following as you engage in Phase 4 ACL reconstruction rehabilitation exercises:

Conduct exercises 3-4 times weekly; strengthening exercises: 1-2 sets of 20 reps
Avoid irritation – if painful, back off exercise frequency or intensity
Ice following exercise for 10-15 minutes
Cardiovascular exercise – cross train to avoid irritation, do different exercises daily
Continue stationary bike for 20-30 min
Okay to add elliptical trainer or stair stepper
Okay to add light running progression around week 10 post-op – start with walk/jog intervals and progress to jogging
This program involves no special equipment and the majority of the exercises can easily be conducted at home (a jump mat or yoga mat may be helpful, as well as some light dumbbells as you progress with strengthening; a stopwatch or timer can be used for many exercises)
It is important to perform all exercises on both legs – this will help prevent imbalance between the rehab and non-rehab knee

The following ACL advanced strengthening and coordination exercises, which are demonstrated in this video, should be conducted during phase 4 of your ACL reconstruction rehab:

Hamstring stretch
Calf stretch
Quad stretch
IT band stretch
STRENGTH – Leg press
STRENGTH – Squat & Heel lift
STRENGTH – Squat & Reach
STRENGTH – Single leg squats – alternating
STRENGTH – Reverse lunge
STRENGTH – Lateral lunge walk
STRENGTH – Forward lunge walk
STRENGTH – Weighted pistols
STRENGTH – Albanian squats
STRENGTH – Cross reaches
Balance – Sports activity one leg
Balance – Single leg balance on towel roll
Balance – walk and hold single leg stance
Plyometric – Box jumps (6” to 12” height)
Plyometric – Leap and land (double leg progress to single leg)
Plyometric – Jump stops
Agility – fast feet in place
Agility – forward skip
Agility – backward skip
Agility – side skip
Agility – side shuffle
Agility – back pedals
Agility – Y lunges
Agility – toe taps
Agility – triangle lunges
Cross training – stair stepper or elliptical
Cross training – walk & run
Cross training – slow Figure 8’s
Cross training – slow large circles
Core – abdominal isometrics
Core – crunches
Core – reverse crunches
Core – diagonal crunches
Core – back extension
Core – bridges
Core – single-leg bridges
Core – leg leans

Icing is very important after each therapy session, so be sure to place an ice pack or cooling pad on the affected shoulder for 10 minutes to help limit any irritation from exercise. If the affected joint is stiff, try using moist heat for 10 minutes prior to exercise to help loosen things up.

This is a comprehensive program involving strength, balance, plyometric, agility, cardio and core exercises. You will likely find yourself in much better shape in terms of strength and balance after completing the entire six-phase program. This video should not be used as a substitute for regular physical therapy visits and guidance from your physician. Only progress from one phase to the next based on recommendation from your physician. Most therapy regimens, particularly after ACL reconstruction surgery, are based on a healing timeline. Progressing too quickly, even though it may feel okay at first, may put you at risk for injury. Regular physical therapy visits are valuable for giving you feedback on your progress and helping to ensure you are doing exercises properly. If you develop any questions or concerns regarding your condition while using this video, contact your physician. Best of luck in your recovery from your ACL reconstruction.
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