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Brian Schiff’s Blog

Injury Prevention, Sports Rehab & Performance Training Expert

Tag: ACL

In my last post, I shared some practical plyometric drills with you to help teach proper landing mechanics in an effort to reduce ACL injuries.  Yesterday, I presented my comprehensive approach to knee training at our ACL Symposium in Cary, NC.


One of the fundamental errors I see coaches and athletes make is abandoning their pre-season training efforts during the in-season.  While athletes need to spend the majority of the in-season focusing on sports skills, they must also maintain the neuromuscular training adaptations acquired in the off-season and pre-season.

In my mind, the phrase “use it or lose it” is applicable for the neuromuscular training effects we see with balance, strength, agility and plyometric training.  This is especially true for our high risk female athletes like soccer and basketball players who suffer knee sprains, ACL tears and patellofemoral pain at disproportionate rates.

I often hear coaches say, ” I don’t have time to get workouts done and still accomplish what needs to be done at practice.”  While, time management may be difficult, I think coaches could probably squeeze in a single training session lasting 15-20 minutes if they simply knew how important it was to the overall health and performance capacity of their team.

With that said, I like to offer simple, yet effective exercises that can be done on a court or field with the whole team simultaneously without the need for expensive equipment.  Exercises should focus on activating the glutes (including the medius and minimus) as well as training the hamstrings more since most female athletes tend to be quad dominant.

These exercises are just as effective for males too.  So, in the video below I will reveal some exercises I prefer to do to increase strength and reduce injury risk.  Perform 2-3 sets of 8-15 reps focusing on strict form throughout.

As I prepare to present at an ACL Symposium with some of my colleagues this weekend, I thought I would share some of the information I am presenting on injury prevention.

Research consistently shows that neuromuscular training is beneficial in reducing ACL injuries.  This type of training hinges on training our athletes to land, plant and cut on a bent knee while shifting the COM (center of mass) forward.  Too many times, I see female athletes land with stiff knees in an upright posture relying too heavily on their quads.

Emphasizing hip and knee flexion is vital in order to activate the posterior chain and provided a restraint to anterior tibial translation.  When it comes to landing and plyometrics, I feel strongly that we need to focus on repetitive drills that enhance power and teach ideal form.

These exercises should include single and double leg varieties, but more importantly they should challenge the body in the sagittal, coronal and transverse plane.  I have included a short video today that illustrates just a few exercises that I incorporate in my training sessions.

Stay tuned as I will share more details about prevention training in future posts.