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SummersMethod Primary Blog/athletic training/3 Exercises to Bulletproof Your Knees and Prevent ACL Injuries for Softball and Baseball Players

3 Exercises to Bulletproof Your Knees and Prevent ACL Injuries for Softball and Baseball Players

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

As a softball player, an ACL injury can be devastating and sideline you for months or even years. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the major stabilizing ligaments in the knee joint. ACL tears frequently occur in softball during rapid decelerations, cutting movements, and landing actions. In fact, over 50% of all knee injuries in female athletes are ACL related. The good news is that with the right training, you can significantly reduce your risk of an ACL tear. I recently spoke with Dr. Sydney Franco, a physical therapist who specializes in rehabilitating athletes after ACL surgeries. She shared three awesome exercises that every softball player should incorporate to bulletproof their knees. Single-Leg Reverse Lunges with Knee Tap This compound movement builds single-leg strength through the quads, hamstrings, and glutes while improving knee stability. Focus on pushing through the heel and sitting deep into the lunge. Tap the back knee lightly before driving back to standing. Depth Drop to Vertical Jump Practicing absorbed landings reinforces proper deceleration mechanics to protect the knees. Step off a box and land softly, sending your hips back while bending at the knees and ankles. Immediately reload by jumping vertically as high as possible. Stick the landing! Bulgarian Split Squat with Rotation This rotational exercise grooves powerful hip turn-over while training the glutes, quads and core musculature. With one foot elevated behind you, lower down with control while internally rotating your planted leg. Squeeze the glutes to stand back up with acceleration. According to Dr. Franco, "The best way to prevent ACL injuries is through practicing proper form on strength exercises that create muscular balance and flexibility around the knee joint." The best way to do that is to start using our Baseball of Softball training apps. Use the page navigation above to find and select your specific sport in order to learn more about the training offered.