Prehab (5) ACL Tears: Agility Exercises
I feel confident in my strength, now what can I do to reduce my chances of a on-field injury even more?
The best preventative ACL programs are multifaceted incorporating a combination of strength, plyometrics, agility, balance, flexibility, & feedback components. Strength exercises should focus on using body weight or force production through sport specific movements, plyometric training should use repeated jumping from various obstacles or bounding variations, agility exercises should have a fast change of direction such as the pro-agility drill often used in professional combines, balance should have different variations to eliminate different body systems such as sight, & dynamic stretching should be performed.
The fifth section of our ACL prehab series is focused on agility exercises. These exercises require us to not only change direction but to also have the mental focus to perform these movements. You can have the strongest & most powerful athlete, but if he or she can’t move quickly, then they will not be able to compete at the highest level possible. Agility is the reason why athletes like Darren Sproles (5’6, 190 lbs.) can have a successful 14 year career as running back in the NFL.
Our favorite agility exercises is the pro-agility drill that is seen at the NFL combine. It requires short bursts of speed & changes of direction to complete. In order to perform this:
1. Mark out 10 yards (beginning and end) and stick a marker in the middle of the 10 yards at the 5 yard mark
2. The 5 yard mark is your starting position
3. Place your hand on the marker and run to either the right or left line
4. After you touch the line, run through the middle to the opposite line
5. After you touch this line, finish through the middle
6. You’ve just completed the 5-10-5 shuttle, also known as a pro-agility drill
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