This week we are focusing on sports specific injury prevention.
In the case of rugby, the top injuries are ACL tears for forwards, and hamstring strains for backs (Brooks et. al, 2005). We will cover hamstrings in our AFL post later, so here we are talking about ACL injuries.
ACL tears often result from contact with another player, ie. in the tackle, or when performing side-stepping and cutting manoeuvres. Therefore, injury prevention should involve building strength of the quads and hams to protect the knee, and improving knee stability with direction changes and acceleration/deceleration.
Specific exercises should include:
- isolated and compound strength work for quads and hammies (all your usual loaded squats/deadlifts/lunges etc)
- plenty of direct glute strength work (especially the hip abductors and external rotators)
- multi-directional explosive side-steps and direction changes with emphasis on knee stability and control
- landing from jumps with an external perturbation force to challenge reactive balance and stability
If you want to reduce your injury likelihood, the onus is on you! No one else is ever going to care about your health as much as you do and our caring and friendly Chatswood or North Sydney Physio Team would love to help you out, so reach out to us if you have any questions.