How to Prevent ACL Injuries in Basketball | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

How to Prevent ACL Injuries in Basketball

April 11, 2012

Must See Basketball Videos


Perhaps the most dreaded injury for basketball players is the season-ending ACL tear. Unfortunately, despite recent advances in ACL injury prevention, a study conducted by orthopedic surgeons at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found that the number of ACL and meniscus injuries among young athletes has actually dramatically increased over the last 12 years.

This increase is not due to a weakening of ligaments or improper training. Instead, many experts attribute the explosion in ACL injuries to the rising popularity of year-round training and competition. Many young basketball players join several different teams so they can compete all year long. Unfortunately, the extra time on the court provides plenty of extra opportunities for freak injuries.

How ACL Injuries Happen

You can reduce the odds of an ACL injury by understanding why they happen. For basketball players, the most common cause is landing incorrectly from a jump. You're more likely to be injured during a landing if your legs collapse inward, putting stress on the knees, or remain stiff, putting stress on the ligaments.

Preventing ACL Injuries

For basketball players, the best way to avoid ACL injuries is to learn how to land properly. Follow these three simple guidelines to stay safe on the court.

  • Avoid placing excess stress on your toes and forefeet when jumping or landing, to prevent knock knees
  • Land with your knees and hips bent to absorb impact
  • Keep your upper body upright during landing

No matter how much you practice proper technique, you’ll never be able to land properly every single time during a game. That’s why it’s important to strengthen your lower body with exercises that improve stability. Multi-joint exercises like the Squat are perfect for ACL injury prevention because they improve knee stability.

Decrease your odds of an ACL injury even further with these hamstring exercises and tips for preventing knee and ankle injuries.

For more information on the ACL please see the STACK ACL Guide.

Photo:  AP

Scott Salwasser, CSCS, is a coach at SPARTA Performance Science in Menlo Park, Calif., where he works with athletes from the MLB, NBA and NFL, as well as with collegiate and elite high school athletes. He has worked as a strength and conditioning coach at the Division I level and in the NFL as an intern. Salwasser played football in college and competed as an Olympic style weightlifter. He has a master's degree in kinesiology.

Scott Salwasser
- Scott Salwasser, CSCS, is a coach at SPARTA Performance Science in Menlo Park, Calif., where he works with athletes from the MLB, NBA and NFL,...
Scott Salwasser
- Scott Salwasser, CSCS, is a coach at SPARTA Performance Science in Menlo Park, Calif., where he works with athletes from the MLB, NBA and NFL,...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

3 Reasons to Correct Your Weak Links to Prevent Common Injuries

The Top 5 Ways to Prevent Common Sports Injuries It's one thing to train hard but another to train hard while focusing on the right stuff. The past 20...

4 Sports Massage Techniques to Relieve Tight Muscles

How to Prevent Injuries With 3 Yoga Poses

How to Bench Press With a Shoulder Injury

Avoid Low-Back Pain With These 7 In-Season Exercises

Impressive Advances in ACL Rehab

Will Joel Embiid Be Able to Succeed in the NBA?

5 Exercises to Prevent ACL Tears

Outsmart Injury With These 4 Predictive Tests

6 Ways to Prevent Common Sports Injuries

Connective Tissue: The Key to Preventing ACL Injuries

3 Ways to Prevent the Most Common Hockey Injury

The 8 Most Dangerous Exercises for Your Shoulders

8 of the Most Ridiculous Off-Field Athlete Injuries of All Time

4 Strategies to Prevent Tommy John Surgery

10 Ways to Fix Back Pain

How to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

6 Steps for Recovering From a Season-Ending Injury

5 Tips to Intelligently Train Through Lower Back Pain

Evan Gattis's Protection-Enhanced Catcher's Helmet

5 Bodyweight Exercises to Prevent Baseball Injuries

The Secret Weapon Powering Stephen Curry's Resurgence

Achilles Tendon Ruptures: Prevention and Recovery

3 Causes of Recurring Hamstring Injuries

Coaches: Prevent Injuries With the Recovery Management Tool

6 Simple Tips to Prevent Knee Injuries

How to Prevent Baseball Injuries During the Off-Season

Pectoral Tendon Ruptures and Injury Prevention

2 Ways to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

Bulletproof Your Body with 5 Easy Injury Prevention Exercises

How to Keep Your Feet Healthy On and Off the Field

Predicting the Impact of DeMarco Murray's Hand Injury

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Hamstring-Focused Workout

Why Strengthening This Muscle May Fix Knee Pain

7 Ways to Fix Back Pain

What You Need to Know About Tiger Woods' Back Injury

How to Train With Running Blisters

How to Treat Piriformis Syndrome

Quarterbacks: 4 Tips to Keep Your Throwing Shoulder Healthy

Basketball Players: Prevent Ankle Sprains With These 3 Exercises

Tips for Working Out With a Hand or Arm Injury

The Future of Sports Injury Rehabilitation