RB Acl

I have been working with our stud freshman rb the past four months - he tore his ACL in camp. Any coaches who worked with ACL athletes I would like to hear about the progress around this time period -running-squatting etc? After surgery he came to me at 180 he’s now at 210 solid and has gotten very strong.



Orthos are becoming more and more conservative with respect to the proximity in which they give the green flag to return to linear running then change of direction and deceleration.

This is stated in the context of football of course.

Assuming your guy already has full flexion and extension, the strength and running progression is a logical one.

Incremental progressive overload.

Not knowing where you are in the process, the key of course is that high voume ‘pumping’ exercise be introduced in the earlier stages. We’ve done this in the form of high rep leg press, bicycle, and walking with a sled. We introduce the squat and other anti-gravitational overload movements as we receive the clearance from our orthos and trainers.

I’ll post more details about his training later, yesterday he did back squats 3x8x225-235-245 with ease. With his progress over the past weeks and doctors advice, we did two submax singles with 295 and 315 - 315 damn near flew off his back. I have no doubt that this guy could pump out 405 right now. We are having a tough time holding him back!!! Keep an eye on this guy 5-8 210 with Barry Sanders/Warrick Dunn type moves, he’s not a 4.3 guy but very quick - similar to James your guy.

has done more than a few knee rehabs. Hit him up. I had a kid who just last Jan just had 4 screws inserted into his femur to reattach the cartilage and through our training, he just got the 100% green light. Happy for him, he is a good kid.

Not really looking for advice, I wanted to hear about other athletes progress around the 4-5 month time period. This athlete has had great progress with my program, come Jan he will join the team for winter workouts and get ready for non contact spring ball.

He should be fine. The only thing I would recommend is constant massage on quads, hams and calves to address muscle tone issues around the knee. Post-op ACL for up to 18 months, I have had to manage muscle tone around the surgical side. Any time there invasive surgery into the joint and surrounding muscles, there is always a pronounced tendency for muscles to tighten up to stabilize the joint.

And, do the same for the “good” leg as it can take the extra brunt of work through subconscious compensation.

I have guys at 4 and 8 weeks post-op and we are doing muscle cleans and snatches, squatting, marching and skipping drills with very high levels of monitoring, and lots of massage pre-, during and post exercise. As James stated, gradual, progressive overload under low-risk conditions.

What’s your thoughts on Double KB cleans, very similar to muscle cleans?

I don’t use KB’s. Doesn’t mean it’s not good. As long as there is significant control on the part of the athlete and everything looks relatively symmetrical. Probably something you could do after they had performed several weeks with a barbell with some progressive loading.

I asked because my boss is big into KB (cleans/swings), I try to include some of the things he will be doing with the team so the transition will be smooth. We have at least 20 pairs of KB.

As long as he doesn’t swing the KB into his knee, things should be okay. I would just make sure he is always supervised during those exercises to maximize safety.

I forgot to add that, from a tonic strength training perspective, we emphasize sub-max yielding work (lowering the weight slowly) on the leg press, squats, and hamstring exercises until balance between the two limbs is re-attained and no favoring occurs on the field based drill mechanics

We did that type of work the first 7-8 weeks in Hypertrophy Block. He worked up to 10-12 plates for 15-20reps.

I will share this with our trainers, we have people who come in 3-4 days per week and perform massages on our guys.

By four months, even in the most conservative circumstances, the athletes are doing everything in a stable environment. All that’s left is a gradual process into full contact training.

I had one kid running at 8 weeks, but most are around 10-12 weeks.

We do the sub max eccentrics too that James mentioned, as I got that from Buddy, overloading the contralateral side to achieve cross-education until we can load the injured limb, and then putting the brakes on the strong side until the weak side catches up.

As it’s a 9 month process in most cases, everything is slow cooked.

Wasn’t suggesting you ask for advice. I think he has some unique perspectives and he works with some pretty knowledgeable people. Maybe you could ask his thoughts or not.

Well, he just started running on the unweighted treadmill with a 30% reduction in bw - he’s using a similar protocol that the Pats used with Welker.

At four months (assuming post op, not post injury), that seems very slow progress compared to what I have seen before.

But I’m sure the surgeon has reasons.

Good luck, you won’t go too far wrong by taking it slow.

Yep, I’m talking about post op. The injury happen first week of camp, I believe he had surgery late Aug - so let’s call 3.5 months post op.

My guy may have some serious comp:


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