Study: Changing warm-up routine could cut risk of ACL injuries

The New York Times reported in its “Well” blog a new study suggests that altering the way sports teams warm up before practices and games could significantly cut the risk of injuries to anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL.”

The so-called neuromuscular training uses “a series of exercises to teach athletes,” for example, “how to land, cut, shift directions” and plant their legs “during play so that they are less likely to injure themselves.”

The study also suggested such a training would be “cost-effective” for the players because it would save them hundreds of dollars in treatment expenses.

Among the most thoroughly studied neuromuscular training options are the PEP (Prevent Injury, Enhance Performance) program, which was developed by the Santa Monica Sports Medicine Foundation, and the FIFA 11 program, created by the international governing body of soccer.

Both programs are free, and coaches need no training to teach them to athletes.

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