This week’s exercise is a plyometric version of last week’s exercise, the lunge progression. “Plyometric” is a form of exercise that usually involves jumping activities with the purpose of training the muscles to control speed and power. Plyometrics are an important phase of rehab, particularly when a person wants to return to athletic activity that involves any quick bursts, cutting, or jumping.
The lunge jump begins in the same position as the basic lunge (see last week’s post for clarification: https://ascentpt.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/exercise-of-the-week-ski-conditioning-series/. ) Your weight should be shifted slightly more towards the front knee in order to generate adequate power for the jump. Maintain the knee in line with the ankle, and without excessive trunk movement, power through the front leg and jump so that you switch the position of the front and back legs. Land softly, absorbing force by flexing the front hip and back knee to 90 degrees.
This is a good exercise for training muscular control of the hip with deep knee flexion. According to DeStasi et al (2013), this is an important characteristic of preventing ACL-injury. A lack of ability to control deeper knee flexion is associated with higher levels of ACL tears, particularly in women.
Another deficit that is related to ACL-injury is a lack of postural stability. Next week, we will feature an exercise that can help with this impairment.