If you know what ACL stands for, chances are that either you’ve suffered an ACL injury yourself, or you know someone who has.

Unfortunately, the 6-9 months of individualised, structured rehab to guide your safe return to sport & activities isn’t always provided. This 8-week programme takes you and you knee from ‘not feeling right’ to fully-functional and ready to go! Underpinned by the latest scientific research and designed by expert rehab and sports medicine practitioners, this is a fully-interactive, video-supported programme to get you back to sport!


This end-stage 8-WEEK ACL REHABILITATION programme is:

  • Easy to understand
  • Progressive
  • Suitable for all levels of exerciser
  • Underpinned by our leading sports-medicine research

The cutting-edge training techniques will:

  • Guide your return to sport
  • Focus your rehabilitation
  • Improve your muscle performance
  • Help you avoid further injury



Injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are one of the most frequent and debilitating sports injuries, accounting for nearly half of all knee ligament injuries (1,2).  Often occurring during twisting, decelerating and without contact with another person or object, surgical reconstruction is usually the only means of treatment for active individuals.


The ACL is a very important ligament in your knee.  It stops the lower part of your leg (tibia) sliding forward and rotating too much relative to the upper part of your leg (femur); it’s vitally important to knee your knee stable.

Here’s what a healthy (and ruptured!) ACL looks like inside the knee using an arthroscope (small camera inserted in to the knee joint).

Extra features of the ACL REHABILITATION programme INCLUDE:

  • Tick-off markers to guide your progression
  • Physical tests to monitor your progress
  • Underpinned by rigorous scientific research
  • Tried and tested by professional athletes
  • Bonus 8-weeks extended access to online content and training



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As we start to move, the knee muscles play an increasingly important role in maintaining the stability of the joint and protecting the ACL. The hamstrings (muscles at the back of the thigh) are especially important.  Recent research tells us that despite the often lengthy months of



rehabilitation following knee surgery, at the point of discharge from physiotherapy care muscle performance of the injured limb is still much lower than compared to before surgery and of the non-injured limb (3).

This is concerning since optimal muscle performance is paramount to the ability to avoid injury (4,5,6,7) and, pre-surgery measurements aren’t the most accurate indicator of your best performance.


The exercises used in this ACL REHABILITATION programme and their focus have been subject to rigorous scientific research.  The most up-to-date thinking and sports medicine research has informed the design of this programme to get you in to peak physical condition to deal with the physical stresses when you return to sport and physical activity.

Injuries happen very quickly, less than the time it takes to blink an eye!  Exercises to improve proprioception and rapid neuromuscular activation in the STRENGTH & STABILITY and SPEED & AGILITY components of this ACL REHABILITATION programme in particular have been shown during prospective randomised studies to significantly reduce serious knee ligament injuries (8,9,10).




  • To build strength and reaction time of thigh muscles, especially hamstrings & quadriceps
  • To promote good biomechanics & stability during challenging activities, such as plyometrics
  • To progress from functional agility training to match-play-ready
  • Symptom free training
  • Psychologically prepared for return to sport



You should be at least 5-months post surgery and have the all-clear from your surgeon & physiotherapist to commence these exercises.Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 08.43.03

There are 3 Phases to the programme and it is intended to be completed over approximately 8 weeks. It is important that you are able to complete the exercises and activities in each phase before you progress to the next. It is likely that you can tick-off most, if not all of the activities in Phase 1, however, it’s wise that you check this first. Spend time on these exercises if you’re unable to tick them off.

You should spend 4-weeks working through each of the remaining Phases (2 and 3) in order to develop solid muscular strength, balance and co-ordination before you return to full training. Progression is built-in to each phase and exercise and you can advance yourself according to your symptoms. If you develop pain and, or, swelling in the knee, reduce what you do next time and build-up gradually. Alternatively, if you feel that the exercises are too easy, advance them. This is just a guide – be marshalled by your symptoms and get used to the exercises and your ability.

Where plyometric- and agility-type exercises have been suggested separate tables have been provided with the extra details that you need.

This programme will help you in your safe return to sport. Once you’ve achieved this, remember to keep up with the muscular conditioning- this will help keep you injury free!



How do you know how you’re doing? You can track your progress to see how well you’ve done by completing the physical tests at the end of each phase. This will also help you to keep motivated. Also, you’ll see the number of repetitions and, or, weight increase as your conditioning improves.



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or get in touch if you have any questions


Selected References:
1. Kuala UM, Taimela S. (1995). Acute injuries in soccer, ice hockey, volleyball, basketball,  judo and karate: an analysis of national registry data. BMJ 3(11): 1465-1468.

2. Myasaka KC, Stone ML, et al. (1991). The incidence of knee ligament injuries in the general population. Am J Knee Surg 4(3): 3-7.

3. Bailey A, Minshull C, Richardson J, Gleeson N. (2014). Non-concurrent strength and endurance rehabilitation improves outcome following ACL surgery in the knee. J Sp Rehab (in press)

4. Longford CW, Hopkins JT, Schulthies SS et al. (2006). Effects of neuromuscular training on the reaction time and electromechanical delay of the peroneus long us muscle. Arch Phys Med Rehab. 87(3): 395-401.

5. Minshull C, Eston, RG, Bailey, A et al. (2013). The differential effects of PNF versus passive stretch conditioning on neuromuscular performance. Eur J Sp Sci DOI: 10.1080/17461391.2013.799716.

6. Minshull C, Gleeson, N, Walters-Edwards, M. et al. (2007). Effects of fatigue on volitional and magnetically-evoked electromechanical delay of the knee flexors in males and females. Eur J App Physiol 100(4): 469-478.

7. Hannah R, Minshull C, Buckthorpe MW. et al. (2012). Explosive neuromuscular performance of males versus females. Exp Physiol 97(5):618-29

8. Mandelbaum BR, Silvers HJ, Watanabe DS et al. (2005). Effectiveness of a neuromuscular and proprioceptive training program in preventing anterior cruciate ligament injuries in female athletes: 2-year follow-up. Am J Sports Med. 33(7): 1003-1010.

9. Gilchrist J, Mandelbaum BR, Melancon H et al. (2008). A randomized controlled trial to prevent noncontact anterior cruciate ligament injury in female collegiate soccer players. Am J Sports Med. 36(8):1476-1483.

10. Wingfield K. (2013). Neuromuscular training to prevent knee injuries in adolescent female soccer players. Clin J Sport Med. 23(5):407-408