Anterior Cruciate Ligament, ACL and Pilates

I always envisioned the knee as being just that. I was born with it and it gave me the ability to walk, run, jump and much more. It wasn’t much more than that until I came across an injury that tore the ACL in my husband’s right knee and it got me thinking how crucial a role the knee played in not just giving him the ability perform in the sports he loved but also how it could very well limit his daily life. As with most things in life, we take them for granted.

The ACL or Anterior Cruciate Ligament is one of four ligaments that is easily susceptible to injury or tear because the level of stress and strain it endures in athletics and sports be it that you are the “weekend warrior” or a professional athlete. Now you have probably heard that you should have a good warm up routine before participating in any form of strenuous activity such as running, jogging, basketball, etc, and you should especially when that sport or activity involves sudden bursts of quick and jerky movements. The idea with any warm is to break small amounts of sweat through light paces of movement.

For an athlete or the weekend warrior who intends to protect their ACL and build overall strength and endurance, fitness regimens that aim to strengthen the muscles that protect the knee are a must. Through Pilates much of the strength building can be achieved through a mat workout in the comfort of your own home.

Pilates is known to improve flexibility, increase the range of motion, build stability and develops strong core muscles and hence it becomes the ideal workout. Since flexibility is the all important factor in preventing ACL related injuries, Pilates reigns high on the list of exercises.

The flexibility of connective tissues, ligaments, tendons and muscles make it possible for joints to work at their best in full motion without succumbing to injury as well as enhancing the ability to handle unexpected shocks without sacrificing stability something most of experience just running down a flight of stairs or dashing across the road. The best way to achieve flexibility, strength and motion is through being aware of our limitations at the beginning of any activity and then progressively increasing the intensity.