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ACL Injuries Can Affect Anyone

Posted Oct 30 2012 8:00am

Recently, Baltimore Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb suffered his second anterior cruciate ligament (ACL tear) in the last four years.

Hakeem Clark

An ACL injury is a tear in one of the knee ligaments that connects the upper leg bone with the lower bone. The ACL is important because it helps keep the knee stable.

An ACL injury occurs in sports in a number of ways. It can be from a sudden force that hits the knee while the leg is straight or slightly bent, or like in the case of Webb, it can occur when you change direction rapidly.

Change of direction in sports is your body moving, quickly decelerating, then accelerating again in the opposite direction. A non-contact ACL tear is caused by the body’s inability to decelerate its momentum and reaccelerate quickly. Sports such as football and soccer have high occurrences of ACL tears due to the amount of hard changes of direction the athletes perform. Poor technique when decelerating, weak hips and bad footwork can all increase the chances of a tear occurring.

So how can you help prevent a non-contact ACL tear?

At the Parisi Speed School powered by LifeBridge Health & Fitness, we teach every athlete the techniques of properly decelerating linearly (forwards and backwards) along with lateral (side to side) movements. Learning these techniques is key to preventing an injury like an ACL tear.

Here is an example of one of these techniques:

Every athlete, from your recreational athlete to a professional NFL player, wants to get faster and more explosive. However, the faster we get, the better we need our brakes to be.

At Parisi, we give you the skills to both go faster and stop more quickly. To learn more about us, visit here.

- Written by Hakeem Clark, Team Leader for the Parisi Speed School powered by LifeBridge Health & Fitness. If you have any questions about deceleration techniques or training for athletes contact Hakeem at 410-318-6808 or

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