Author Topic: ACL Rehab. Strength imbalance in between both legs.  (Read 2507 times)

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xPanDa

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ACL Rehab. Strength imbalance in between both legs.
« on: February 10, 2014, 07:16:12 am »
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So its been 1 year since ACL surgery (left knee)

My physio says he doesnt need to see me anymore. All i need to do is keep strengthening my knee.

right now my injured leg is smaller than my good leg and considerably weaker.

what is the best way to bring my injured leg back to strength to match my good leg?

Should i stop doing Bilateral exercises? Im afraid my dominant leg would just take over when i do things like barbell squats, and worsen my imbalance...

Raptor

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Re: ACL Rehab. Strength imbalance in between both legs.
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2014, 08:08:13 am »
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In my opinion, you should start with bulgarian split squats for a while, starting the set with the weak leg first, and then after the weak leg catches up in time in terms of strength, you can move to bilateral squats etc.

So I'd start with bodyweight BSSs, with the injured leg. Say you manage to do 9 reps. Do the same 9 reps with the healthy leg. And so on and so forth, until they become at least close in terms of strength.

Then you can move to bilateral stuff. Just make sure you do every rep with perfect form.

ChrisM

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Re: ACL Rehab. Strength imbalance in between both legs.
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2014, 09:51:01 am »
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I agree with Raptor, although I thankfully have no experience with this I'd say your best bet is to let the weak leg catch up with strictly unilateral work first.

Good luck!
Insert motivational quote here...

LBSS

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Re: ACL Rehab. Strength imbalance in between both legs.
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2014, 10:43:17 am »
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did your PT not give you exercises to keep doing after you stop with him? some guy.
Muscles are nonsensical they have nothing to do with this bullshit.

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xPanDa

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Re: ACL Rehab. Strength imbalance in between both legs.
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2014, 07:20:31 am »
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I think he did, i assume he wants me to continue to do the same exercises before...
But he never told me about the Bulgarian split squat, which seems to be a pretty good one i missed.
I dont blame him... his no strength/hypertrophy expert...

I still dread each time i look at the size difference between my legs..I know its gona take me a while to bring them back to equal  :huh:

found some cool articles if anyone else is interested!

https://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/bulgarian_split_squats
https://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/build_bigger_legs_one_at_a_time

lamp

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Re: ACL Rehab. Strength imbalance in between both legs.
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2014, 07:55:40 am »
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1st off,

If you're like me, your injured leg will never be as big as the other one. You can easily get it as strong but after the muscles atrophy they just won't catch up size wise. I did my left ACL four years ago and currently my left leg is slightly stronger (I jump off my left leg, start with it forward etc...). However, the quad mass is ever so slightly smaller than that of the right--especially the vastus lateralis.

In my rehab I did tons of step ups and lunges. I was lucky enough to do it through my schools sports medicine (as I was currently playing college soccer at the time) and so I had a trainer do several specific workouts with me every day (for free).

We had one plyometric progression which I found particularly helpfu. Its length was a good 6 weeks and by the end my athleticism was restored and the strength balances eliminated.


In terms of strength exercises I think step ups are the way to go. I am always wary of bulgarians and lunges especially when the weight gets heavy--the twisting can be hard on the joints/ligaments whereas I feel the step up is safer and just as effective. I also think single leg, leg press is very good and safe. Finally, I recommend you start squatting earlier rather than later and squat in front of a mirror to make sure that you're doing so symmetrically and not twisting or leaning to favor one leg.

TL:DR: Do step ups, squat in front of mirror, your atrophied leg will never be as big as the other

xPanDa

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Re: ACL Rehab. Strength imbalance in between both legs.
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2014, 07:22:16 am »
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Thanks a lot lamp. much appreciated.

Did you do surgery with patella tendon? or hamstring graft?

Whats the reason why the injured leg cant get back to size?

lamp

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Re: ACL Rehab. Strength imbalance in between both legs.
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2014, 08:40:08 am »
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I had patella tendon.

No idea why it doesn't catch up in size. It's not a huge discrepancy either. If you're training, within a year it'll be where probably only you can tell.