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ACL Injury Prevention: Anti-Rotation

Toes-forward-power-athlete-anti-rotation-chris-mcquilkin-ryan-troupeCommon thinking in strength and conditioning is the stronger the muscle, the safer the joint is from injury.  Focusing on linear force production regardless of the set up or execution, is a fallacy that neglects a monumental component of sport and training: Force Reduction.

In Neuromuscular Reeducation, we discussed training protective knee joint action by creating a default position for jumping, landing, and changing direction.  Muscles can only protect if they are contracted appropriately to control imposed loads (2).

A strength coach applying injury prevention practices should check the Shitty Coaching Trifecta to ensure they truly understand the mechanisms for injury and the proper neuromuscular education techniques.  Without proper identification and correction, the protective muscle reflexes are more or less useless.


Once ACL risks are assessed and proper knee alignment/action is mastered through reeducation, the athlete must be challenged further with different ways to prepare for the forces and movements.  This article will present a new training tool to further the force reduction and neuromuscular reeducation process: anti-rotation strategies.  These movements will further eliminate ACL non-contact injury mechanisms and prepare the athlete for all forces and movements they’ll see in their arena.

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Tex McQuilkin

Director of Training at Power Athlete
Book a consult with me regarding coaching, training, life, education... anything your heart desires. Click below:

Former collegiate lacrosse defensive midfielder, 4-year letter winner and 3-year team captain. Coached strength and conditioning collegiately with Georgetown University football, Men's and Women's lacrosse and Women's Crew, as well with the University of Texas at Austin's football program. Apprenticed under Raphael Ruiz of 1-FortyFour-1 studying proper implementation of science based, performance driven training systems. Head coached CrossFit Dupont's program for two years in Washington D.C. Received a Master's in Health Promotion Management from Marymount University in 2010, and has been a coach for Power Athlete since October, 2012.
Tex McQuilkin
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Posted in Blog, Injury, Programming | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

7 Responses to ACL Injury Prevention: Anti-Rotation

  1. Damn @mcquilkin. Awesome stuff. Gonna throw some of this into the mix with my rugby players, curious to see where they’re at in regards to posture and position through these movements. My guess is not where they need to be. This is some top shelf shit right here. Thanks once again.

    • @train608
      Don’t feel a rush to throw these at your girls. This is where you go once the movements in Reeducation are mastered. We then challenge that posterior chain dominance with these dynamic movements. The jam squat is INVALUABLE in teaching female athlete how to load their posterior chain. Once they get that down, throw these at them.

  2. Tex, when is a good time to work these movements in? Pre warm up? Post strength, but pre-conditioning/accessory? Extra Credit?

    • These are after mastery of sagittal plane posterior loading. The most optimal introduction to them in training is post warm-up and pre strength when the athlete is freshest. Once the athlete is proficient in these, we can add the stress of fatigue. Have them inbetween squat sets, following heavy pulls (post-strength/pre-condo), or following a condo/LATT/sprints.

  3. DD

    Excellent work again!!

    While your lower half looks like an old school, sturdy A frame building, with female athletes I would want to bring their feet in a bit to reduce valgus stress due to an increase in Q angle. Thoughts?

    • @menacedolan
      I concur, Dennis. Each athlete’s set up will vary a few degrees, especially between male and females. With females, we have to fight harder to train posterior chain dominance because they’re at a higher risk for ligament and quad dominance than males. Finding the proper set up that allows females to push their butt back into their hammies is the first step in any prevention/reeducation program. The A-frame shown above is a much better starting point than what is being taught (or not) right now. Start there and work in or out for the safest/most optimal position per female.

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