An introduction to power based exercises for knee rehab.

After a knee surgery, or in my case – ACLR (anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction) – feeling like you have power in the surgical leg takes forever to return. Here are some of the ways that you can include power based training to rehab your knee.

If you want to take your performance to the next level and get back to your previous level of performance, it’s important to incorporate power exercises into your routine.

Power exercises focus on building explosive strength, which can be especially beneficial for athletes. By building explosive strength, you can:

  • generate more power with each push off
  • get the ability to change direction on the field or court faster
  • explode to the basket or off a jump for skiing or snowboarding
  • help prevent injuries.

By building stronger muscles and improving your overall athleticism, you’ll be better equipped to handle the demands of your sport.

There are many different types of power exercises that can be beneficial for athletes:

  • Plyometric exercises – such as hurdle jumps and drop jumps, can help improve your explosive power and RSI (reactive strength index – your springiness)
  • Olympic lifts – such as power cleans and snatches, can help build full-body strength and power
  • Compound movements with the right load and speed to train explosivenes

I’ll give you an example of a squat and how we can manipulate what you are doing with it to focus on the different aspects of power:

  1. Light power – holding 30% of the 1RM for your squat, 8 reps x 5 sets – intent is to move fast through the squat
  2. Heavy Power – holding 70% of your 1RM for your squat, 3 reps x 4 set – intent is to move fast in the up phase

These all need to be preceded by building up a base of strength and a foundation after your surgery. You should not start power based exercises until your strength base has built. You need proper strength testing from your physiotherapist for this.

Incorporating power exercises into your routine doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your endurance training. By alternating between power exercises and longer, endurance-focused training, you can build both explosive power and endurance. This can help you become a more well-rounded athlete and improve your overall performance.

If you want to tap into the power aspects of your training, and haven’t done so in your rehab – check out the Advanced Knee Rehab Program. I cover strength, rate of force development, power exercises and plyometrics for a confident and strong knee.

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