Cardiovascular Fitness

Exercise Bike

(10-60 minutes, 3 times per week)

This exercise can be started immediately after suffering an ACL injury. The key is to retain motion of the knee. When sitting on the bike it is important to set the seat height to work on both knee extensions (straightening) and flexion (bending). If one sets the seat higher, it will force the knee into extension. If one sets the seat lower, it will work the flexion.

Tips:

  • Resistance is not important, only the motion. If one cannot initially make a full rotation, half rocking rotations will be helpful.

Elliptical Trainer

(10-60 minutes, 3 times per week)

You can start this exercise once you have good range of motion and are able to put weight on your leg. Start slow with minimal resistance.

Tips:

  • You want to be comfortable walking and are not limping prior to starting elliptical training.

Swimming: flutter kick only

(10-60 minutes, 3 times per week)

You can swim, only front crawl stroke and only flutter kicking. If you are not a good swimmer you can hold or use a kickboard and just kick. Great cardiovascular exercise and can help with knee range of motion.

Tips:

  • No breaststroke or whip kick: this could increase injury to ACL deficient knee. You can start with holding on to side of pool with arms extended and work on kicking only.

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