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Conditioning Exercises to Prevent Knee Injuries

Hello to everyone and thanks for all the great tips and knowledge.

Since there is a wealth of knowledge here, I wanted to ask what conditioning exercises are best and which help in the prevention of knee injuries?

There is a reason for my question, obviously. My DD tore her ACL in a soccer game. She loves both Softball and Soccer, so you can imagine the news to my athlete that she would be out of commission for 6 months to a year. This happened in late 2006 and was cleared in July 07 to return to sports. Her glove and bat have returned to normal, but you can tell she's not light on her feet with side to side movement like she once was. Anything that I can insert in our conditioning routine to help other young athletes prevent this type of injury and help my DD regain her confidence and motion, you can bet it will be in our routine tomorrow.

Thanks for your time and response.

Coach Jim

Amy in AZ.

Super Moderator
May 7, 2008
What did the physical therapist have her doing? And have you asked them the question that you asked here? What position does she play? And how old is she?

I see that she is in New Port Richey, so all I can add from a personal standpoint is that working out in a warm pool is about the best exercise you can get. But, do ask the medical specialists because sometimes they don't want you swimming lap after lap and pounding that knee on the water.

But, I am thinking that dancing around in the pool to music and moving side to side would be good. Also just sitting on the side of the pool and doing leg lifts.

I use those foam "weights" on my ankles, but I haven't had surgery. I am just old. :D

Oh, and ice that knee after workouts and games.
Amy, thanks for your response and I'll incorporate your suggestions.

Physical Therapy went well until Insurance ran out. I thought it unbelievable that they set a limit for a young athlete. Pleaded and Pleaded, but that's another story.:mad:

They had her doing lunges, squats, and jumping back and forth in running position alternating feet over a line on the ground, to name a few. Most were hard to incorporate in a conditioning routine.

She's 16 now and plays 3rd, Short, and 2nd. Now you can see why I noticed a difference in movement, especially short and 2nd, trying to get to that pop up over 3rd or 1st or up the middle. We'll be attending quite a few showcases over the next couple of years and, like any dad, wanted to help her in any way possible reach her goal.

If I can help prevent one athlete from having to go through surgery and therapy, it's what makes it all worth while.

Thanks for your time and response,
Coach Jim
May 7, 2008
I, too, would like information on this. My dd had an MRI two weeks ago which showed the knee has some extra cartiledge (according to them, common), but the knee and cartiledge is pressing against her growth plate. Doctor make no changes to her athletic endeavors. He said he could go and scoop out the cartiledge but it could interfere with her growth plate and wouldn't recommend any procedures until after she finishes growing.

Anyone have experience with this or make recommendations that should be avoided or added to her work out?

Thanks, Ang

Amy in AZ.

Super Moderator
May 7, 2008
Jim, Does she have to wear a knee brace during practice and the games?

You know, we used to wrap everything. I think it is a lost art, but a good ACE bandage wrapped correctly can offer some support to the knee.

At this point, I would discourage any blacktop basketball games. :)

What about a personal trainer at the health club? I know it is additional cost but not as much as therapy.

Does her PE teacher have any expertise? When I got my degree, kinesiology and anatomy were 2 of the things we had to study. Now, I would think that they would be studying some rehabilitation.


Softball fan
Feb 28, 2008
Montreal, Canada
Injury-Proof Catchers

A couple of months ago... I wrote that email to my subscribers list. Here it is:

Injury-Proof Catchers

I got a question from my good friend Stacie Mahoe from http://www.allaboutfastpitch.com asking me about preventing knee injuries for catchers.

I thought this is information you would like to get.

Yes, catchers have a greater risk of developing knee issues just because catching puts more stress on the knees than any other position.

What can you do to prevent this?

1) Use the Knee Savers. These are support padding that you attach to your shin pads and that gives you good support when squatting down. It takes away close to 85% of the stress when resting before you get into your catching position.

Some people think it makes your catcher lazy. To me, you can't play with knee safety. However, I don't buy the laziness thing. A good coach will know how to properly train their catcher and if the catcher is hard-working, this is a non-issue.

Now, it is not mandatory to wear them but it can reallyhelp to prevent a lot of the stress placed on the knees.

2) Do Hindu Squats - old, silly-looking, martial art exercise that many personal trainers would tell you"It's bad for the knees" exercise because the heels are coming off the ground but guess what... every catcher has their heels coming off the ground.

It is actually a great muscular endurance exercise for catchers. I would do 50-100/day several days a week. After that, your catcher will have the best conditioned legs of any catcher in your league.

Check this exercise:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPSVpo4mzNI

3) I would also get them to do single-leg squats for strength and stability. They are killers but boy do they work.

Check it out:


4) Make sure you teach proper catching techniques; especially he basic catching position. You want to make sure that their weight is well-distributed. Teach them good fundamentals and you will take a lot of the stress away.

From experience, most softball players with knee problems are not catchers but former/current gymnasts, basketball or soccer players.Make your catchers injury-proof.

"Your Personal Softball Peak Performance Coach"
May 5, 2008
Also don't forget to work on range of motion. After injury bendy parts can get stiff. When I tore just about every ligament in my ankle, one thing our trainer did was work range of motion. I just sat down. He pushed my ankle in all the directions it was supposed to be able to go.

When I got back on the field, the stiffness made me feel awkward. But we continued to work the range of motion as well as continue to strengthen the muscles around the area. AND I upped the bracing I used. Knowing that I had extra support gave me confidence to try to move more "normally" again.

I was so fortunate to have good trainers provided for our school teams from the time I was in middle school. Feel for athletes that don't have that luxury because it definitely does make it tougher to come back from injury.
May 27, 2008
I'd like to see a discussion about knees, feet, and ankles, that revolves around good, supportive, footware for athletes. All too often this is where problems begin as silly as it sounds. Flip-flops, sandles, and Lord know what else girls put on their feet are sooo bad for their legs. This is often an ignored part of knee health.

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