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Sports Rehabilitation Strengthening Exercises Post Surgery

Updated: Jun 23, 2022

physical therapist stretching patient

Studies have shown that immobilization during postoperative recovery may be harmful to the ACL & UCL (Anterior cruciate ligament injury ACL and Ulnar Collateral Ligament) reconstructions. There is a need for a more flexible recovery after surgery, and you should consider special treatment for ACL or UCL tears as well as any other type of injury. Research has proven that recovery is better when you do exercise programs and train other parts of the body, especially in recently repaired areas.

Post-Surgery Strengthening Exercises

However, you will have to walk a fine line when you are programming your recovery exercises as it can also be easy to worsen the condition when exercises are performed wrong. This can have a negative effect on overall recovery, as the neuromuscular control of basic activities is weakened. It is important to recognize the limits of training, avoid re-injury of the repaired tissue, and work hard to achieve the same level of performance as before the injury while minimizing the risk of tissue failure later in life.

Training and performing these functions must be done with the rest of the body and not just on the recently injured areas. It is important that you work on complex movements that affect the entire body, including walking, running, lifting, and jumping. Slowly increasing the workload or intensity on the painful inhibitions that weaken the injured area while maintaining a safe training environment that does not overtrain the muscle, can help the muscles to become stronger and more flexible. This enables you to quickly and safely return to optimum functionality.

sports rehabilitation

Benefits of Post-Surgery Exercises

Post-Surgery exercises increase blood flow to the injured area and allow for a faster return of blood flow to the body after surgery. Here are targeted exercises you can expect and their benefits:

  • Training in core stability is crucial for maintaining proper motor skills

  • Cardiovascular training helps increase blood flow to heal the affected region

  • Muscular endurance exercises helps build back strength

  • Stretching helps improve mobility and flexibility

Physical Therapy and Sports Rehabilitation

Sports injuries can be debilitating, but significant progress has been made in improving rehabilitation from common sports injuries and allowing patients and athletes to return to competitive sport. It is also important to remember that full rehabilitation must be part of a comprehensive exercise plan. Special Care must be taken to ensure a safe training environment, and fitness professionals should be smart in the months following surgery.

If you have a lower limb injury, have had surgery, or simply have difficulty walking or exercising with normal functional mobility, you can benefit from physical therapy to return to optimal mobility. A Physical Therapist can prescribe leg exercises similar to part of an exercise routine. This can help you to return quickly and safely to an optimal functional level with minimal pain in your movement.

working on patient exercise program

After the surgery, you will feel that it is difficult to move around, and pain can prevent you from moving a lot. If you think leg exercises are good for you, you should check with your Physical Therapist to see which moves are best. The first exercise should target the important muscles of the leg, and there are a number of leg exercises that can be performed after the operation as well as in the first few weeks after the operation.

Here are some common home exercises after surgery:

Leg Exercises

With your back against the floor, lift your leg from the floor and straight out, hold for ten seconds, and slowly lower back down to the floor. Keep your knees straight during the exercise before bringing your leg back to the floor. With simple leg exercises, you can move to more challenging and advanced exercises when they get easier.

Glute Exercises

Gluteal sets are an isometric form of hip strengthening that trains the muscles while there is no movement of the hip joints. You can hold the gluteal muscles for 5 seconds, relax, then hold the muscle for another 5 seconds and do at least 10 repetitions.

Hip-Strengthening Exercises

Bend your knees to the floor and slowly push the heel of your leg towards your buttocks. Hold this position for 5 seconds, slide down as far as possible and slowly return to your starting position, and repeat.

Quad Exercises

Lie on your back and stretch the muscles on top of your thighs. You can use a bolster under your knee and then tighten the muscles by straightening your knee. Hold for a couple of seconds, relax, and repeat.

This exercise helps you control the position of your kneecaps and helps to get the quad muscles working after surgery or after recovery of an injury. This is important if you have patellofemoral stress syndrome (PFSS) or have had a knee injury such as a torn ligament or a dislocated knee. The proximal patellar avulsion attached to the quadriceps muscle breaks completely from the rest of the kneecap, rendering it unusable in the proximal area, and the athlete must rehabilitate it at the same time as rehabilitating his knee. If you are preparing to walk after an injury or surgery, you should do the Short Arc Quad (SAQ) for a few weeks in order to achieve full functional mobility and recovery. It is also necessary to strengthen the back.

Hamstring Exercises

Lift your leg back about 12 inches while lying on your stomach, and then back to the floor. Work on the hamstring muscles by bending the knees and stretching the hips backward. Strengthening your joints after injury or surgery can help you return to normal walking. You can make the exercise more challenging by placing a 2 - 3 pound cuff weight around your ankle during the exercise. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then return to the floor with a weight of 2-3 pounds at the end of your ankle and hold it for 3 seconds.

Eccentric exercises

Eccentric exercises, designed specifically for comprehensive training after an injury, are the best approach to healing the injury and maximizing performance for the future. There is generally no accepted protocol, but the overarching issue is that working harder is better as long as the strain is light enough to prevent further injury and the patient is carefully monitored.

Eccentric exercises (including plyometric exercises) for just 8 weeks are a relatively new field of study. During rehabilitation, Eccentric exercises place a strain on the repaired ligaments, leads to increased blood flow to the affected joint, which allows for a full recovery and faster recovery time for the injured joint, leading to greater mobility and flexibility.

Eccentric-focused exercises, which are specifically aimed at training and healing the repaired tissue, have clear benefits. These exercises not only enable greater strength in the joint and support the general recovery from injuries but also enable a more direct load on the respective ligaments.

Eccentric exercises also allow greater strength production at the joints, which supports the general healing of the injured joint and the recovery process. This does not mean that concentric exercises are ineffective as you can increase the workload and intensity of the exercises while creating a safe environment for healing, but it is, of course, important not to overtrain or prevent the renewal or repairing of the torn tissue.

Before Starting an Exercise Program

It is important to start strengthening your muscles as soon as your doctor says it is safe to do so, but before starting any exercise program, you should consult your doctor or physical therapist to ensure that the exercises are safe. Contact Natural Care Chiropractic to learn more about exercise programs that are best for your specific condition.


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