Torn ACL Recovery Podcast – Rehab Strength & Conditioning

After 9 months of rehab and just me on the podcast, this month I bring in the coach I’ve had the last 5 months, Cody McAninch. Cody is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Coach (CSCS) who has a special connection to ACL rehab and recovery, as we discuss on this episode.

As far as personal progress for my own recovery, I’ve continued working with Cody on a wide variety of progressions and strength building. Squatting heavy weight is becoming more comfortable, and deadlifting—once a bit dreaded with my hamstring graft—is now up to par.

It’s clear the hamstring recovery will take time; maybe an infinite amount of time. The graft site and the lack of strength in the hamstring as compared to my non-involved leg continues to annoy, but I also continue to work at it. I’m curious how it will feel in another 6 months.

I recently got back on the basketball court for the first time since the injury. Jogging and jumping around for 90 minutes felt great, albeit a little tiring on the legs having not done that in some time. I found myself scared to jump too high or go too hard, so my final phase of rehab will involve more sport-specific progressions like jumping up for a rebound while a partner lightly tugs on a band around my waist.

This will force me to practice landings in situations where I may be bumped or pulled while in the air. I’ve realized I’ve mostly stared at my legs or feet the last 9 months and haven’t spent too much time on practice without looking at my form.

This month also was the first month I got back to some crazy quirky crossfit workouts. One being a new “Hero WOD” called Chad, which is 1,000 box step-ups with a weighted vest.

My leg felt great that day-of, and I chugged through it, but extension has been sore for about a week after. I know this is due both to mechanics in such an extreme rep scheme, but also repetitive forces that I haven’t engaged in for quite some time.

Everything being said, things are going well. Some soreness and stiffness here and there when I really push things, but I’m happy with that progress and hope you, too, are pushing yourself at this stage. Enjoy this podcast, and keep the positive vibes up!

Helpful products roundup:

Month 9 Notes:

Personal Notes:

  • Extension: 0 (but a little pain after recent tough workouts)
  • Flexion: Pain/resistance at terminal flexion (when sitting in a squat)
  • Sitting Pain: 0/10
  • Standing Pain: 0/10

– Guide to Supplements for ACL Recovery
ACL Rehab Cycling Program

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This article has 2 comments

  1. Julia Linthong
    Mar 18, 2021 Reply

    Hi Chris, my 16 year old an avid soccer player is scheduled for ACL reconstructive surgery Tuesday, March 22, 2021 and we’ve been listening to your podcast. Similar to you, I am a researcher and want to be prepared for his surgery as I will be his primary caretaker. The goal is to get him back to competitive soccer in 9 months. With that being said, you mentioned a few products that helped with your recovery. Would you have a list of what you used and recommend? Any feedback you have would be greatly appreciated!

    • Chris Arnold
      Mar 18, 2021 Reply

      Hi Julia, thanks for the question! In the notes section of each podcast episode (and post here on the site) I link to the various products I used throughout my recovery. Tap the ACL Podcast link at the top and you should see all episodes with recaps and recommendations!

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