Getting Mountain Fit – Exercises to help prevent acute knee injuries

Acute Knee Injury Prevention & Biomechanical conditioning

Acute Knee Injuries is one of the most feared category of injuries, amongst professional and recreational athletes. Acute knee injuries include for example, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) sprain or ruptures, posterior cruciate ligament sprain or rupture and meniscal tear to name a few. These injuries can see the end of sporting careers and bring on early arthritis.

Most commonly seen in sporting activities involving rapid change of direction and twisting, with a higher risk when there is increased friction between the athlete’s foot and the floor. For example, studded football boots, or even a sudden heap of powder or a caught edge whilst skiing.

There are many possible risk factors for acute knee injuries such as;

  • Fatigue… e.g. due to increase activity rate, poor sleep, altitude
  • Environment… e.g. skiing conditions, weather and visibility, other skiiers/boarders
  • Health… e.g. non-specific pain and niggles, influenza
  • Equipment
  • Biomechanical conditioning
  • Sex (women are 2-4x more at risk than men)

The main point on that list I am going to focus on is Biomechanical conditioning!

Focusing on strength, balance and neuromuscular control can reduce ACL risk of injury by 25-50%

Focusing on alignment and stability of the centre core, hip, knee and ankle will help encourage safer movement patterns, and prepare the body to have the strength and ability to adapt to external forces.

The video below we recorded in the Physio Room in the Bonne Santé clinic in Val d'Isère and will show a few simple and easy exercises you can incorporate into your preseason training.

The focus in all of these exercises is to ensure your hip, knee and foot is inline, whilst maintaining that neutral pelvis position.

Hopefully help to reduce risk of injury and help you make the most of your time in the alps!


Hutchinson, M., 2016. Brukner & Kahn’s Clinical Sports Medicine: Injuries, |. McGraw-Hill Education.


Frankie Pioli
Bonne Santé Physiotherapist, BSc Hons Physiotherapy, Cardiff University 2011, MCSP
ITEC Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy 

The purpose of this blog is to provide general information and educational material relating to exercise, physiotherapy and injury management. Bonne Santé Alps has made every effort to provide you with correct, up-to-date information. In using this blog, you agree that information is provided 'as is, as available', without warranty and that you use the information at your own risk. We recommend that you seek advice from a fitness or healthcare professional if you require further advice relating to exercise or medical issues.

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