According to a recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, exercises that strengthen the legs and the hips while stabilizing the core are the ideal way to prevent knee injuries—also known as ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries.

Women aged between 14 and 17 years, particularly the ones who play sports involving a lot of pivoting, such as soccer, basketball, lacrosse and handball are at risk. This also holds true for girls who are trying to shed the pounds through grueling workout and fitness routines.

Here are two exercises that will help reduce risk of injury and keep you in top  form:

Sit-Ups
The sit-up is a strength training exercise that works on the abdominal muscles and engages the core.
Get In Position: Lie down with your back to the floor, with your arms across the chest or hands behind the head. Bend your knees to 90 degrees, and place your feet firmly on the ground. Now, raise your upper body towards your knees using your core—head first, shoulders next, and then your abs till they all align. Hold position for three counts, and slowly go back down in a fluid motion, but don’t touch the ground; move on to next rep.

The Russian Leg Curl
Strengthening your hamstrings is an essential part of rehabilitation and can also help prevent injuries. This exercise gets the job done, while also giving your core and glutes a workout.
Get In Position: The workout should be done at the gym with proper equipment. You need to place your ankles underneath the lumbar, with your knees in kneeling position and body facing outward. Put your arms across your chest and keep your back straight—shoulder, abs, torso aligned. Now lean forward, almost like you were falling, until you can go no more. Then, slowly lift yourself up to initial position by engaging the core and the hamstrings; move on to next rep.

With these positions in mind, you could have an ACL injury-free workout, although you must consult your trainer whenever your muscles feel strained unnaturally. Recovery periods are long and hard and can deter you from exercise altogether.

With a Masters in English literature, Trina Remedios has spent her recent years extensively writing about health and fitness, with a keen interest in the beauty segment as well. While her high calorific lunches are positively deceiving, her inner hippie takes to the city roads and can run circles around most marathoners. Follow her for beauty hacks, natural fixes, fitness fads, celebrity trends, and wellness tips.