Santa Monica Sports Medicine Research Foundation: PEP Program


Are you a soccer, rugby, netball player, or an avid spectator of any or all of the above sports?  If so, you have no doubt heard about Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries, and the impact it can have on players, coaches and fans of the beautiful game(s).

Did you know?

ACL injuries can be reduced by up to 70%, by the introduction of a specific warm up routine called PEP. The PEP programme not only decreases both first time ACL injuries  it also prevents the incidence of re injury after ACL reconstruction surgery . The PEP program stands for Prevent Injury and Enhance Performance Program. It was developed and researched by clever folk at Santa Monica Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Research Foundation – and is now used worldwide (including here at Summer Hill Physiotherapy) to help prevent injury.


How does it work?

The program is designed to assist athletes with their strength, stamina and balance, which in turn, improves their overall performance as well. Athletes can reduce their risk of ACL injuries by performing training drills that require balance, power and agility. Adding plyometric exercises, such as jumping, and balance drills helps improve neuromuscular conditioning and muscular reactions which decrease the risk of ACL injury.


When is the best time for introducing this program?

Research has indicated that introducing this routine in early adolescence -11 onwards helps individuals develop optimum movement patterns and behaviours of the knee hip ankle and trunk, that they then take through into adulthood.  We also know that the incidence of ACL injuries  is higher in young patients who have their first injury before the age of 21 years, therefore it is key to start them young!


How often and when should the PEP be performed?

The PEP program takes 15-20 minutes (easy) and should be performed 3 times a week during the season


Here at Summer Hill we encourage this program to be preformed during pre season or 8 weeks prior to commencing your chosen sport. We encourage all patients, (when they have been assessed to be at the appropriate level of recovery) who have had a ACL reconstruction and have been to familiarise themselves and their trainers with this program to minimise the risk of re injury.

Please click on the link for a copy of the PEP program.


Written by Emily Williamson, Physiotherapist