PEP Programme


Are you a football, rugby, AFL, or netball player? Or are you an avid spectator? 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).


What is the PEP Programme?


The PEP programme stands for Prevent Injury and Enhance Performance Program. It consists of a warm up, stretching, strengthening, plyometrics, and sports specific agilities to address potential deficits in the strength and coordination of the stabilizing muscles around the knee joint. ACL injuries can be reduced by up to 70%, by the introduction of the PEP. The PEP programme not only decreases both first time ACL injuries, it also prevents the incidence of re-injury after ACL reconstruction surgery. It was developed at the Santa Monica Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Research Foundation – and is now used worldwide (including here at Get Active Physiotherapy) to help prevent and/or rehabilitate injuries.



How does it work?


The program is designed to assist athletes with their strength and stability of the knee, stamina and balance, which in turn improves their overall performance as well. Technique is everything with the PEP and if performed correctly, guided by a physiotherapist, athletes can reduce their risk of ACL injuries. 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 programme?


Research has indicated that introducing this routine in early adolescence, (from 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 people 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 programme should be completed 3 times a week and takes 15-20 minutes to complete, although it may take slightly longer initially until you become well acquainted with each of the exercises. I would encourage this programme to be preformed during pre season or 8 weeks prior to commencing your chosen sport.

After a thorough assessment and your current physical functioning level has been identified, we will guide you through the PEP programme, facilitating you to the stage of full function, self management and a return to normal sporting activities.


If you have any questions or would like to book in to see one of our physiotherapists, please do not hesitate to contact Get Active Physiotherapy on 1300 8 9 10 11 or email us at



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