Julie Thompson, a postdoctoral fellow at the Boswell Human Performance Lab at Stanford University, shares insights about the best exercises for athletes to do prior to a sports competition or heading down to the field for practice. Thompson recommends that athletes try the 11+ program that was developed by the international soccer organization, FIFA. While these stretches were designed for soccer players, they are extremely effective warm-up exercises for all athletes. Try these stretches to avoid ACL injuries and for optimal muscle balance and flexibility.

Related: How Female Athletes Can Avoid ACL Injuries