Objectives To explore the patients’ experiences of participating in an exercise group following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). Design Hermaneutic phenomenological qualitative study of two focus groups. Setting Outpatient care, private rehabilitation centre. Participants Nine adults who had participated in an exercise group led by a physiotherapist following ACLR. Results Three major themes emerged from the data: psychosocial factors, physical outcomes and identity of the exercise group. The most significant perception of engaging in an exercise group following ACLR was its influence on psychosocial factors, especially motivation, self-confidence and social support. The group influenced the participants’ motivation, enjoyment and commitment to exercise during their rehabilitation. Social support, self-confidence and reassurance were mostly gained. The participants taking part in sport experienced the ACLR group as a substitute for sport trainings. The group was perceived to help enhance speed of recovery and facilitate the return to normal life, especially for participants with lower reported motivation and adherence to home-exercises. The authors interpreted that the subjective physical outcomes’ improvements described by all the participants was potentially an increased level of self-efficacy. The challenging role of the physiotherapist was highlighted as well as the promotion of shared accountability between patients and the group’s leader. The exercise group’s identity was questioned within the rehabilitation process, and the need for more knowledge of its existence in order to promote exercise group therapy was suggested. Conclusion Participating in an exercise group therapy influences psychosocial factors such as motivation, self-confidence, social support, potentially self-efficacy and helps enhance a faster successful recovery following ACLR. Our findings indicate that participants with a lower reported adherence to home-exercises may especially benefit from it.