Pre-season Injury Prevention Programs

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Pre-season preparation – Injury Prevention Programs

Did you see our blog last month about the importance of Pre-Season Injury Prevention? Maybe you want to know what you can do to prepare your body for the season? Prevention is better than treatment! This article will focus on soccer injury prevention programs, but there is growing evidence that these help with AFL and Basketball too.

During the course of play soccer players are required to accelerate, decelerate, jump, cut, pivot, kick, challenge other players and head the ball. Injuries can and do occur. In fact, the rate of injury for football players is up to 35 injuries per 1,000 playing hours. Therefore, it's important to implement preventative measures to reduce these knee, ankle and overuse injuries. Let’s all aim to reduce the cost and burden of injury, including the all-important time spent on side-lines!

There are 2 main soccer specific injury prevention programs: FIFA 11+ and Copenhagen Adductor strengthening. Football Australia Perform+ and Footy First include these exercises into their warm-up programs.

There are 3 parts to the FIFA 11+ program:

  • Part 1: running exercises at a slow speed combined with active stretching and controlled partner contacts.
  • Part 2: six sets of exercises focusing on core and leg strength, balance and plyometrics/agility, each with three levels of increasing difficulty.
  • Part 3: running exercises at moderate / high speed combined with planting / cutting movements.

See the image below for the full FIFA 11+ program

Click here to download the full PDF File

The 20 min exercise program should be performed two times per week, and in the specified sequence. Simple replace your regular warm-up program with this one! Download the poster and follow the specified reps and instructions. Prior to matches, only perform the running exercises (parts 1 and 3).

Studies have shown a 34% reduction in ALL injuries in those who performed the injury prevention program compared to those who warmed up “as usual”.

Evidence suggests as part of your warm-up once a week, you should add this under 5 min Adductor exercise: Groin injuries are one of the most common in football. Poor hip adduction strength is an important modifiable risk factor associated with increased risk of groin injury.

This one exercise is to be performed at highest level possible (start at level 3) and regress down a level if pain >3/10.

Studies have shown a 41% reduction groin injury during competitive season for those performing this exercise in-season compared with those doing a “normal” warm up.

For any questions about how to minimise the risk of injury, of if you do get an injury and want to get yourself back on the field, book in with your local physiotherapist. We at Physio Inq Sutherland want you to hit the ground running when the season starts up!

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