Football Injury Prevention

As discussed in the previous posts, some the commonest footballing injuries involve the knee and ankles. Football being a demanding and physical sport results in injuries. In this post we are going to discuss injury prevention for football injuries.

No athlete wants to get injured and sometimes it’s not possible to avoid it but here are some exercises that will prehab the muscles to reduce injuries. The four key components to preventing injuries are

-Challenge balance & neuromuscular control systems

-Core strength is essential

-Strengthen large muscles groups

-Functionally train the body

A) Strength:

– Squats – Stand with your feet about hip width apart. – Sit back. – Bend from your hips and knees. Stick your buttocks out with your chest high. – Keep your knees behind your toes. – Remember, keep your knees and feet facing straight ahead as you squat.

– Try squatting on just on leg. Careful! Don’t let your knee turn inward.

– Lunges Walking Lunges Perform walking lunges halfway across the field and then back. As you step, keep your front knee over your ankle in line with your toes.

B) Core Strength:

Plank – its best getting advice about posture for this exercise as wrong positioning can defeat the object. Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat 5 times.

Side Plank – Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat 5 times.

Bridging – Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat 5 times. The use of a gymball under the feet in this exercise challenge the neuromuscular control and balance.

C) Balance

Balance is important as many injuries are caused when athletes are off-balance. All strengthening exercises can be completed with a balance element, just add a wobble board or wobble cushion when completing.

D) Plyometrics and external cueing

– Jump side-to-side with both feet over the line.

– Jump from your left to right foot over the line.

– Jump forward-and-back with both feet over the line.

– Jump forward-and-back over a line leading with your right foot. Keep feet hip width apart. Now lead with your left.

External cueing is important as in competitive sport your decisions and therefore movements are based upon the external influences of the game. External cueing should be introduced with plyometrics and is simply done by a coach or trainer clapping to signify changing direction or drill.

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