It’s common sense that injury prevention is preferable to injury treatment; after all, no one wants to suffer the sudden agony or the lingering loss of function caused by a torn ligament. Despite this, few sports teams take the steps necessary to prevent athletic injuries, even though the first step can be as simple as incorporating an effective warm-up program.
Most teams will run a few laps and follow with some stretching, but unfortunately this isn’t enough to significantly reduce the number or severity of injuries that occur. An effective warm-up program includes dynamic stretching (think of it as stretching through motion), proper execution of complex movement patterns (i.e., cutting, jumping, etc.), as well as an exercise portion designed to strengthen key muscles.
Sounds complicated. Fortunately, the experts at FIFA’s Medical Assessment and Research Center (F-MARC) have developed a three-part warm-up program known as the “FIFA 11+”, which has been proven to decrease the frequency and severity of injuries in male and female athletes across multiple sports.
The pictures above show how the FIFA 11+ helps to correct improper leg alignment by strengthening important muscles and by improving an athlete’s technique and movement habits.
Here’s an example of just how effective this program can be.
A study by Soligard et al. (2008) found a 15% rate of injury for athletes who performed the FIFA 11+ compared to a 26% rate of injury in the group that did not include this program. Furthermore, severe injuries were reduced by almost 50% in the group that performed the warm-up. Convincing numbers!
Some keys to this program include consistency (performing it twice a week) and proper execution. At Athletes’ Advantage Physiotherapy we understand the importance of injury prevention, so we will be offering educational workshops for teams that wish to incorporate the FIFA 11+ into their routine.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 780-460-9977 if you are interested in booking a workshop.
Soligard, T., Myklebust, G., Steffen, K., Holme, I., Silvers, H., Bizzini, M., Junge, A., Dvorak, J., Bahr, R., & Andersen, T. (2008). Comprehensive warm-up programme to prevent injuries in young female footballers: cluster randomised controlled trial. BMJ, 337, 2469.