Injury Prevention in Soccer
Hi everyone! Fay here! After an exciting summer with the Women’s World Cup, another fall soccer season is upon us! But with all the excitement also comes the risk of injuries. Proper prevention and preparation are key to staying healthy on the pitch. And now is the perfect time to make sure you have a solid warm-up routine to keep you doing what you love! That's why I believe every player should learn about FIFA 11+.
The FIFA 11+ is an injury prevention tool designed for soccer athletes and all levels. Some of the most common injuries for soccer players include hamstrings, hips, knees, and ankles – research has shown that performing the FIFA 11+ warm-up reduces those injuries by 40%.
Strength Training Program for Injury Prevention
The program is split into 3 parts. Here are the exercises from the first portion, which focuses on getting the body, heart, and joints ready for more activity. It can be done with a friend or team but can also be done alone.
Running - Start with a gentle jog across pitch. Perform 2-3 times and gradually increase your speed as you warm up.
Hip Circles out - Jog forward, each 5-6 steps, lift your knee, rotate the hip outwards and back down. Alternative between R and L left. Complete 10-12 hip circles total.
Hip Circles in - Jog forward, each 5-6 steps, lift your knee, rotate the hip inwards and back down. Alternative between R and L left. Complete 10-12 hip circles total.
Small Circle Jog - Run forward, after 5-6 steps, shuffle in a small circle, then continue forward and repeat 5-6 times
Shoulder Contact - Run forward 5-6 steps, with your partner, jump sideways towards each other and make shoulder to shoulder contact. Make sure you land with bent hips and knees. Complete 10-12 jumps total.
Forward/Backward Running: Run quickly forward ~10 steps, then quickly run back ~5 steps. Repeat for a total of 10 forward/backward runs.
Sprints - Run across the pitch at 75-80% of your maximum speed. Perform twice.
Bounding - Skip forward, focus on landing gently on that foot and bringing the opposite knee high. Perform across the pitch and jog back for recovery. Perform twice.
Plant & Cut: Jog forward 4-5 steps, plant on the outside leg and quickly change direction. Accelerate and sprint 5-7 steps at a high speed, then plant and cut to change direction again. Repeat until you reach the other side of the field. Perform twice.
This set of exercises is a great way to warm up and get ready for practice, a scrimmage or a game! The other portions of the program focus on core strength, balance and power. There is a link included below. The great thing about the other exercises is that they don’t have to be completed in your warm up to help prevent injuries on the soccer field.
In my view, every soccer player from youth to pro should make the FIFA 11+ part of their regular training routine, especially leading into a new season. A minor investment of time could save you from weeks off the pitch due to injury down the road and help with peak performance. Enjoy your soccer season!